Thoughts on… Part II: Fitness for Life, Busyness and Sticking with It

Thoughts on… Part II: Fitness for Life, Busyness and Sticking with It

Thoughts on

So you started working out and might feel like you just don’t have time for it in your busy schedule. The truth is that most of the times when starting a new habit something else might have to give in order to fit something else in. We as human beings have a habit of cramming our life’s full of “stuff” and usually something has to give. And it won’t necessarily be easy to give up.

 One common obstacle with clients struggling to stick with their training habit boils down to these two words, “too busy”. Too busy to cook, too busy to train and so on. Things required for healthier lifestyle usually takes time, at least in the beginning when all these things are new to a person. There is only so many hours per day (24, last time I checked) to get stuff done. Somethings gotta give to fit new stuff in. Other key is to start easy, you can read about in HERE.

Maybe you have to finish work 5pm on the dot to get your training in. Maybe you have to miss a lunch date with colleagues. Or maybe you only go out drinking every second weekend and just go out on a dinner on other weekends. Whatever it is it will feel like you have to give up something that is important to you. It is going to be hard especially if your co-workers, family or friends don’t put their health as high up in their priorities as you do.
But trust me when I say that in a month or two they have forgotten all about how things use to be and gotten used to the fact that being health conscious is a part of who you are now. And if they haven’t, it might be better to hangout with those who want what’s good for you, you know, true friends and dat.

The key is to focus on what you will gain from sticking with your new habits. Will those gains out-weight the things you will miss out in the long run. This is where a lot of people new to exercise will fail as it is easier to choose the short term pleasure over the long term gain. We as humans will naturally want instant gratification as we prefer to have something NOW instead of in 12 months. Most of us would choose $100 now instead of $200 in a year’s time. There’s even studies on this and I could probably link them here and make myself sound really important. Or not. The point is, stop thinking this as a ‘missing out – situation’ and rather a ‘oh my dear lord what sort of awesomeness am I going to get from this – situation’

This doesn’t mean that working out has to be your number one priority 365 days a year. No, there’s holidays, sickness, work, family stuff, possible future man landing on Mars, your dog’s 10th birthday. During those times fitness is not necessarily within your top three priorities in life. And that’s fine, make the most out of what you’ve got, do the absolute minimum you can get away with in your training without regressing back to your old habits. But don’t lose all your self control and undo all your had earned progress. Find balance. As an example, when on holidays include long walks on the beach instead of hitting the weight room. Unless you go to Finland where you’ll probably end up doing something like this:

The bottom line: if health and fitness feature somewhere in your top 5 priorities you’re doing pretty good. Sometimes it is higher on the list and other times it might be lower. It moves around with you and your current situation in life. You just gotta keep turning up and your doing fine.

I like Alwyn Cosgroves idea of setting a target number of workouts within a year: count 365 days from NOW (don’t wait until the 1st of January to do this) and decide how many workouts in total you are going to get in between 28.4.2015 and 28.4.2016. Just for the sake of this let’s pick a nice round number of 200 workouts, your’s might be higher or lower. You don’t set yourself a strict schedule of three training session per week as once you have a busy week and show up only twice you will feel like you’ve failed, it is usually harder to keep going. Rather your training will fluctuate with the other busyness in life. There will be weeks you’ll only get in once but also weeks where you come in four times. It doesn’t matter as long as you hit the target of 200 workouts by the end of the year.

Keep showing up and you’re doing better than 95% of the people with a gym membership.

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