What if you changed”I could if” to “I will because”? Can you imagine all of the things you would actually accomplish?
“I could get a walk in each night if there were more hours in a day.” Sorry folks; there will be no more hours. Only 24. Forever. So, how about this: “I will get a walk in everyday because I deserve the peace it will bring me, so I will make time for it.” That right there is powerful; taking control. But, I get it. There are a ton of things to accomplish in one day and sometimes things that make us feel good like a dance class, pick up soccer in the park, or gym session feels selfish; especially if you have a job, family, and a laundry list of obligations. One of my goals is to write more. So, what are my options?
Use my time wisely. I have plenty of time to scroll through Instagram, catch up on Words with Friends with my mother and peep Modern Family – if I’m awake for it. So, today I got home, cleaned up my kitchen, got my steaks ready for the grill in an hour, put Pandora’s ‘Chill Out’ station on and started to write. No distractions. No excuses.
EQUATION = (I could write if I had more time in my day) – ( distractions) = I will write because I enjoy it and have a lot to share with those willing to listen. Simple math. Ridding my distractions from my excuse for not writing equaled finding the time.
The same holds true with your health and fitness. There is nothing I haven’t heard from a client/friend/family member. My X hurts. My Y is weak. I have no time. I don’t know what to do. I have no extra income. I hate exercise. I have no time to make food. I don’t know what to eat. The cafe has bad food. I hate cleaning out tupperware. The list goes on. AND I TOTALLY GET IT. More so than ever. I do not have a 9-5, nor do my clients. Many of those I train or work closely with have families, work obligations, a life, and super limited time. The best I can do is provide you with some of the insight that I provide them. Like them, it is then up to you whether or not you want to make it work.
1) I could work out if my fill in the blank didn’t hurt.
That makes sense. If your knees hurt while you squat, you may think you can’t squat. Well – I’m sorry my friends. Squatting correctly shouldn’t hurt your knees. One of two things are going on.
One: Your squats aren’t being done correctly. Ask someone. A trainer, a well informed friend, me. Movement is important. Squatting is important. You do it over and over and over all day. You might as well do it effectively and pain-free.
Two: There’s something wrong somewhere else in your body. You should seek medical attention from a reputable doctor (note I said doctor. This time, not a well informed friend or personal trainer). If you don’t think you have time to make sure your body works correctly, you will continue to feel pain and dissatisfaction. That’s it in a nutshell.
Give this a try: I will find out why fill in the blank hurts because moving my body efficiently is healthy for my mind and my body.
2) I could work out if I had more time.
This clearly can be a road block for people who are looking to compete as a bodybuilder or athlete; although there are quite a few who know how to make time work for them. But, if you want to simply feel good, if you want to move well, lose weight, or sculpt your body, YOU DO NOT NEED A LOT OF TIME! You just need a plan – AND YOU NEED TO STICK TO IT…for more than a week. Quite frankly more than 2 weeks. You DO NOT need a lot of time to get a great workout in. You just need a plan and to actually execute it. On my Instagram page, I like to post workouts that only take about 20 minutes. Try this, for instance.
How about: I will find time to work out by completing 3-5 20 minutes workouts a week because my body and health deserve it. Start somewhere!
3) I could work out if I had money for the gym or a trainer.
Wowzas. This one is the worst. If you can’t figure out one free way to work out… we need a little reality intervention, my friend. The world is your gym. Think: your stairs, work stairs, the park, the local highschool, your front yard, your backyard, the community pool, your living room, your kitchen table, one chair, two gallon water jugs, one rag and a hardwood floor, standing exactly where you’re standing. Um, endless possibilities – IF you leave out the excuses.
If you even wanted to purchase equipment, you don’t need much, and what you need can come at a really cheap price if you look for it. Think dumbells, a kettlebell, a punching bag, jump rope; you name it. If you don’t want to buy new equipment, look for used products – somewhere out there is a treadmill-turned-coatrack waiting to live up to its’ potential. Give it some life!
Take a look online – whether it’s social media or Google. There are a plethera of trainers who give out free workouts. EH HEM. Use your common sense when following someone on the internet for workouts. Just because they look the part doesn’t mean they think while in the part. Catch my drift? Do your research then get to work.
Now we see: I will workout without a trainer or gym membership because the possibilities to train myself are endless.
4) I could work out if I had support around me.
Unfortunately, I see this all too often. People have major setbacks in their fitness and health because they aren’t supported or taken seriously – by their spouse, children, coworkers or friends. The obvious answer is to avoid anyone negative trying to bring you down; but the reality is you can’t just leave your children. Welp. You probably shouldn’t.
You can start by trying to explain to those around you why it is so important that you get their support. Let’s say it’s your family and their own lack of movement. Try putting some outings into your calendar that are more “fun” and less “exercise”. You will not only get moving, but you’ll spend some quality time with the ones you love. If all of your girls/boys nights are planned around happy hour, consider a mani-pedi or movie night at home. This doesn’t mean you need to give up all of your wine nights. But, if you are looking to make some changes, you have to… make some changes. Move the candy bowl in your office or have a more sensible option available around your prime worthless-snack time.
If it continues to be your journey and yours alone (which is a huge possibility), realize your strength. You have the ability to balance your life and include movement and food that keeps you healthy. Quite frankly, gyms, crossfit boxes, group fitness classes alike all create a bonding experience I find to be supportive and a lot of fun. They aren’t all cliquey. In fact, many facilities and groups are the best resources for accountability.
Here are some less than touchy-feely words of advice. Quit blaming those around you and take charge of your life. If there are barriers, use some quality time to figure out to move them or push past them.
Likely change? I will workout because I’m supported by those who care and I respect myself enough to commit.
5) I could work out if I had the energy.
I get it. Long days and short nights filled with go-go-go and very few breaks. You finally have 30 minutes to yourself. Do you really want to spend them working out? If you are answering no, then the issue isn’t necessarily lack of energy or time but really lack of desire. Listen – I’ve been known to use my workout hour to take a nap when my body morphed into zombie status. After years of OverDoingIt-itis, I’ve learned that my body is super pleased when I let it rest when it asked. When we’re on the same page, (cue angels) rest is appreciated and workouts are effective. But, what if you really just don’t have the energy to get workouts in?
For one, why don’t you have energy? Are your sleeping habits poor? Too much caffeine? Not enough caffeine? Late night show you must watch? Significant other gets home late? Kids zap your energy stores? Whatever it is, tackle that. I promise that once more movement becomes a habit, you absolutely will feel more energy. Medical issue aside, there’s a change you can decide how to handle what is draining you. Here are some undocumented personal statistics based on friends, family, clients and personal experience.
-PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN!
– Pull the reigns on the caffeine a bit.
– DVR your late shows and keep them for the weekend.
-PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN!
– Eat better. Like, a lot better. No, 3 o’clock chocolate isn’t a pick-me-up. <- excuse to eat chocolate.
– Drink more water!
-PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN!
– Work out. What? YUP.
The one thing you lack energy to do is the one thing that can help give you energy. Hear me out. Let’s say it’s the end of your day and your energy is lacking. Try a walk, a bike ride, or something to stimulate some nice oxygen and bloodflow. Give it about 10 to 15 minutes. One of two things will happen. One: You’ll still be low on energy so you stop. But, at least you got a few minutes of movement in as well as gave it the old college try. Two: You’ll start to feel better and continue to exercise in some fashion. So really, there’s not bad ending.
Oh, and put your phone down. Finish reading this. Then put your phone down.
This is clearly a short list of a never-ending list filled with reasons people don’t/can’t/refuse to find the “I will”. The goal of it is to allow you to take a real honest look at why you aren’t finding time to add some movement to your life. Chances are, a few tweeks, some minor adjustments, and a little bit of effort can get you moving. But, you have to be ready for it.
I could list a million of excuses not to workout because life if filled with “stuff”.
I will focus on my health and well being in order to make time instead.