Time... We can't get enough of it, always want more of it, and are in constant pursuit of it. We chase it, we waste it, we give it, and take it. Well, let's stop complaining about "time", or lack thereof, and start putting what we do have to good use!
Father Time awards us all the same 24 hour block of this elusive stuff. Yet some of us seem intrinsically adept at making the absolute most of every minute, while others just fumble through our days on a wing. My natural tendency is far more the latter, so let me share with you how I've learned to take charge of my time, and how you can, too!
The first step is to get clear on your fitness goals. Obviously, the time it takes to get fit and healthy, doesn't come close to the time it takes to prepare for the stage. Take a few minutes to think about what YOU want to accomplish. Once you know what you're working towards, you can figure out how much time you need to commit to it each week. We all have demands on our time that are non-negotiable such as family obligations, work and social activities. If you take a passive approach to your fitness and nutrition goals, there will never be enough time. What do you really want? Once you've tapped into that, your mind becomes an expert problem-solver, and I guarantee you will find the time you need! Which brings me to...
Planning! You wouldn't head out for an exotic vacation without learning a little bit about the locale. Well, the same goes for planning a sound fitness program. Just stumbling into the gym is not going to cut it, if you want to change your body. It's important to know the basics about cardio and strength-training techniques to develop an effective training program. Realistically, most of us also need to enjoy what we're doing to stick with it. Think about your personality. Do you keep to yourself, or thrive in a crowd? Is exercise meditative, or a social event? There are endless ways to get in shape, so pick something that you look forward to doing.
At the beginning of every week, I sit down for a few minutes and plan out 2 things- what I'm eating and how I'm training. The two are closely tied, so it makes sense to do this together. My training schedule comes first. Am I lifting high volume or heavy weights, how much cardio do I need, morning or evening? It all goes on my calendar. I plan for an hour, and know exactly what I will be doing during that time . It's a piece of cake to plan my meals from here. My menu stays pretty simple, so it's never a question of "what to eat for dinner". Then, I prep and package several days worth of food, so I can grab-and-go during my busy week. Yes, it's a little more work on the front end, but the time (and headache!) it saves later, are invaluable!
Making yourself a priority can feel awkward at first. You'll have to learn the word "no", and friends and family members might feel a little put off by your newfound determination. But eventually it becomes an integral part of you, and time constraints are creatively sidestepped. You have 24 hours; what are you going to do with it?
Erin stays busy pursuing her own fitness goals, and helping to educate and inspire those she loves to live healthier lives. A hair stylist by trade, she manages a salon, and is chipping away at a degree, ultimately in dietetics and kinesiology. She lives in South Florida with her husband and a “pound puppy” named Pedro.