Easy Ways To Make Time For Your Fitness Goals
When I polled my Instagram story audience, there was an overwhelming amount of people who felt the reason they weren’t seeing their progress in the gym was because they didn’t have time.
So I asked again if it was a problem fitting in workouts, meal prepping, or simply a mix of it all. And the majority of people claimed it was a mix of everything.
I get it. We all have jobs, relationships, a house to keep clean, laundry to do, grocery shopping, commute times, wanting to sleep 8 hours a night, and the plethora of other things we do day to day.
However, we all have that. And some people manage to make time for their workouts & meal prepping while others don’t.
I have been on both sides of this equation and when life gets busy (especially at the tailend of wedding planning when I was busy with everything) fitness wasn’t a priority for me. I didn’t get more than 3 workouts in, I tracked half my meals, and that was okay for that time and I got back to my routine after the wedding.
Ask yourself, is it not possible or are you making excuses because it’s not a priority? Or maybe you have a history of self sabatoging your goals? Or maybe it’s because you simply don’t have the tools or consistency built in yet.
Whatever it is, you can always change. You can always make a better decision next time and learn how to incorporate all of it into your daily / weekly schedule.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to do things and your schedule / life may make these things different than what I can do. But here are simple and manageable ways to create a routine where you prioritize your fitness & health.
Before we get to how to make time, we have to figure how much time we need. Use these 5 steps to determine your schedule.
1. What are your goals?
Before you even begin to create a plan, you need to know what your goals are. Do you have a time frame? Are you looking for weight loss, muscle growth, gut health, etc. Because that may depend on how much time and how serious you are about checking items off the to do list. Write down your top goal(s) that you feel would be realistic within the next 6 months to a year. Within those goals, write down what you need to do to accomplish them. I would create 3 lists : daily items, weekly items, and monthly items.
Daily items : food habits, water, sleep, supplements, workouts, etc.
Weekly items : shopping, meal prepping, check ins with a coach, etc.
Monthly items : body scans, reflecting / journaling on past and upcoming month, etc.
2. Write down your non-negotiables
By this, I mean the things in your calendar that cannot be skipped. These would be items like : work, commuting, dinner with the family, meetings, sleeping, etc.
3. Assess how much time you could ‘give up’ during the week
This may be daily time you can give up, or it could be a couple times a week. Find those pockets of time ; as small as 30 minutes can make a difference!
4. Make a new schedule
Now that you have those pockets of time, write down small realistic things you can do in those time periods that would reach you one step further toward your goals.
5. Adjust & edit with your progress or the lack thereof
Assess weekly what worked and what didn’t work. Do you have more time at a different part of the day? What didn’t you accomplish that needs tweaking? What worked that you want to keep? How do you feel? Etc.
That is where I would start with any of my clients. Now that you know how much time you may possibly need, here are some additional ways you can fit fitness / nutrition / health into your daily schedule!
1. Be set for the day ahead.
May sound simple, but take 15-30 minute before bed the night before and pack your gym bag, have meals ready to go, line up your supplements, fill your water & put it in the fridge. Do anything you can so when you wake up you are ready to crush the day with no excuses as you fly out the door.
2. Create a meal plan for yourself
When you go to do your grocery shopping, write down what you are going to have for each of your meals for the week. This will save time later when you’re debating what you want and end up ordering the pizza because you couldn’t decide or didn’t have the ingredients. I always have 1-2 ideas for each meal that I can bounce around.
3. Prep Ingredients, not meals
Unless I’m packing a meal for my school lunch, I had putting together meal prep. So I just cook all my ingredients separately and mix & match as needed throughout the week. For example, I’ll cook all my chicken, beef, or ground turkey at once and stick it in tupperware. I’ll cook my potatoes, rice, pasta and put it in a separate container. Then I’ll do all my veggies in another one. When I go to make my meal I can mix & match whatever I want but it’s all prepped for me.
4. Decrease the time for workouts
I am a firm believer that you do not need to workout 5 days a week or an hour and a half every time you go to the gym. 30 minutes can make a big difference. 3 days a week can make a big difference. That is exactly why I created my Embrace the Sweat membership site. Because I know as a teacher how difficult it can be to fit in the workouts with your busy schedule. So all the workouts in there have a home and gym option, plus they’re all 30-60 minutes so you can find ones that work for you! Get a 7 day free trial here!
5. Increase NEAT activity
NEAT is non-exercise activity thermogenesis which is a super fancy way of saying activity outside of the gym. Park far away from your destination, do calf raises as you brush your teeth, wear ankle weights as you clean the house, take your dog for an extra walk, take the long route to the bathroom at work. There are so many ways that you can increase your calorie expenditure without needing to carve out extra time for a workout.
6. Focus on habits over results
Often, we don’t need to be doing more, we just need to get consistent with the things we are working on. See how many days you can string together on 1-3 habits. Maybe the first month you’re simply just tracking your water and drinking 100+ ounces a day. Do that for 30 days and then you add in making sure you have a protein & veggie/fruit at each meal. Do that for 30 days and then add in working out 3-5 times a week. As you build your habits, your physique / health will change. Make it realistic and start with something that is ‘easy’ to build your momentum.
7. Schedule it in
Just like I mentioned above, schedule in your workout to your non-negotiable time. Schedule in when to meal prep. Schedule in your grocery shopping. Schedule in the time it takes you to do your check in with your coach, when you’re going to eat, what time you’ll go to bed and wake up. Once it’s on the schedule, do it.
8. Limit distractions
Put your phone on do not disturb doing your workout so you can actually get it done in an hour. Don’t keep candy or chips by your desk that you’re tempted to snack on. You can save a lot of time throughout the day by being focused on one task at a time (believe me I know how hard this is) but if you simply check one thing off at a time, you will be amazed at how much time you’ll have throughout the day to prioritize other things.
Making time for your goals comes down to your choices. People who work more than you, have more kids, juggle other responsibilities, make the time. It is not ‘easy’ for any one of us and as someone who works 3 jobs, runs her own business, creates a minimum of 3 pieces of social media content a week, has a dog, house, husband to take care of, I know how hard it can be.
But don’t give into your excuses. You can carve out 30-60 minutes a day to put YOU first. You deserve it. Your family deserves you feeling your best. Your students deserve you showing up with energy & passion. You deserve to go to bed each night being proud of who you are & what you accomplished during the day.
Don’t give up on yourself. Focus on one small habit you can check off every day this week and do it. Then do it again next week. Keep stringing along the wins. Eventually, you’ll be so used to it that you won’t even remember a time when you couldn’t do it.
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