“I joined the gyms for the third time. At the beginning everything was fine, but later I’ve got so busy that I just could not find time for my workouts. I am running my own business, have 3 kids, need to cook, take care of my house, family, and other things… I don’t think I can handle it…”

“I want to retire in 5 years and this is my main focus right now. I understand that I need to exercise but I just don’t have the time. When I retire I am sure things will be better…Then I’ll be able to spare some time for myself.”

“I have a full time job and I’m also going to evening school 4 times a week. Saturdays I take my kids to piano lessons and Sundays I go to church. How can I stick the workouts in my crazy schedule? It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just I can’t find the time.”
These are typical problems. Finding time to exercise in our speedy life is never easy. We all realize that health is important to us, but when it comes to managing it, we get lost in everyday’s tasks and the exercise routine often becomes our last priority.  Partially it happens because of poor planning but the main problem lies much deeper.

In our lives we are surrounded by our principles and values that make us happy. Those things are work, family, hobbies, pleasures, religion, friends etc. The circle of these things forces us to play with our time and spread it among those things. If we want to add something new into our life and we don’t know how to manage our time properly, things can get out of order. We may sometimes wait for the miracle to happen or expect that new time will be found somehow later. Already full of old habits we may get frustrated and eventually give up on anything new.

How to find time for the workouts when there is only 24 hours in a day and our schedule is already 100% full with other important things?

There are few ways.

1.  Something’s gotta give.

We cannot stretch our time. Some of our activities have to be sacrificed, some shortened, and some moved to other days.

2.  Combining activities.

Elliptical machines, bikes or even walking on the treadmill is pretty suitable for reading, watching movies, making phone calls, text messaging and even emailing and web browsing from phones.     

Latest cardio equipment in many gyms is now developed with TV monitors built in. Some stationary bikes even have capability of web browsing and emailing.

If you like music you can deffenately incorporate listening to it with your workouts.  Music is a great motivational tool and it helps making workouts fun.

3. Restructuring priorities. (Big One) 

Have you ever looked in the viewfinder of the camera with manual focus? When you hold this camera in one hand you can spin the lenses and change the focus depending what you want to see. If you focus on the closer objects, they look sharp while the further ones look hazy and unclear. By changing the focus again you can see further objects better but then closer ones become unclear.

We humans have those lenses in our minds, and when we browse through the things that we need to do, we can actually sharpen the “images” of more important things and do them first.  In ideal world by doing this we would be able to completely keep our lives under control. But… we also have emotions, and our emotions sometimes can affect our ability to change our focus. One time my wife and I were walking through the shopping mall. We were headed to our gym for a cardio workout. Browsing through stores’ displays I’ve noticed a nice GPS for our truck. I asked my wife if we could stop for a minute to find out some details about it, and she agreed.  Forty minutes later we kept asking for more and more details, and when we looked at our watch we realized that we don’t have any time left for our cardio. We gave up on buying the GPS and also our workout and ran home to get ready for work.

We often create urgencies like that and then blame the circumstances for not having enough time for our workouts. These urgencies usually “rise up” like monsters in front of us and change our focus. Very often they aren’t critical and not even important at particular moment.

Often we give up on the things that we have to do and instead do the things that we want to do.  These is how we procrastinate.  At the moments like these we deeply searching in our minds trying to find any reason to win our procrastination. We look for excuses, blame somebody else, or simply feel sorry for ourselves. Slowly but surely we are giving in to the force of our circumstances and decide: “I don’t have the time!” As we repeat this statement, it gets stronger day by day supported by new excuses. Subconscious mind accepts this statement and then we completely give up.

4. Time sharing.

Some parents who involve their kids in multiple extracurricular activities completely forget about themselves. Running from karate lessons, piano rehearsals, dancing classes to arts schools or singing practices these and physically parents by the end of their day end up being completely emotionally and physically drained. This leads to a disproportioned life – a busy and happy kid and sick and tired parent. Loving your child does not necessarily mean getting him or her busy at the cost of your health. This could be balanced by equally spreading time between the child’s activities and a parent’s activities.  Parents who take care of themselves will be healthy and agile and can spend more quality time with their children bonding their relationship instead of giving this relationships away to too many extracurricular activities teachers. In addition, parents who lead a healthy lifestyle will also set an example for their children to follow lifelong healthy habits.

Everyone values different things in life but time for workouts can only be found if we look for it. “There is a will – there is a way” Important things in our lives are not always urgent but we need to do them so we don’t go behind our schedule.   Urgent things are not always important, and often we make them look urgent on purpose because they give us pleasure.  Ability to realize what to do first is given to us humans through our self-awareness. We are not only driven by our emotions or habits but also have a capability to predict some consequences of our behavior.  Refocusing “our lenses” on preventive matters instead of impulsive-urgent ones gives us a power to possess ourselves and control our values.

Source: Book (Prevail Over Yourself). Available at the club or www.gymbagbooks.com

CategoryLifestyle, Psychology
  1. July 31, 2014

    No Wonder , knowledge is power and experiencing that knowledge is wisdom .
    This article is so beautifully written that I would like to share this with all my friends and would like to have daily talks on this . There are multiple lessons underneath this amazing article if someone has that aptitude to take benefit out of it .

    Thanks for opening my eyes wide and concentrate on my health and work life balance

  2. This article is so beautifully written that I would like to share this with all my friends and would like to have daily talks on this . There are multiple lessons underneath this amazing article if someone has that aptitude to take benefit out of it

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