No Time To Exercise?

By far, one of the most popular excuses for not working out is lack of time. It goes without saying that we all have hectic lives. But when you get to a point that you can’t find 15 or 20 minutes each day for yourself, you’ve got to stop and examine your life.

When you say you’re too busy to exercise, what are you really saying?

You don’t have time for something that will give you more energy? Something that will stimulate your creative juices and increase your enjoyment of life? This is like insisting on working in the dark because you don’t have time to stop and turn on a light.

Stresses are a natural consequence of living in the world. The trick is to stay in control of it all, to make choices based on your own sense of what’s important. Here are some tips to help you manage your time:

1. Examine how you spend your time.

Ask yourself these questions:

Are all the things you do really helping you toward your goals?
How much TV do you watch?
How much time do you spend talking on the phone or on social networks?
How much of your day is dictated by other people’s agendas?
Do you really not have enough time, or are you just not spending it in the right places?

2. Learn to discriminate.

Learn to make judgments about what’s important and what’s not. If my friend is having a real crisis, I can make a quick decision that my workout can wait until evening. At the same time, I’ll make a mental note about whatever else needs to be moved to accommodate the change of plans. Perhaps I’ll skip my run to the dry cleaners or forgo a bit of late-night reading.

3. Learn to consolidate.

Imagine what life would be like if you went to the market before preparing every single meal—you’d spend half your day shopping for food!

That’s why most of us consolidate our shopping, at least for staple foods. Find ways to group together your other errands and chores, and you’ll save a tremendous amount of time.

4. Learn to say no.

This is tough for many of us. Often, though, an alternative is to take requests others make of you and creatively reframe them to fit your priorities.

If a friend asks, “Can you take me to the airport?” you might say, “Actually, it’s a busy day for me. Why don’t you let me be your backup if you can’t get someone else to take you?” Saying it this way, you’re not abandoning your friend: You’re there for her if she’s really in need, but otherwise you’re making it clear you’ve got your own schedule to keep.

5. Don’t hide behind “emergencies.”

There are plenty of urgent demands on our time. Phone calls, bills to pay, household chores—you can easily fill your day with these matters. The problem is, living this way doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s just treading water. It’s not that you can, or should, ignore the pressing day-to-day matters.

The point is to always be on the lookout for truly important things, things that will actually make your life better. If your whole day goes by without your doing at least one thing, however small, aimed at bettering your life, then something’s wrong.

6. Adopt a DIY Attitude

The opportunity for physical activity can pop up right in your front yard! Instead of having somebody else rake the leaves, shovel the snow or mow your lawn, try doing these activities yourself! In fact, raking leaves for 30 minutes can burn 150 calories!

So, let me ask you the same question I ask the audience at my seminars: “What’s your excuse?” No excuse? All right, then. Let’s get started!