Why is this?
As a fitness coach, the most common explanation I hear is “I don’t have time”
And you know what? I call bullshit.
In this blog post, I am going to give you a little tough love to take away your excuses. C’mon you know you need it. <<evil grin>> And I’ll even toss in a little “touchy feely” stuff about “finding your why” to soften the blow.
You’ll stop complaining and start taking action.
Sound good? Let’s get started.
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses
Between work and family responsibilities, you have so many things demanding your attention that it can be hard to make time for yourself. Something has to give, so exercise has to fall by the wayside.
Sorry, mate. I’m not buying it.
It’s funny how the same people who complain about lack of time to exercise seem to have plenty of time for Netflix binges, scrolling Facebook and spending time in pubs.
It’s really a question of priorities. Why do you make time for everything else and not the number one thing that will have the most impact on your health and longevity?
See the problem is, the consequences of not exercising aren’t immediate. Nothing happens straight away when you blow off a training session. But then you get a rude wake-up call when the doc gives you the news that you’re obese or diabetic and need to do something about it. Or you get a less dramatic wake-up call like seeing an unflattering picture of yourself or you just look in the mirror and realise things are not how they used to be.
You finally decide to take action, but…
It Starts With Why
To make exercise a priority, you need to attach a WHY to exercise. You know you SHOULD exercise, but why?
Imagine you're one of your kids for a minute. You know, when they say, “yeah but why ?” over and over until you give them THAT look.
Ask yourself, why do I want to exercise? What’s in it for me?
Is your answer going to get you out of bed in the morning? Yes, awesome. Read on and I’ll tell you how you can make exercise an everyday part of your life.
No? Keep trying. Find a bigger why. Maybe it’s making sure you’ll be around to walk your daughter down the aisle. Or being able to crawl around on the floor with your grandkids. Or just feeling like you used to feel.
If you can't find a big enough why, you’re not going to make exercise a priority and you're not going to make it happen. You’ll never have time.
For those of you who know your why, the next step is setting a goal that’s linked to your why.
A goal is simply a target. Something to aim for. Without a goal, you’re flying blind. You’ll wander around and never get where you want to be.
But there’s no need to get too bogged down in setting a goal. That’s just another excuse for not getting shit done.
Look at your why. What are the things that support your why? That lead you to that why? Your why may even be the goal itself. All good. Two birds with one stone and all that.
Let’s say your WHY is you want to look and feel amazing for your 40th birthday. You want to be someone your kids are proud to tell their friends about, rather than walking 10 steps behind you at the local shopping mall because they’re embarrassed.
Your goals may start off with:,
- Exercise consistently, 3x week for at least 30 mins, for the next 3 months.
- Lose 10kgs in the next 3 months
Write those down. Put them somewhere you’ll see them every day.
Now you have to take action and make it all happen. Waste of time otherwise. The key to making it happen is to get organised. The easier something is to execute, the more likely you're going to follow through.
Here are my tips for getting organised with exercise:
- Plan what you're going to do. Not sure what to do? I’ll tell you soon how to overcome that.
- Plan when you're going to do it. The things that are scheduled get done. Make an appointment with yourself. An exercise appointment. Put it in your diary. Your calendar. Make yourself unavailable during that time. If you need to take your kids to sports training, why not get in your own training session then? Fit it in around the things you're already committed to.
- Get your gear ready. Lay it all out. Shoes, socks, underwear, shorts/tights, t-shirt/crop… whatever it is you need, get it out and make sure it’s ready to go.
Many years ago I had to become an early morning trainer. Very early. I worked in the city from 8am-4pm which required a 1-hour commute each way. When I got home in the evening, I had to tag with my then-wife and take over the kid-rearing duties, while she went to work until 10pm.
All this meant I had to get up at 4:30am every day to travel to the gym to get my training in. If I wanted to train, which I did, it was the only way it would happen.
I would get up, drive to the gym, train for an hour, have a shower, get ready for work, drive to the bus station, jump on the bus and promptly fall asleep until we hit the city. I did this every single work day.
To get organised and make sure I had everything each morning, I’d get it ready the night before. I had a system. I actually started with a written list of all the things I needed; toiletries, towel, underwear for work, socks, pants etc. I’d tick each thing off as I packed my bag at night. I even included my post workout snack and breakfast. I didn't want to forget that.
The point is, I got organised and that made life much easier each morning. I didn't have to think. I just got up, grabbed my bag and went. Sure it took some time to get used to. I did forget my socks on one occasion, but it worked.
Like most of the important things in life, the answer is: it depends.
If you want to get uber-fit, your plan will be different to someone who just wants to make daily movement a part of their life.
Exercise vs Training
Exercise is getting your heart rate up. Getting some movement in, over and above a “normal” day. There’s typically no goal attached and there doesn't need to be much structure, if any.
Training is working towards a specific goal. Training is generally a lot more structured.
Exercise can be as simple as walking the dog each day. Or taking the stairs at work instead of the lift. Ideally, you want to include as much exercise in your daily life as you can.
Where can you include some extra movement in your life? More exercise. Reach out, we can have a chat and I can help identify a few options.
When it comes to training, a coach can come in handy. The benefits of having a coach are that they take a lot of the thinking out of the equation. They can direct you. Tell you what to do and support you when you’re not motivated or if you lose your way.
I’m a coach who believes in coaching. That’s why I have coaches of my own. You can definitely write your own plan and guide your own way through it, but having a coach is like super-charging your plan.
I know you have probably tried a lot of these things before and they either haven’t stuck, or your results have been less than you wanted. That doesn't mean it has to be that way. You probably just haven't found the right program or person, or both, to support you on your journey.
Over the years, I’ve had dozens of people come to me who have been in your exact situation. Frustrated and fed up with where they are. They just want to get a bit fitter, lose a few kilos, tone up and make fitness a part of their life. They want more energy, they want to feel more fit and enjoy the confidence that brings.
I totally get it. I've been there.
What changed for them, and me, was finding the right person to help. Someone who knows what they’re doing, understands their situation and actually gives a shit.
Someone who will help them take the small, daily steps necessary to make massive long-term change. Someone that will remind them to have patience, trust in the process and support them each step of the way.
When you have someone like that in your corner and you do the work necessary, success is practically guaranteed.
You can have the body you want. You can have more energy. You can have more confidence. You can achieve your goals.
Now tell me, what’s the biggest obstacle standing between you making exercise a part of your life? I’d love to hear.