Let’s face it. You don’t have a lot of time to spare.
With a schedule as busy as yours, it becomes increasingly difficult to work on your physical fitness. That doesn’t mean that health and wellness are less of a priority than work or family. It does, however, require some creativity from you to make sure that you’re able to achieve enough balance in your life to work on your physical fitness.
The following ten suggestions help you crush your fitness goals without adding more pressure to your already filled-to-the-max schedule.
Create a Vision Board that represents your ideal lifestyle.
In order to get excited about your fitness goals, you need to make them a permanent part of your environment. A Vision Board (displayed in the image above) consists of cut-out images from magazines that are glued onto a more permanent background such as a piece of sturdy cardstock or poster board. The goal-setting tool can be custom-created to be any size when finished and to include photographs and text representing your ideal lifestyle.
Hanging the Vision Board where you can see and review it regularly keeps the imagery fresh in your mind. It’s hard to lose sight of what you want to achieve when you see it constantly throughout the day. The first step in getting fit is coming up with some goals and deciding what it is like to feel healthy, happy, and free.
Then, gather the supplies needed including old magazines, a pair of scissors, a glue stick, and the sturdy substrate of your choice. Let your mind run free as you picture what your life would be like if you were fit. Then, arrange the images and text on the cardstock or poster board in a way that visually appeals to you before gluing them down and hanging the Vision Board up in a visible location in your workplace or home.
Choose one goal and give it a deadline.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by a big, bodacious goal or resolution. That’s where many people fail in their attempts to become more physically fit. They simply can’t see past the total amount of pounds they want to lose or the diet they want to explore.
It all seems too daunting for them to handle so they ditch the idea altogether in favour of staying right where they are comfortably at on the scale. These people don’t realise that inaction is just as much of a choice as taking action is. Their complacency is what keeps them from meeting goals easily.
Rather than suffer the overwhelm so many people feel, choose one goal and give yourself a deadline. Be very specific about the number of days, weeks or months that you have to achieve what you’ve set out to do. Then, write it down somewhere that you can see it often.
Break down big goals into daily action steps.
Now that you have one big goal on your radar and a deadline to complete it, it’s time to create daily action steps that get you closer to reaching your goal.
Among the easiest way to do this is through a process called habit tracking. There are apps devoted to the subject or you can use an analog system if you prefer the feel of paper.
Creating a layout in your planner or calendar that allows room for you to track the steps you take daily to reaching your fitness goals helps you stay on course because you’re actually able to visualise the finish line. It also gives you the opportunity to evaluate your habits closely to see what may have prevented you from taking one of the action steps one day.
A helpful form of recordkeeping that could speed up your fitness progress, it only takes a few seconds to check off boxes on the checklist or to add a few details to the app that you downloaded. You won’t be disrupting your busy schedule much because it’s something you can do on the go rather quickly. For the amount of time spent on this tip, it will yield measurable results.
Find an accountability partner to check in with.
Having someone you can trust to work with on your fitness goals makes a huge difference. You won’t feel alone, and you’ll be able to stay on top of your progress easier because they’ll help celebrate your victories. Choose a close family member, friend or co-worker for the job and commit to the same check-in time each week on the same day.
By carving this time out of your schedule, you’re sending a powerful message to your brain that says, “I matter.” Count on your accountability partner for support and ask for suggestions whenever you feel like you’re not doing as well as you think you should in completing your fitness goals. A little push in the right direction helps tremendously.
Crowd out unwanted habits with new, healthier habits.
One of the easiest ways to adopt new habits is by simply crowding out the unfavourable ones.
By replacing your bad habits with good ones, you don’t have time to do things that impede your progress while exercising and becoming fit. You only have time to focus on the habits that bring you closer to your fitness goals.
Think of the things that you want to change in your life. For example, say you want to drink more water. By swapping out sugary drinks in the morning for calorie-free H2O, you’re building a habit that will eventually replace all the soda, tea, and juice that you drink throughout the day. Alternatively, try to eat more fruit and vegetables on a regular basis.
Rely on various types of exercise to get fit.
Don’t let life get too monotonous. Switch up your workout routine for best results. Find at least three or four exercises or workouts that you enjoy doing and rotate them.
If you’re used to working out indoors, go outside. If you love doing yoga, take a karate class. Challenge your body and your mind so you don’t get bored and ditch your goal.
Make your commute part of your fitness plan.
Walk or bike to work if you can. Even if you aren’t able to walk or pedal the full way, only take public transportation part of the way. You’re able to get a good workout in, save money, and even protect the planet.
When you make your commute part of your fitness plan, you’re doing two things at once. As long as you allow enough time to arrive, you’ll be satisfied with the results. Essentially, you’re accomplishing two things rather than one.
Eat more lean protein.
Skip the fat in favour of lean protein. Use it to build healthy muscles. You need protein to help your body repair itself after a strenuous workout routine.
Opt for white meats and plant-based proteins such as tofu, tempeh, and seitan rather than red meats. You’ll be able to fuel your body and keep your calorie intake lower, too. Try to eat one serving of lean protein at every meal.
Meal prep in advance for healthier meals-to-go.
Pick one day of the week where you’re at home for a good chunk of the day. Use it to prepare several meals in advance that you can refrigerate or freeze for later. That way, you’re not forced to eat takeout when you’re at work or to cook from scratch when you get home from a long day of work.
Keep individual portions of the meals in heat-safe containers. All you’ll need to do once you’re ready for a meal is to take off the lid and enjoy it cold or pop it into the microwave to reheat it. You’ll be fueled and ready for all the physical activity that is required of you for the week.
Set up a home gym for the days you can’t leave home easily.
You don’t need a big space to keep your exercise equipment. Even if you have a small room or corner of a room, it will do just fine. Setting up a home gym keeps you motivated on days when you can’t leave your house easily.
You can ride your exercise bike or do a few yoga poses with little effort. If you have a set of weights, you can do strength training. An exercise video or fitness app can give you a good workout the way a personal trainer would.
Slay your fitness goals with great ease. You now know how other people juggle their responsibilities and still have time to eat right, workout, and spend quality time with family and friends. Take a cue from their lives and apply what you’ve learned here to your own daily routine. You’ll come out on top faster than you even guessed you would.