It’s that time of the year. The holidays are looming, college students are in the thick of finals, the short days pass very quickly, and everyone is rushing to finish shopping, studying, working, schlepping, and cooking. How, in this busy season, do you find the time or even the energy to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Where does fitness fit into your day? Your week? Would it surprise you to know that the limiting factor in our lives when it comes to healthy life choices is not motivation or knowledge, but time?
According to William C. Morgan, DC, we are slaves to the clock, subject to daily deadlines that push important agendas aside for urgent demands. As the years pass, we spend time putting out urgent little brush fires while behind the scenes, a huge forest fire of neglected important priorities – our health – rages out of control.
Think of it this way…an urgent commitment is something that must be done right away to avoid certain consequences. Urgency takes the highest priority. Things that are important might not be urgent, but to ignore them could have profound ramifications. For example, maintaining a goal of exercising three to six times a week is important, but each session by itself is not urgent. Neglect the exercise, the healthy eating, the sleeping well, and all of a sudden, you may end up with an urgent health scare or situation (like a heart attack or metabolic syndrome) that could have been avoided.
Try these time management tools and set yourself and your calendar up for success:
Have a goal. Write down your goals and put them somewhere as a daily reminder. Or better yet, set an alert on your phone to remind you at a specific time each day. As the saying goes, “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you ever get there?”
Create a timeline and figure out what you need to do. Make it realistic. For example, if you want to run a 10K in April, you’ll need to start training several months out. Work backwards from the date of the race and figure out how many miles you’ll need to run each week to meet your goal by race day.
Schedule your workouts. Just like you make an appointment to see the doctor or dentist, make an appointment with yourself for your workouts. Schedule a weekly session with a personal trainer, register for a season of Tribe Team Training, agree to take group fitness classes with a friend, or walk with your neighbor a couple mornings a week.
Meal prep. Take the time to prep your meals or a portion of your meals for the week. Plan and pack your lunches, make overnight oats for breakfast, and have healthy snacks on hand while at work and during the day.
Remember, the more organized you are and the better control you keep of your calendar, the more you will be able to prioritize the important things. So, schedule your workouts, make healthy eating and good sleep a priority. Strive to maximize productivity during the hours you are at work and reduce the time you spend mindlessly on the computer or watching bad TV (good TV is ok). Prioritize your health. And, most of all, enjoy every second you spend with family and friends. What will your 2020 calendar look like?