One of my favourite things about helping people with their health and wellness is allowing them see that there is a way. They show up discouraged and uncertain, not knowing where to turn or how to make progress, and they slowly, gradually, innocently see the light.
It’s not usually by any magical means, or special thing that I grace upon them. In fact it’s usually just by asking a few questions, shifting perspectives, digging deeper. It’s usually just by helping someone see something from a different angle or as a different problem.
You see the problem many people show up with, is “I don’t have time.” In other words, I know how, I want to, I have the means, I just don’t have the time. I get so frustrated by the time thing that gets presented in front of me. Because in my head it’s more a case of not that you don’t have the time, it’s that you don’t allot the time.
I am not trying to belittle any one’s situation or downplay busy schedules and hectic days, juggling priorities and juggling families. What I am trying to do is raise the question, is it that you don’t have the time, or that you simply aren’t allotting the time? That you simply aren’t showing up at the time, or are trying to show up for too much time.
This big, elusive time barrier that we have set down in front of ourselves will always be there. You will never have enough time for all the things you want, or have excess time and wish some of it away. And in fact, have you ever noticed that when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time, it seems to get done more efficintly than when you have more time? It’s because you have allotted time to do each thing and from there, you just do it.
We can get lots done in a short amount of time in certain areas of our lives, but not in others. At some point, we have allowed this time thing to become our turn to excuse for the things we are resisiting doing. Maybe we don’t like doing them. Maybe we have some fear associated with them – fear of failure, fear of performance, fear of how we will look to others. And so, they get pushed down the list and at the end of the day, when they don’t get done, we say, “oh I didn’t have time to do that.”
But ask yourself, is that true? Or are you resisting doing it? Are you creating this big, built-up, making a big deal out of it thing, that it totally doesn’t need to be? Are you simply failing to show up? Both physically and mentally, for yourself and this goal that you are trying to achieve?
This is the shift in perspective I’m talking about. This is the digging deeper part, asking questions part, getting to the root of things part. When you do this, you may be surprised at what you find. And then you realize that your “I don’t have time” to exercise is not really that related to the time on the clock at all.
And then we focus on solving the problem a little differently, and tackling what is at the root of why you haven’t been able to stay committed to a regular exercise routine or have been resisting making it happen:
// Breaking down Fear – Maybe you are resisting doing exercise because you have let yourself down so many times, and you are scared you will just do that again. Maybe you are resisting because you have set a big goal and you are scared of failing. Maybe you are just scared because it’s new and different and a change and something you haven’t really done much of before. Change evokes fear in all of us. Instead of letting fear rule and be this voice that tells you that you can’t, figure out what you can. Start from where you are:
- Don’t set goals that are unrealistic and setting you up for failure; set goals that push you a little but start you from where you are currently.
- Talk back to that doubting voice in your head and when it says something you can’t do, respond with what you can do.
- Don’t commit to the things you know you won’t do, don’t want to do or that are too much right now – that is just setting you up for futher resistance because you get intimidated. Instead, commit to what you want to do and then take on the challenges as they come, or as you are ready.
// Breaking down Showing up – This is where you have to get really committed to yourself and own your goals, your struggles, your hurdles and what you want to achieve and then find the support to help you do that. What is your why for exercise? To lose weight? To feel better? To be able to show up better for yourself and your family? If you want to make sure you show up to exercise every time, both physically, and with your head in the game, you have to have a reason that is good enough to make you show up. What’s your reason?
// Breaking down Allotting time – This is the only one that is clock and schedule specific. And just like you make time in your schedule to go to work, take your kids to soccer practice and meet your friends for dinner, you have to allot time for exercise. There is never going to be a good time for it, where you think to yourself, “I have an extra hour, that just appeared in my schedule, and I sure would love to spend it at the gym getting sweaty!” Instead, you say, “where is the hour, I can allot in my day to spend at the gym getting sweaty?” It doesn’t have to be an hour, or at the gym, but it does have to be an appointment you make with exercise. Write it in your planner, treat it like you would any other appointment, and don’t miss it. Here are some tips to help you out:
- If you need to, break the time up – 15 minute slots where you go for a walk while the kids are at practice, do Pilates in your office or do bodyweight exercises in front of the TV with your family.
- Get up a half hour earlier – 30 minutes is long enough for you to get in a quality workout!
- Choose no equipment options, like running, walking, or bodyweight exercises so that you aren’t bound by having to get to the gym, or have certain equipment with you that you can use.
- Plan ahead – keep a pair of sneakers and workout clothes in your car or at the office; if you are going to be getting up early to fit in exercise, make your lunch and breakfast the night before.
Shifting perspectives, allotting time and digging deeper are all part of my Lifestyle Re(in)novation program. If you like what you read, or it resonates with you and meeting your goals, send me an email and I’ll help you start managing your lifestyle for optimal health and wellness.