I know it’s a struggle to find time to exercise. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are a new mom or a college student—the day feels like a never-ending cycle of tasks that must get done, and working out doesn’t always cycle to the top of the task list.
I have a tip for you that will change the way that you approach exercise. You WILL find time to workout. You might even laugh at the simplicity of this piece of advice, but hear me out. I’ve managed to exercise during periods of my life when I was working 90-hour weeks in an office, and I’ve also managed to exercise when I was a sleep-deprived new mom.
Here’s my tip for you:
Find time to exercise by prioritizing your workout above all of your non-negotiable, must-do tasks.
What do I mean by this?
Well, we all have a list of items on our to-do lists that MUST get done. Paying bills is a good example. It doesn’t seem to matter how short on time you think you are, you somehow find time to pay the electric bill and the mortgage every month. You also find time to bathe. You find time to buy food and toilet paper. These are examples of non-negotiable tasks.
If you are a new mom at home and use your baby’s precious naptime to pay bills, your workout will never happen. Before you know it, the baby will be awake. BUT, if you exercise during naptime, not only will you somehow manage to exercise, but you’ll also find that your bills manage to get paid before their due dates, too. It’s a mini miracle. You will find new time that you never realized that you had by squeezing in your workout before doing the must-do tasks.
This phenomenon reminds me of the tedious process that I used to experience when writing a paper for school. If I allowed myself a month to work on it, I would use the whole month. If I only allowed myself a week to work on it, I would get it done in a week. There was no option to not get it done, and I seemed to work with whatever amount of time I had, even if it was a minimal block of time. Fitting exercise into my life along with other obligations works the same way. Even if I think I’m too busy to exercise, if I just go ahead and do it, all of the other necessary tasks in my life still manage to get done.
Besides the obvious human needs that we all have, non-negotiable tasks will vary from person to person. You need to determine what your must-do list is, and whatever it is, place exercise ahead of the items on that list.
The reason why you are not squeezing in a workout as it stands right now is because you do not consider exercise to be a non-negotiable activity. Make it one. In the beginning, your workout may only be 15 minutes long because your life is so busy. Who cares? Build the habit today. If you build the habit now, you will automatically increase the length of your workout when your schedule allows for it. Right now, 15 minutes may be as good as it gets, and that’s just fine. Commit to a program, even if it’s brief, and fit it into your life like a non-negotiable meeting.