Recently I made a post on my Face book page about the obstacles or barriers that I struggled with when I decided it was time to move my body more and make some healthy lifestyle changes. I covered #1, in my most recent blog post. Check it out here.
Today, I want to talk about the #1 answer given when people are asked, “what is keeping you from reaching your fitness goals?”.
Time…. we can never seem to find enough hours in the day to do everything that we want and need to get done. Trying to fit in work, family life, social engagements, grocery shopping, household chores, and everything else that you have on your plate can definitely make it seem impossible to try to squeeze in daily exercise and planning and preparing healthy meals.
I think the only reason that I was able to strategize and work around this obstacle, was that I got real! I took a good, hard, and honest look at what I was actually doing with my time. I definitely had a lot on my plate as a single mom with 2 very young children, but I was determined to find at least 30 minutes a day to focus on my health.
I decided to challenge myself to keep track, in a daily journal, of how I spent every waking moment. I only lasted 2 days before this challenge drove me nuts, but what I discovered was mind blowing! Here is what I discovered:
I was wasting almost 3 hours a day, mindlessly scrolling through my various social media pages and playing games on my phone. 3 hours! That is a huge time investment for an activity that didn’t really improve my life in any way! (and just to clarify, reading my blog will improve your life! LOL)
I was spending about 20 minutes a day searching for recipes, trying to figure out what I would make for supper that evening, and then another 30 minutes running out to the grocery store to grab the one or two ingredients that I didn’t have on hand to actually prepare the recipe that I had decided on. Almost an hour wasted!
After coming to this realization, I knew that something had to change! I set myself a daily limit of 30 minutes that I could spend online or playing on my phone. It wasn’t easy and I had to set my phone out of reach so that I didn’t mindlessly grab it a hundred times a day like I was used to doing, but after a few days, I didn’t even miss it! The payoff was that I had an extra 2.5 hours of free time a day!
I also started to meal plan on Sundays and do one huge grocery trip for the entire week. The time that it took to plan and shop was probably about 3 hours, which is really nothing when you consider that I was spending almost an hour every day picking a recipe and grabbing groceries! So even with a conservative estimate, this was freeing up about 3 hours every week.
With two fairly painless lifestyle changes, I freed up a huge chunk of time each week, that I could then use to focus on my goal to increase my activity level, and learn to prepare healthy meals. I even had time left over to relax and spend more quality time with my children!
Your time suckers may not be the same as mine, but I am willing to bet that if you get real and honest with yourself, you can figure out some strategies of your own to free up at least an hour every day.
Obstacles are meant to be overcome! Don’t let your obstacles stop you from reaching your goals! Get creative and make a few small tweaks to your time management so that you can give yourself the time that you deserve to take for yourself!