You want to get healthier and be the best version of yourself, but you don’t feel like you have the time it “requires” to be consistent and get it done. So many people feel like this.
Time goes by so fast that if you blink too long, it feels like another hour has passed. It’s like racing against a rigged clock. Whether it is work, events, family, friends or relationships that take up most of the day, many of us are left feeling like we have zero time for ourselves.
BUT, are we really too busy? Is there really no time left to breathe, stretch, move and give our bodies the attention it truly craves and deserves?
We have put together a quick checklist of must-do things that will help you manage your time and help you achieve your fitness goals even if you are “too busy”.
Do a Time Audit
Being busy doesn’t always mean being productive. In fact, so many of us use the phrase “I’m so busy” in such an automated way that it tricks our brain into blocking out any free time that we may have.
So, the first thing on your checklist is to know what it is that is taking up most of your time. More often than not, there are several time leaks in the day due to poor time management and not knowing what your next task or activity is.
A time audit will identify where your time is spent, help you reach your goals and improve your productivity.
How to perform a time audit:
- Define the period of time for your audit (e.g. 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month). We suggest auditing a typical week of your time, tracking each day.
- Categorize your tasks and track them by intervals.
Categorize the most common tasks that you do daily (e.g. community, work, emails, meetings, lunch, exercise, miscellaneous). Set an interval (e.g. 15min, 30min or 60min), and at the end of each interval, note down what you were doing and how many minutes you spend doing it.
- Summarize, analyze & prioritize.
At the end of each day, make a note of what category took the most amount of time as well as how many minutes were spent on unplanned activities.
By the end of the week, you should have enough data to see where most of your time is going and if you have any time leaks.
Once you have analyzed your time audit, you need to create set time blocks for your day-to-day tasks and activities. This will help you prioritize and re-evaluate where you should be spending your energy. It will also give you a good estimate of just how much free time you have available.
Set a SMART Fitness Goal
SMART Goals help provide the clarity, focus and direction required to get the most out of your efforts. They also motivate and mentally prepare you for any challenges that you may face.
How to set SMART goals:
S – Specific
Be specific with how you describe your fitness goal. For example, ‘I want to lose 4 kilos this month’
M – Measurable
Once you have specified your goal, the next step is to define how you will measure your progress. So, to make the goal of ‘losing 4 kilos this month’ measurable you can make the goal: ‘I want to lose 1 kilo each week over the next 4 weeks’
A – Attainable/Achievable
Now that you have a measurable goal, the next step is to make sure that it is achievable. For example:
‘I want to lose 1 kilo a week, and I can achieve this by tracking and reducing my daily calorie intake and working out at a moderate to high intensity 5x per week.’ This now gives you clarity as to how you will eventually achieve the 1 kilo a week weight loss.
R – Relevant
When a goal is relevant, it relates directly to you and your lifestyle. In this instance, weight loss improves your general fitness, self-confidence, and mental and physical health.
T – Time-bound
Setting deadlines for your goal(s) helps to create a sense of urgency and excitement. It will also help you to track your progress more efficiently and make adjustments along the way.
Focus on Results
When it comes to fitness, there is no one way to achieve your goals. The amount of information out there can be confusing, which makes it difficult to understand where to start and where to remain.
However, by focusing more on results than the process, you gain clarity, minimize distractions and remain consistent long enough to see a breakthrough. All of which form powerful motivation!
How to focus on your results:
– Celebrate the small wins (e.g. completing your workouts). Track your workouts and note your progress
– Identify your weakest areas and work on them
Good eating habits and food management is essential when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. Meal prep not only saves you time, energy and money, but it also gives you a clear picture of what your eating habits are like. This helps you eliminate poor food choices and makes it easier for you to make conscious choices such as prioritizing protein, veg and fiber as well as creating a regular eating routine.
How to meal prep:
Make a meal plan
If you are new to meal prep, start with a basic plan that includes all macronutrients (carbs, protein & fats). Identify your go-to foods in each macro group and create 1-2 go-to meals for each time of day (e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner).
Determine your cooking method
There are several ways to meal prep. The best method will be the one that works with your schedule.
Batch Cooking & Freezing – make larger quantities of a meal and freeze to be portioned out at a later date.
Individually Portioned Meals – make complete meals and portion them into separate containers for the week.
- Ready-to-cook ingredients – if you prefer to cook your meals before eating then having your ingredients portioned and set aside (e.g. chopped veg, pre-measured rice) saves you time and makes it easier for you to keep your meals interesting, should you want to switch out any ingredients.
Use your Mornings
The morning is one of the easiest parts of the day to develop consistency. This is because you are well rested, least likely to be interrupted, and you have the opportunity to set the tone for the day.
Create a mindful morning routine that gives you at least 30-60mins of free time to work on your fitness goals.
If you need help developing your routine, read this article that we have written outlining 8 steps for the BEST Morning routine.
It is so easy to take time for granted and spend it frivolously. Much of this is down to the working culture of ‘being busy = being productive = acquiring a form of success’. The truth is, being busy doesn’t mean that you are being productive.
Use the tips mentioned above to take control of your time, increase your productivity and improve your chances of achieving all of the goals that you set yourself, be it life, fitness, finance or relationship related.
Until the next post.
Have a great day! X
Mike and Viv aka MrandMrsMuscle