We feel overwhelmed by our responsibilities. Our schedules are overloaded. Work, leisure, parenting, housework, hobbies, social life: we don’t EVER seem to have enough time. So how can we possibly achieve our health and fitness goals?

We need to make time.

We need to set aside time for those goals if we ever hope to achieve them. It sounds simple, but it’s not easy.

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Making Time Isn’t Easy

Take me, for example: I really want to build more muscle, but I know that this will require a shift in my schedule. No matter how much I may wish for it, no matter how good my intentions, that time will not magically appear in my day.

And sometimes, even when I do have time, I get derailed. I think: Hey! I’ve got time for a workout! So I get my workout clothes on, throw on an exercise video… and then there’s an interruption. The phone rings. Someone knocks on the door. My cat throws up on the carpet….

I look around and I see a million other things that I COULD be doing right now, that I SHOULD be doing. So I stop partway through, or I don’t even start.

We Need More Time Than We Think

Other times, I set aside what seems to be a suitable amount of time. 30 minutes for a 30-minute workout video. Seems reasonable, right?

What about the time it takes to get my workout clothes on? To get that video up on the screen? To take a water break partway through? Maybe the cooldown and stretch isn’t quite sufficient, maybe my muscles are really tight, and I need to stretch longer.

I need to factor in that time.

That 30-minute workout might actually require a 40-45 minute timeslot. So, if I only have 30 minutes, a 20-minute video might actually be more appropriate. That would give me a bit of a buffer.

We Need to be Realistic

We can’t get something done in less time than it takes to do that thing. Let me say that again:

We can’t get something done in less time than it takes to do that thing.

It’s not possible.

Make Your Goals a Priority

So we need to be realistic, but we also need to be a little bit tough on ourselves. We are always giving our time to something. Isn’t it about time that we gave time to our priorities? To our health and fitness goals? To self-care and self-improvement?

Work? Non-negotiable. Taking care of your kids (if you have kids)? Non-negotiable. Brushing your teeth? Hopefully non-negotiable.

So too should our wellness goals and activities be non-negotiable.

By making time, we are telling ourselves that our goals matter. That our health and fitness matter. And that we matter.

Helpful Questions

So, in making time, ask yourself a few key questions:

  • What’s important to me?
  • Do I need help with this?
  • Is there a trade-off I need to make in order to fit this in?
  • Is this realistic for me? Am I capable of this?
  • What are the potential obstacles, and how can I overcome them?
  • Are there any time-wasting activities that I could reduce or eliminate in order to make more time for this activity?
  • And do I have enough time for this right now? Or is there a better time in my day for this activity?

Make time for those goals, and set yourself up for success. Those goals matter, and so do you.

Here is a helpful infographic from Precision Nutrition. You can find the printable link at the end of this article, under Recommended Resources.

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Is there a health or fitness activity you’ve been wanting to incorporate into your schedule? Can you figure out a way to tweak your schedule to fit that activity into your day?

Recommended Resources

Here’s the printable copy of this infographic: 7 Effective Ways to Make More Time for Health.*

*(This content is used under license from Precision Nutrition Inc. and may not be reproduced, transmitted, or otherwise used or reused in any way without the express written permission of the owner. Copyright © 2020 Precision Nutrition Inc. For more information about Precision Nutrition, visit www.precisionnutrition.com.)