Despite best intentions, finding time for health, nutritious meals and exercise can be tough amidst the daily family and career responsibilities. Our priorities have such great competition that despite best intentions finding time for health is often sacrificed.
People’s success at achieving and maintaining good health in face of time constraints is impacted by two main pillars: priorities and habits.
Whatever is a top priority, we find time for.
When we say, “I don’t have time,” unless it’s a case of poor time-management, it’s not necessarily that we haven’t the time, but that other priorities of perceived higher importance took over.
If your health is not at least an 8 out of 10 priority, you have likely been sacrificing it to other priorities that are. In face of time restrictions, for your health vision to have a chance at surviving amongst all your other priorities, you’ll want to make it as high on your list as possible, and to do so, you’ll want to find the “juice”.
That is the juicy compelling reasons that lie beneath your goal. For instance, if you want to lose weight or improve your fitness, the juice is not so much the actual weight loss or improved fitness, but the impact you believe those will bring. Those may include: greater self-confidence, freedom in your body, feeling fabulous in (and out of) your clothes, running your first race or beating an old time, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, or being a role model for your kids or grandkids. The compelling and juicy reasons are endless. Remember: what is important we find time for; what is not, we find excuses for. So, the more juicy reasons you can find, the better!
Tip: When discovering your juicy reasons, stay in the positive. For example “So I’m not fat” is neither positive nor juicy, but “feeling confident and strong” is. The words you choose are powerful and will direct the mind’s focus, so use words for experiences you actually want, rather than ones you want to avoid.
We are driven by our habits.
If you are not currently in the habit of exercising or eating well consistently, you have other habits that take your time. To better support your vision, and to free up some time, what current habits might you be able and willing to adjust or eliminate in order to make room for your new health-vision habits?
When it comes to establishing new habits, keep it simple. If your action plan requires too much effort or time to be done consistently, you will not be successful in making it a new habit. Simplify your action plan as much as needed, so you can establish consistency with it, and create a solid foundation from which to build from.
Establishing new habits require commitment, discipline and conscious effort; however, not forever. Once the new habits are in place, you open the doors to sailing towards that vibrant health vision.