I talk to women all the time who struggle to fit in their fitness.
Despite the fact that it’s “a priority” for them, they haven’t been able to make exercise a consistent habit.
They wonder “Why is this so hard for me?” because from the looks of social media, no one else struggles with this!
Girl, that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Motivation is not something reserved for a select few, and that idea has to die if you’re ever going to get consistent with exercise–and be able to make it stick over the long term.
But this is just one of the many things that you need to either 1) do; or 2) stop doing in order to fit fitness into your life.
If I’ve learned anything in the past several years that I’ve been a personal trainer and coach, it’s that what most people say they want and what they actually do to get it are not at all aligned!
This is especially true of exercise!
We overcomplicate fitness so much that we give up and fail to make the progress we know that we’re capable of.
I want you to quit doubting yourself today because you can make fitness a regular part of your routine!
You have to get strategic. You have to make some sacrifices in the short-term for long-term benefits. You have to be willing to change your approach to fitness entirely.
But, I promise that the result will be worth it, and here’s what I recommend that you start with:
#1. Stop exercising so much:
Ironically, the reason you can’t make exercise a habit is because you exercise too much.
I talk to women day in and day out who tell me that they spend an hour and a half doing cardio at the gym several days a week. They also squeeze in 60-90 minute group fitness classes, group runs, bike rides, and strength training.
They believe that if they don’t exercise this much, “it’s not worth it.” And then they wonder why 1) they’re not seeing results; and 2) it’s so hard to find the time to fit fitness in.
I see it all the time: women set themselves up for failure by committing themselves to all these hours of exercise, only to end up burned out, resentful, and back at square one–with no results to show for it!
Committing too much time to exercise is a sure-fire way to fail at fitting fitness in, period.
- You don’t need hours in order to improve your body composition.
- You don’t need access to tons of equipment.
- You don’t even need to leave your house!
What you do need is 20-25 minutes and a little intensity!
The quickest, most effective way to get results is metabolic training.
Metabolic training combines strength training and cardio into a single workout model to create a positive effect on our hormones and signal them to burn fat (while maintaining, or even gaining, lean muscle).
3-4 metabolic training sessions, at 20-25 minutes each, will do more for your physique–and busy schedule!–than all that other training combined.
#2. Plug up the time sucks in your day:
We all do this. We say we have no time to [insert activity we want to do here], but we somehow find the time to check Facebook several times a day; shop online; watch Netflix, etc.
These are all time sucks, and they eat into the time we could be spending fitting in our fitness.
Get strategic and start looking at where you’re leaking time in your day, and work on plugging up those holes.
- How much time do you spend on social media each day?
- How much TV do you watch?
- How much time to spend in the kitchen making meals? Could you find ways to streamline the prep process so there’s time for a quick 20-minute circuit before dinner?
Most of us don’t realize how much time we waste in a day. If you just need 20-30 minutes a few days a week, I’m sure you’d be surprised by how easy that is to find!
#3. Stop saying “I don’t have time to exercise” and say this instead:
We say: “I’m too busy; I don’t have enough time to exercise!” News flash: everyone’s busy. And I don’t believe anyone who tells me “If only I didn’t work/didn’t have kids/had all the time in world, I’d work out!”
It’s a rubbish excuse!
We *should* say: “I”m not too busy to exercise; exercise just isn’t a priority for me.”
Ouch. That stings, doesn’t it? NO ONE WANTS TO ADMIT THAT THEY’RE NOT MAKING THEIR HEALTH A PRIORITY, but that’s exactly what we’re doing if we say we want to fit in our fitness and we end up binge watching Netflix night after night…
I say this with nothing but love, but lemme just drop this #truthbomb on ya:
We make time for what matters, and if health is really one of those things, something has to give (like, do you really need to watch that episode of SVU again?!?)
#4. Just do it:
Nike’s slogan is so simple and straightforward: it speaks to me!
Don’t think, just do. Don’t make excuses, just do. Don’t deliberate, just do.
We have a tendency to hem and haw and over-analyze every damn thing to death. We are literally information-overloading ourselves to death!
Instead of taking action, we waste time thinking about whether or not we’re prepared enough/knowledgeable enough/good enough, and before long, self-doubt destroys any hope we have of doing anything.
If you want to fit in your fitness, you’ve got to be OK with things not being perfect. Some days, you’re not going to be able to make it to the gym. Fine: what’s a quick, bodyweight-only routine I can do in my apartment?
Some days, you’re not going to feel like working out. Fine: what incentive can I give myself to get to the gym? A post-workout coffee date with a friend? A weekly manicure if I get in my 4 weekly workouts?
You’ll figure out what it takes, and then: just do it!
#5. Stop relying on motivation:
Motivation is not a reliable tool to get the job done. Motivation ebbs and flows, and more often than not, it’s not there.
This is especially true when we’re trying to establish a new habit–like working out.
We have all kinds of motivation in the beginning, but then life intervenes, s**t gets hard, we’re sore, underfed, and exhausted!
Excuses creep in, and before we know it, we’re back to square one, wondering where all that motivation went.
Instead of relying on motivation to help you get ‘er done when you least feel like (’cause it ain’t gonna work!), you have to use strategy.
Some of my favorites are:
- Visualization: Think about how good you’re going to feel post-workout. Write out why you exercise and what benefits you get from it. Refer to these when you’re struggling; even write them out on post-its and keep them in plain sight. Take pics and videos post-workout that you can watch to pump yourself up!
- Self-negotiation: Don your used salesperson hat and ask yourself, “Can you give my just 10 minutes, Hilary”? Usually, the recent I don’t want to work out has nothing to do with feeling physically bad, but just lazy. If I give myself permission to leave after 10 minutes, more likely than not, momentum will take over and I’ll finish the workout.
- Incentivizing myself: Got fun stuff planned for later? I tell myself that the workout comes first! No fun without fitness!
#6. Find an accountability partner:
I think we’re more motivated by competition than we’re willing to admit.
This is why having someone to hold you accountable is a great way to establish a regular fitness routine.
Most of us would rather die than leave someone else hanging, so why not exploit that?! Find someone will similar goals as you, make a schedule, and get to it.
Plus, working out is much more fun with friends (You can make it more social and get post-workout protein shakes!)!
#7. Make the time (using this handy dandy timetable tool!):
Most people say they’re bad at time management. But time management is a myth. It doesn’t exist.
Instead, we manage priorities and activities.
Just like work, family time, and sleep, we have to manage our fitness if it’s in fact a priority.
We do this by getting accountable to ourselves about where we’re truly spending our time. Is it true that we don’t have time to work out…or is it just easier to say that than admit that exercise isn’t a priority?
To help you really hone in on where you’re leaking time in your schedule that you could be spending doing more exercise, I created a super-simple daily time tracker called Fit In Your Fitness.
Download it, print it out, and over the course of a day, track where and how you spend your time. Where are the time sucks? Where could you get more efficient?
This tool will transform how you approach your goal to be more consistent with exercise, I promise!