Not that long ago I decided it was time to go old-school again when dealing with my schedule. As a group fitness instructor and personal trainer I have pockets of ‘free-time’ throughout my day. It’s not necessarily ‘free-time’ because there’s always laundry to be done, rooms to be cleaned or vacuumed, articles and fitness related materials to sift through, etc. But I was finding that those pockets of time would pass and I would be left wondering what happened to my day.
In addition to what happens in the gym, I need to devote time to writing blog posts, learning new choreography to workouts, marketing my classes and services, studying for my nutrition certification, writing class sets…I’m sure you get the idea.
So off I went to the office store and bought myself one of those hideous planners. Mine breaks down each day of the week from 7am to 8pm and has monthly calendars to see the big picture. At the beginning of each week I sit down and write in my class schedules, along with any appointments and what I’m left with is my ‘free-time.’
Now certainly, I will have no problem filling those time slots. I’ve got more than enough ‘to-do’ items to keep me busy beyond the hours in the day. But I was recently challenged during a message at church about how to fill those time slots.
Let me take just a moment to share that message with you, and then I will give you the 5 steps that will help you to get serious about what is on your calendar and how you can make changes.
It’s not mystery that we are all too busy. In fact, ‘I don’t have time,’ is one of the biggest reasons I hear from people who don’t exercise.
But the challenge set forth in this message was, ‘Who do you want to be?’ Do you want to be a better mom? Do you want to have a closer relationship with God? Do you want to kick an addiction? Do you want to get fit?
Whatever that is, whatever person you want to be is going to take commitment, it’s going to take time, and it’s going to require changes. You can’t expect to keep doing life the same way you have been and instantly be a better mom, who has a closer relationship with God and has kicked an addiction all while getting fit.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not suggesting that you tackle that many things at once. But I do want to take you a bit through how to get real about your calendar and your commitments so that you can start to become that person you most want to be. I will be using fitness as an example, but you can use these same 5 things to assess where you are and how to get to where you want to be.
1. Who do YOU want to be?
This is a question only you can answer. What is it about your weight or your fitness level that you want to change? Throw out all the images from television and magazines, take some time and look in the mirror and decide what will make you happy.
2. What’s the first step?
Don’t get caught up in the details, every journey starts somewhere. Maybe the first step for you is finding a time everyday to take a 30 minute walk. Maybe your first step is raiding your pantry to dump the junk. Maybe your first step is to take a fitness class or hire a trainer. Identify what the first step is and give yourself a deadline this week to get it done. You might not be able to actually accomplish that first step this week, but you can certainly assign a deadline.
3. What sacrifices are you willing to make?
Change is going to require sacrifice. You can’t expect to get fit by working out 2 times a week for 30 minutes. You can’t expect to drop weight eating junk food late at night. Be realistic, but recognize that you are going to need to make changes. Whether it’s modifying behaviors to drop old habits, or carving out time in your schedule to develop new ones, something is going to have to be different from today on.
4. What stands in your way?
Truly identify what your biggest excuse is…money, time, other people? If it’s money, look at your budget. You might be able to cut costs. If you can’t, check out YouTube – there are a ton of free workouts available that you can do out of your own home. If you have cable, flip through OnDemand, again plenty of choices. I can’t guarantee the quality of them, but my point is you don’t have to have an expensive gym membership to get fit. In fact, check out how many body weight exercises you can do without ANY equipment! Maybe it’s time. Listen, the fact is you are going to have to make time for yourself if you want to become that person you defined when looking in the mirror. There is no way to get around it – you have to put in the time to see the results. And if it’s a person or group of friends that are holding you back, evaluate those relationships. Are they healthy for you? I’m not saying dump them all together, just make sure you surround yourself with people who build you up not tear you down.
5. Write it down and make it happen!
Whether it’s an old-school planner like mine or on your phone, start making appointments for how you are going to get there. Write your goals down and map out your success. And don’t just pencil them in…use permanent marker! If it’s time to help you become a better you, there is nothing in the world more important than setting that appointment and following through with it.
I want to emphasize to you that while I used fitness as an example in this blog if there is something in your life pulling at your heart, figure out how to change it and start to schedule it! One person I know just set a date night with his wife for every week, another person I know started a morning coffee one time a week with her girlfriends, and someone else decided the most important thing was to spend individual time with his children.
I write this blog because I want to encourage my readers. Not every day is going to be perfect, and for me today was a great example of that. This blog was supposed to be written about 8 hours ago according to my ‘schedule.’ It didn’t happen at the exact time it was supposed to, but I committed to myself that I would write it today. Writing this to share with you is part of what is helping me to be who I want to be, and I’m cheating myself, and maybe others, if I just blow it off because I didn’t have time.
Who do you want to be?