Sometimes We Need to be Selfish

Outside of exercise form and workout composition, the number one question I receive from clients is how to make time for their workouts. Between family, work, friends, and other social commitments people seriously struggle with finding time for their workouts. I’m not really any different. My life is just as chaotic with two kids, their homework, extracurriculars, playdates and snuggle time in addition to an active social life and very busy work life. Between planning for classes and clients — and then training those classes and clients — it would be easy for me to skip my own training. So how do I make sure to train 3-5 times per week? The answer is actually quite simple. I schedule everything.

I often joke that I’m a Luddite at heart. I remain unconvinced to read a book on an electronic device. I love putting pen to paper, and I still rely on an “old-school” agenda. My current favourite is the Passion Planner: I like its size, weekly format, monthly overview, daily priorities, and lots of space to make notes. Every Sunday evening I sit with my agenda and plan out my week. I start by writing in my client and class schedule. Then I add my kids’ activities and any special family events or appointments. From there I schedule time for work projects, responding to emails, etc. Finally I schedule in my gym time. This way my training holds the same priority level in my schedule as any other item on each day. The place it holds in my schedule will shift based on my other responsibilities. Most weeks I’m able to manage 4 hour long training sessions, but other weeks schedule 5 half hour sessions. My goal is always 3-5 blocks of designated training time, with as much extra movement as possible.  What’s significant is that its scheduled and prioritized.

Are there days when I don’t feel as motivated by the idea of going to the gym? Of course! But I reduce those days by planning ahead and prepping myself for the day through my agenda. I don’t waste time psyching myself up for the gym or convincing myself that I really should go. Many of you find that group classes are the key to making your workouts happen. And that’s because its an item in your schedule that can’t be moved. You’ve decided that on Wednesday at 9:30am you’re going to my Circuit City class. To make sure that your solo training time happens (whether that’s at the gym or at home) you need to block off that time for yourself.

If we want to practice self-care and doing the things that make us feel good, then we need to start prioritizing that time as much as we prioritize other aspects of our life. Sure, there will be periods when its more difficult to spend an hour doing a workout. But when we organize our week, we can usually find 20-30 minutes for focused and purposeful movement on most days.

Let’s be clear – I think all of us need to spend more time moving, less time sitting and need to think about exercise as more than just a 30-60 minute per day activity. But for some chunk of the day, I do think its important to elevate the heart rate with some kind of vigorous exercise. And sometimes we just need to be selfish with our time to make it happen.

Need help with scheduling and accountability for your workouts? I’m here to help and have plenty of options to get you on the right track. Contact me to talk about group classes, in-person training or online check-ins. #doitforyou

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