If you are anything like me, you have 1,001 excuses why you missed a workout, didn’t stick with a workout routine, or never even started the workout routine you promised yourself on New Year’s. These excuses are the same recycled ones that you used to cop-out today, earlier this week, last week and last year. They’re the same excuses you will use next year. The excuses never get any more interesting but the more you hear them in your mind, the greater weight they carry. “I am too tired to workout.” “I had a bad night of sleep.” “It’s raining outside.” “It’s cold outside.” “It’s too hot.” If this sounds familiar, then you get the point. I love a killer workout and these same excuses try to derail me but they never work anymore.
The Killer of All Excuses
There is one excuse that is the killer workout excuse, “I do not have enough time to workout.” There are hit songs about time, best sellers about time, keynote speakers that speak about time, movies about time capsules, and scientists that are trying to figure out how to reverse time. But the fact is we all have time limits. Lack of time seems to be the one valid excuse that is the workout killer. But is this a fallacy? We fill our lives completely from the waking moment until we roll over and go to sleep. We have coffee time and shower time. Then there is commute time followed by work time followed by more commute time. Little league messes up homework time right before dinner time. After dinner time comes family time. Finally at nine o’clock it is adult time. Oh, wait I forgot that there was supposed to be workout time. See what I mean. Before you know it, that one workout killer excuse you were going to conquer today just killed your workout, again.
Making the Tough Choice
When I was working from 8:00 to 7:00 every day in addition to all the other time commitments and priorities, I had to make a choice. The choices were to give in to the killer workout excuse or to find some free time to get back into my workout routine. I started by making a list of all the things that filled my day and killed my hopes to workout. So I decided that the priority list only had a few areas of wiggle room. I was faced with either working out at 7:30 at night after being away from family all day or early in the morning before work started. I knew that after working and being gone all day that the first option was not going to fly. So the only other choice was to start my day off earlier for an early morning killer workout.
Making the Tough Choice 2: The Sequel
At first, I did not change any other areas of my schedule or routine. I started my day at 5:45 and was working out by 6:15 and showering and dressing for work by 7:30. This plan essentially translated to less sleep as my nighttime routine did not change. I quickly realized that sleep deprivation was not a good option either. My killer workout along with the sleep deprivation were literally killing me from exhaustion and leading me to workout excuses…again. Then a thought came to me one morning as all the same excuses passed through my mind. The “I’m too tired” excuse felt the most reasonable on that particular morning and I was correct. I was too tired to workout. Sleep deprivation finally had taken its toll and it was affecting my whole day and the ability to stay motivated to workout. Another thought also became crystal clear to me. I have not woken up on any occasion since starting to workout and said to myself,”The late night show was so great and I’m so glad I missed out on sleep.” These new revelations forced me again to re-prioritize and rebalance my use of time to allow enough sleep and time to workout at least 3-4 days per week. The only valid choice in my mind at that point was to go to bed earlier and get at least 7 hours of sleep per night (preferably 8).
Time Is On My Side (and yours too!)
No matter how busy your schedule, finding time to workout is going to be a challenge as you are forced to prioritize your commitments and make tough choices. Start with a list and rank your priorities. Write out your schedule and time commitments to see what works best for your workout schedule. When a reasonable and realistic workout time is decided upon, plan the rest of your day and week around your priorities. Stick to your workout schedule as if these time commitments are appointments for your health. When someone wants you to do something else during workout times, protect your workout time by letting them know you are booked for that hour and offer alternatives. By making tough choices and tweaking these choices when needed, you can make time for the killer workout. Time can be on your side. You can beat the 1,001 excuses why you don’t workout, even the killer workout excuse.