How to Make Time for Good Habits

Here are a few quick tips that just might help you put the important things first in your life, and help you retake control of your energy and time.

Livable habits. Small Changes = Big Results through Consistency

You're Not Alone

Have you ever embarked on a new exercise plan, or new diet, trying to change everything at once, only to run out of steam within a week or two?

If so, you’re not alone. I’m raising my hand, too. 🙋🏻‍♀‍

What I’ve learned from my own transformation and that of many clients, is this equation:

small changes = big results

The thing we tend to negate when we’re excited and motivated to start a new workout/diet/regimen is – well, everything else in our lives. 🤷‍♀‍

• Our job/work schedule

• Our family commitments

• Feeding our kids (they don’t always like your diet foods!)

• Social commitments

I find that it’s super easy when I’ve had a few days off and I’m relaxed and full, to think, “I’ve got time to spend two hours in the gym every day – I should start doing that this week!”

I work with people to build healthy habits into their daily schedule, and create rituals to ensure that they do the work it takes to get fit. Here are a few tips gathered from years of experience:

Cook Big and Plan Ahead

Cook a double (or triple) portion of that healthy dinner, and freeze the rest for next week, or pack it up for lunch the next day

I got through grad school this way. What began as an effort to stay fit while feeding the family regular nutritious meals eventually became a well-tuned process. We had a weekly meal plan, which fed our weekly grocery list, and we had shopping and cooking days. We shopped the pantry before the grocery store to avoid overbuying anything.

Our freezer consistently had at least 1 and sometimes 2 weeks' worth of meals that were labeled with the date they were made.

This sounds extreme, and it is. Most people don't need to observe that tight of a regimen, and my family doesn't plan that far ahead today because we don't need to. But, we do try to make cooking events pay off for more than one meal, and we have learned to appreciate the time-saving value of "Planned-Overs."

Prepare for Tomorrow's Attire

Lay out your workout clothes before you go to bed, so that when you get up for your morning workout there’s nothing to think about.

It sounds like something a child would do, but why do parents encourage this habit? Because morning is not when you want to find out there are no clean socks. Knowing when you wake up that there is a good outfit ready to go reduces stress and protects your time.

Hydrate Early

Put a bottle of water on your bathroom sink to drink first thing upon waking. It's important to stay hydrated and getting a good start is a good idea. If you are working out in the morning, your body will appreciate the available water.

Prepare for Unexpected Opportunities

Pack an extra gym bag to keep in your trunk in case you forget your regular gym bag. 👈 EXCUSE BUSTER!

This also gives you a way to squeeze in a workout if the chance presents itself, such as the time your good friend wants to meet for a group class after work.

Speaking of taking advantage of time, instead of sitting in traffic on your way home, schedule gym time during rush hour.

You're not alone.

As you build your daily, weekly and monthly schedule, work to incorporate some of these tips and see how they help you achieve more and feel less stressed.

You may find that this is easier when you are doing life with others who are also making similar changes. The habits and rituals of the community you're a part of (your family, your coworkers, etc.) have a big effect on your ability to incorporate new patterns into your own life.

Take stock, and know that help is within reach.