When life gets busy, too often good nutrition and exercise habits are the first things to go. Instead of pushing these things to the wayside, use these 7 strategies to help keep you on track.
1) Identify Your WHY
I have talked a lot about this. Understanding exactly why you want the things you are working for gives you the motivation to be disciplined and prioritize exercise and nutrition over other things. Ask yourself WHY over and over until you find your compelling reason.
2) Identify Your Top Priorities
When identifying priorities I like to think of our lives as a jar. This jar can be filled with a finite number of rocks, pebbles and sand.
The Big rocks represent the stuff that is most necessary. The stuff that makes you feel most fulfilled. These usually include family, health and your livelihood.
The pebbles add extra fun and satisfaction to life but aren't totally necessary. Hobbies and passion projects are examples here.
The sand is purely "bonus" activity. I can be enjoyable but is not crucial for your fulfillment or survival. Things like social media, going out with friends, etc. could fit here.
Everyone's rocks, pebbles and sand will look different, but it is important to identify yours. If you fill your jar with too much sand (prioritize things like drinking and social media) over your rocks (health and family) you won't be able to reach the goals you want out of life.
3) Keep a Time Diary
A lot of people I talk to mention "not having time" for things they want to do. Your schedule reflects how you are prioritizing the activities in your life. Take some time to really track every minute of your days - what are you doing? Does your schedule reflect your true priorities?
4) Increase Health and Fitness Habits in 15 Minute Increments
To start to align your schedule with what you want to accomplish, replace low-value activities with high-value activities, little by little. Think 15 minutes of meal prep for the next day instead of 15 minutes of social media scrolling on the couch.
5) Create Systems that Make Health and Fitness Faster and Easier
Examples of this could be:
- keep fresh, whole foods in plain sight
- reduce or eliminate "treat" foods
- establish a morning or weekend routine for food prep (chop veggies, prepare protein and carbs in bulk)
- Sign up for a CSA or healthy meal delivery service
- keep berries and greens on hand for quick smoothies
- join a gym that is easiest to get to (close to home or work)
- keep a packed gym bag in your car
6) Schedule Meal Prep and Exercise
If we waited until we "felt like it" a lot of important things would never get done. Instead, schedule these things in. Make an appointment with yourself to prepare food and get your workouts in.
7) Reflect at the End of Each Week
Take some time at the end of each week to review and reflect on the past few days. Did you use your time to support your health and fitness goals? If not, set intentions to make changes for the upcoming week.