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How To Stay Fit

On Tuesday I was shocked.  One of my champion clients had her second “bad week” of the month – workouts were missed, crappy food was eaten and progress went backwards.  This is totally out of character for Anna (not her real name).

It turns out that the problem was a time crunch: she had started taking test prep classes for the GRE and started a second part time job.  All of the extra demands on her time pushed out her cooking time and her working out time.

Here are the 4 guidelines I gave her to get back on track:

#1.  Buy a paper planner:
When Anna only had a handful of regular demands on her time she could manage her life in her head, but clearly that system has been overloaded.  At a certain point everyone outgrows what he or she can keep track of in their head, and they need to move on.

Whenever someone misses an appointment with me, I always ask them if they have a paper planner, and I usually get a response like, “I’m 40 years old and I’ve been keeping track of my appointments in my head my whole life.  I don’t need any help!”

This is a really funny response because they just missed an appointment and had no idea that they had missed it.  Clearly they do need help keeping track.

If you have more to manage, then you need a better system.  Keeping track of appointments in your head is the entry level system, and it usually breaks down early on in life.

#2.  Mind the big rocks:   Generally speaking, adult life is chaos.  There will always be more things to do and more demands on your time than you can possibly fulfill even if you worked for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.  And the more you move along in your personal and professional life the more your “to do” list grows.

You can’t do everything, but you can do the most important things – the big rocks.

They key in getting the most out of your week is to take some quiet time to think about what the most important (not necessarily the most urgent) things are for the coming week.  Taking care of your health and fitness has to be at the top of that short list.

Everything in life requires a certain amount of energy.  You cannot have an abundance of energy without taking care of your body.  Therefore everything in your life depends on and will benefit from you taking better care of your body.  It’s the goose that lays the golden eggs of energy.

The things to schedule in advance for keeping your health and fitness in tip top shape are:
•    Your workouts
•    Grocery shopping
•    Cooking
•    Sleep

#3.  Plan In advance:
Putting in the big rocks is just a code word for “planning.”  This works horribly in your head.  Trying to make this list or plan in your head usually just makes you completely overwhelmed.  It works really well on paper however.

Book the workout times with yourself in advance.  Actually schedule them in your planner like an appointment with someone else.  Then when someone asks you to do something at that time you can say, “no, I have an appointment then, can you do ____ o’clock instead.”

You don’t have to tell them that it’s an appointment with yourself.  That is none of their business.

Beware the temptation to say, “well, its only an appointment with myself.  It’s not that important.  I can break it just this once.”  Breaking it this once sets up the habit of breaking it over and over and over again.  If you don’t take care of you first, then you can’t take care of anyone else.  Everyone suffers if you’re a martyr.

#4.  Shop & cook smart: With GRE prep classes, a full time job and a part time job it’s unlikely that you are going to be have the time or the energy to cook for yourself during the week.  That’s fine so long as you don’t use that as an excuse, but rather as a guideline for finding a solution.

Plan out what you want to eat on Sunday and get everything you’ll need for the week before it starts.  Cook big batches of tasty, convenient and nutritious food on Sunday.  Divide it up and have it on hand for the week to come.

Just like you schedule your workouts, you have to schedule your planning, shopping and cooking time.  If you leave it in your head it will almost never show up on it’s own.

No matter how hectic your life you always have time for the body you want, its just a matter of making it in advance, not hoping that mythical “free-time” will somehow pop up in your life.

This article was provided by The Body You Want - Washington, DC Personal Fitness Training
For more information on The Body You Want - Washington, DC Personal Fitness Training, check out their full profile here.
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