Well, the same could be said of exercising. I hear it all the time… “Was meaning to come in Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But with the week the way it went I was spent and didn’t feel like working out!” OK! We all have days, and weeks, like that. But we all need to ask ourselves, “Who’s in control here?” Be careful husbands! The point being that if you are constantly being dictated to by your environment then you will never take control. Most of us are aware that urgent matters and emergencies will occasionally come up. But if your life is all about putting out one fire after another, then perhaps it’s time to evaluate, or re-evaluate, your lifestyle.
Whether we live in the big city or a small town, many of us see ourselves as not having enough hours in a day to accomplish all that we feel we need to. Some of you own and manage your own business. Others of you practically work around the clock for your employer. And lets not forget all you mothers who do a fine job changing all those diapers and keeping your house in order. So yes! We are all busy! Well, most of us, anyway.
Now, let’s talk about what is important to us. Most of us might say our families, our careers, school, etc. Along with that, we could include friends, hobbies, entertainment…you fill in the blank. Sure, these things are, and should be, important to us. Yet how much of our day to day lives gets filled up with trivial pursuits? Here again, you can make your own list; watching mindless TV, playing (not working) on the computer, talking with the neighbor about the latest draft picks… Sure, all of us probably do this. I believe this makes life a little more exciting.
To borrow from Frank Covey’s “Quadrants of Time Management”, we will make time to perform those tasks that are important to us. Now ask yourself, “How important is my exercise program?” For those of you familiar with Mr. Covey’s concept, if you view your exercise program as “important”, you will do it! Now, you may be thinking, “Of course, it’s important! But I just don’t have the time!” So how does one MAKE time to exercise? For starters, lets take a look at two individuals, along with their lifestyles, to see how they are able to fit exercise into their busy schedules:
Bob is CEO of his mid-sized corporation, where putting in 70-80 hr. workweeks is fairly routine for him. Yet, to Bob, after a day of having to meet deadlines, dealing with clients, listening to employees’ grievances, etc., he finds that running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes helps to put him at ease, while helping to relieve tension and stress. On occasion he’ll throw in some resistance exercises. He tries to do this three times a week. But some weeks, he may only get in once.
Helen works full-time for an accounting firm where her schedule can be flexible on some days. Though Helen may have days, and weeks, that can be long, that is not the norm. Aside from her duties at the firm, she is also a wife and a mother of three young children. For Helen, she finds that getting her workouts in during her lunch hour works best with her schedule, while trying to get in one session on the weekend.
Many of us can relate to Bob and Helen, with their busy and active lifestyles. Yet what is it that sets Bob and Helen apart from others with similar lifestyles? Simply this… making the time to exercise is important to them! When something is important to you, you give it priority.
“Exercise” may not be seen as something of value to many. However, when faced with an illness or disease that can have debilitating effects, they are rudely awakened to the consequences for making poor lifestyle choices. Exercise is then seen as a must-do activity as punishment for those choices. Now if exercising is something that you absolutely dread, you may have a hard time convincing yourself to perform this on your own. Although, there are those who quite often will discover that upon beginning a regimented exercise program, they develop a fondness toward their newfound activity, much to their surprise. Some even turning into addicts.
So whether you view exercise as a “have to” as opposed to a “get to”, you probably would agree that exercise is, or can be, beneficial for your total well-being. Then why is it that over three-quarters of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity? I believe it’s simply because exercise is not important to them, therefore, not a high priority. So, if exercising is not a priority to you, make it such and you’ll be glad you did.