This is such an ironic statement for adults to make with regard to anything, but it really does not make any sense when it comes to health. If your children said they did not have time to do their homework because they had to watch their favorite TV show, it would be unacceptable. No discussion. How about showering before work? You just didn’t feel you had the time. Your colleagues might not share your thought process.
There are a lot of things we must make time for each day that are non negotiable. These could be labeled red tasks. They must get done. There are also tasks that you really would like to do such as relax in front of the television or go out to dinner but, they would probably not negatively impact your life too much if they did not happen. These could be labeled green tasks. Then there are the things we should do that we really don’t enjoy. These could be cleaning the garage, exercising, cooking dinner, continuing education and so forth. Many of these would improve the quality of our lives, but they require extra effort and are not necessarily passions. These could be labeled yellow tasks. The problem with the yellow tasks are that they are not seen as essential for life and they are not necessarily a desire, so they can be ignored. The yellow tasks are almost important as the red but are skipped in order to do the green tasks.
So how do we budget our time. The simple math is 24 hours in a day. Eight hours to sleep. Ten hours to work. This leaves 6 hours to divide into our yellow and green tasks. The reality is most people have a few extra hours on Saturday and Sunday that can be allotted to yellow and green tasks as well. So what to do with those precious minutes of free time. The reality is that these seconds and minutes tick away each day and are largely lost on things that have no bearing on the quality of our lives. People fight Facebook and Twitter wars while missing quality time with the people that matter most to them. Busy families may need to divide and conquer in order to get the yellow tasks completed. The prep work of making dinner can be the most time consuming. Having a well stocked pantry and then supplementing the fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis makes life a lot easier. It is also more fun to work together to make a meal. Menu planning is a must during the work week. The same goes with exercise. Have a plan and stick to it. Decide when your exercise slot will be and block it. I have found that the early morning is the best time for uninterrupted exercise and will have the least interruptions. Lay your workout clothes out the night before. Have breakfast prepped so that it can be put on the table simply.
When it comes to exercise, there are those of us who really enjoy training and competing, and those that just need to get it over with in order to keep their parts moving. This is where perspective must change. We all need to play and have fun. It is important to couple play and fun with the yellow tasks of exercise and cooking. Make it a game. I know people that will sit at a table for hours and play a card game but hate to exercise. Turn the exercise into a game as well. Challenge your friends to achieve a distance goal. Set up a course to race against the clock. There are Apps that allow you to race a specific course against others. You could set that up with your friends. There is a group that meets each day at a stadium to walk the bleachers. They write on their t shirts days competed without missing, rain or shine. there is a crazy sense of accomplishment when you achieve a workout in inclement conditions. We do challenges within our membership groups so that people can compete and push each other. If you don’t like the word compete then use game or play. The idea is to have fun and push yourself. Learn to enjoy movement. If you come to our immersion program, we will teach you to play.
What about the yellow task of cooking? It is a drag if you spend hours in the kitchen and no one appreciates your efforts. I know what that feels like on occasion, but that is our choice. We can feel that our efforts are not appreciated or we can play a game. Chop the vegetables perfectly. Make a plate that is picture worthy. Time yourself in meal prep. Make creative fun looking meals for the kids. It will be received how you present it. In the end, enjoy the meals yourself and appreciate your effort.
If you were to look at your life from a distance, what would impress you the most. That you made every minute count, and lived life to the fullest, or you won the prize for the most binge watching contest on Netflix. So enough with the don’t have time. Make exercise and nutrition red tasks that you get to do and by all means have fun!