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  • Writer's pictureScott Pettey

Breaking the Time Barrier

Let’s address the elephant in the room right away - unfortunately time is one thing we can’t create more of, but we can manage it effectively. The goal is to figure out how you can get started exercising and make it a consistent habit over time. Here we’ll briefly discuss 3 steps you can take to help you break down the time barrier.


Make a Priority List

We only have so much time in the day to allot to our priorities. So make a list and find out where exercise ranks for you. Don’t be discouraged if it ranks low on your list, this is ok because life, and priorities, change over time.


Don’t get caught in the all or nothing mentality. As in - “I can’t exercise 5 times per week so screw it I just don’t have time to exercise.” You can absolutely create a consistent exercise habit with something as little as twice per week for 30 minutes. Maybe this is your crazy time of the year at work or your child is in soccer season and you’d rather be at their games than exercising. No worries, do what you realistically can now and maybe in a few months your schedule and priorities will change and you'll be ready to start exercising more.


Identify

Next, look at your current weekly schedule and identify what specific days and times you have available to exercise. We’re looking to be as specific as possible here, for example you identify Monday and Wednesday 7am-7:45am and Friday 4pm-4:45pm.


Most people in this situation, super excited to get started, will say “ok I have Monday/Wednesday 7-7:45, Friday 4-4:45 and maybe I could squeeze Tuesday/Thursday 2:30-3 before I take my son to soccer practice and maybe…” Stop right there. When trying to create a habit it’s very important to set yourself up for success by being realistic with what you can commit to. How demotivating is it when you over commit yourself and end up missing sessions in the first week of starting?


Instead, think of the momentum you can build for yourself by starting with the 2-3 days you know you can definitely do and doing that consistently for months with no missed sessions.


Anchor

Lastly, take those realistic days and times you identified and anchor them to your schedule by blocking the times off with “exercise”. Now everytime you open your weekly schedule you get a reminder that exercise is already pre-planned into your week and that those times are no longer available for other commitments.


For a lot of people the time barrier also has a lot to do with a lack of accountability. Anchoring is a powerful tool because it provides an initial level of accountability. By placing an appointment on your schedule that you’ve already planned and committed to in advance you’ll be less likely to cancel or skip.



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