Squeeze it in

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good…

Crazy day get the best of you? No time to hit the gym or yoga studio?

Just because you don’t have time for a full workout, there are likely plenty of opportunities to squeeze a few minutes of movement into your day:

  • Do a few 60-second wall-squats while on a call
  • Planks are a great position for reading – set up your stopwatch and alternate planking on forearms/elbows followed by a rest then a plank from the top of a push-up position – repeat 5 times for 30-seconds each interval
  • Double stairs: if you need to go up or downstairs, go twice (e.g. go upstairs, back down, then back  up)
  • Do a 10 or 15 minute yoga sequence via YouTube (Yoga With Adriene has a ton of free, easy options that you can do at work without getting sweaty)
  • Stand up & sit down from chair or couch while scrolling social media

Try it today -be intentional about adding small bursts of activity throughout the day

Get on up!

GET UP EARLY!

Save the excuses. “I’m not a morning person, I don’t sleep well, I’m a night owl…”
If you need more time in the day to get things done & make changes, you need to get up earlier.  If you want to make a change, you will.  If you don’t want it, you won’t.  It’s that simple.  Successful people get up early – (it’s the only way to add more hours to the day) – & take care of their business.  And you can, too.  You may be tired or have trouble adjusting for a day or two, but it is worth it. I read that 90% of executives wake up before 6am on weekdays & 50% of self-made millionaires wake up at least 3 hours before their workday begins – (applicable to however you define ‘workday’ – 9 to 5, work-at-home, full-time parent included).

I have found it helpful to use a little positive self-talk when I wake up & have the option to stay in bed, hit snooze, or get going…I say this to myself every morning:

“I’m up, I’m up, I’m up! My goals are important to me”.  And my feet hit the floor.

So before saying you don’t have time, make the commitment & gift yourself the time to be productive by getting up a little early. 

Mantra

That voice inside your head is powerful – it can have  a huge impact on your life – who you are and what you do. 

Bring awareness to your self-talk and consider using the power of mantra to make positive change. A mantra is a sound, word or series of words spoken aloud or silently that can be thought of as a seed for energizing an intention.

Personally, I use mantra most days, in the form of either a word or phrase specific to my life at the time.  Some personal examples:

  • “Intention”: I use this to increase awareness that everything is a decision, and I choose to make intentional decisions vs reactions.
  • “I make the time” – I use this when I have a lot on my plate  to remind myself that “I didn’t have time” is very rarely valid – I choose to make the time for what is important.
  • “My goals are important”  – a reminder again to do what I know I need to do to be successful in the goals I’ve set.

So give it a try – you can google ‘mantras’ for tons of examples or try one of mine, and there’s no set schedule.  Yogis may use mala beads for meditation on mantra or chanting, but I find it works just as well for me to simply remind myself of my intention throughout the day, and then reflect on how that mantra served me as I wind down for the day.

Mindset Matters

The key to  making positive changes and staying motivated is to get crystal clear on what you want and why you want it.

The more powerful your why, the easier to work toward the what.

5 Ways to Stay Mindful:

Be Present – do one thing at a time.  If you’re working out, don’t worry about what’s for dinner…stay focused on the task at hand.

Reframe how you view exercise.  It is a privilege to be able to exercise, not a punishment.  Don’t take for granted the ability to move your body.

Focus on the positives. Be proud of and celebrate every change or bit of progress.

Record. Keep a log of your workouts, meals, how you’re feeling. The act of writing down what you did, good or not-so-good, forces you to reflect on how you feel about what you did.

Know your triggers. Be aware of experiences that can trigger a negative reaction – and have alternate intentional actions ready to replace them.  If you reward yourself after a stressful task at work with a trip to the communal candy dish, have a sparkling water while you go for a quick walk outside instead. If you head straight for the pantry & eat chips out of the bag as soon as you get home, immediately change clothes & take the dog for a walk while you have a glass of lemon water.

And as with everything – work for progress, not perfection – it takes time to change your mindset, but you’ll find that it is more than worth the effort!