I’ve had some ideas floating in my head lately that all seemed to come together this morning and allowed me to write this post with confidence. First thing’s first….how many of you have ever used the excuse, “I don’t have time to __________.”? You can put almost anything in the blank, but most often the people that I work with fill it in with exercise. I usually try to combat this statement with all of the reasons that you do have time to exercise and all of the ways that you can fit it in easily to your day. Here’s a great article from ACE about ways to do exactly that.
However, this time I want to take a different approach and my kids, the TODAY Show, and company helped me to better understand procrastination toward exercise.
Some of you may be natural procrastinators….I admit I even fall into that category from time to time, but according to Gretchen Rubin, some of this can be taken care of by use of the 1-minute rule. I saw her segment on the TODAY Show this morning and it reminded me of me last night. Yesterday I packed in entirely too much into my day.
After breakfast I loaded the kids up to take them to the Railroad Museum for story time and a little play time. Then we dashed to drop off some work forms at one end of town and ran through the grocery store for necessary ingredients for dinner. We booked it home and then ate the world’s fastest lunch while I started on laundry and dishes. Then, we drove back toward downtown to walk with a friend (4+ miles in just over an hour) and then back home for “nap time”. Only, nap time happened just for one kid. Luckily, while the other one was “picking up his room” I got a chicken in the oven and started cleaning the WHOLE REST OF MY HOUSE. See, we were having company for dinner….who’d never seen our house before. I got the whole house cleaned, a chicken roasted, side dish started, dessert started, and a shower in in less than 3 hours time. I felt like Superwoman! But, why didn’t I start on it earlier or just cut something out of my day? Because I’m the kind of procrastinator that likes a challenge.
You may say, at this point, that none of this has to do with procrastinating on exercise because I did it….I exercised yesterday. Well, let’s take a step back and think about my oldest son and his cleaning of his room. I did three things that helped him (aged 4) clean up his room. These can help you when deciding not to procrastinate on exercise:
1. Gave him one thing to focus on at a time. I started with the puzzles. I told him that when he was done with the puzzles to come and see me for his next assignment. If you’ve been following along with our Fitness Challenge for the year you will have seen that each month you have one new focus at a time. We aren’t trying to overwhelm ourselves here.
2. I set a time limit on each task. Remember the 1 minute rule above? How many of you have ever babysat or had your own kids and set a timer for them to complete a task? I had a deadline for when it all had to be done (6pm), so I gave him deadlines to meet too. We even made some of the assignments a race between what he had to get done and what I had to get done.
3. There was a reward at the end. He didn’t nap, but he did want a snack, so he had to finish his jobs before he could get a snack. After his room was finished he had a snack and then started on other tasks around the house to help out. The reward was going to be some tv time while I showered. Adults need rewards too. Remember that the reward should be in line with the outcome of the goal you’re working on. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO REWARD YOURSELF WITH CHOCOLATE CAKE FOR LOSING WEIGHT!!!
So, here’s an idea for you the next time you feel like you don’t have time to exercise; pick any 10 minutes of your day and go all out like you have to. Do one group of exercises that you know and can do really well. Do them the best that you can like your life depends upon it. Focus on only one area, set the time, and reward yourself after you’re done. Try making the 1 minute rule (or 10 minute rule) work for your fitness routine and see if continued practice doesn’t make you crave a little more.
I promise to be back soon with another post for you about High Intensity Interval Training and how that might actually be one of the best ways to put the 1 minute rule into action. Until then, take a deep breath, it will all get done eventually!