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Who am I kidding?… I am too busy to exercise

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Staring into the darkness of my bedroom, lying in bed but I can’t sleep. I am too busy to exercise and I feel deflated – I am so disappointed in myself.. This time I really thought I had an active day but clearly my iPhone health app tells a different story:

All week I’ve been busy doing things for the business, but I didn’t get to do the one thing that I promised was important for today. I promised to be more active and to do at least 30 minutes of activities every day.

The data tell a different story – oh and before you start… I get it… I don’t always have my phone with me so it doesn’t count all the steps, and yoga doesn’t record on the iphone anyway.. and YES I should invest in a better recording device if I want to get serious about all this.

BUT – even with all that taken into account this image tells a story, and it’s not a pretty one.

For years I’ve been telling myself that I am too busy to exercise.  I’ve been sitting on my bum at my desk trying to concentrate and to be productive. Basically,  I’ve put the business before my body and my health.

It’s the ONE thing I promised myself when I was in hospital: I wouldn’t do this again! (Want the back story on why I had to go to hospital? It’s all here)

That was 4 months ago and here I am looking at the dismal records from this week’s activity status. Who am I kidding? I am clearly too busy to exercise, right?! But it’s not what I want and definitely not what my body needs. I need a healthy body to be better in business so this health and exercise needs to be more of a big deal in my life.

It’s time to take a more serious approach to exercise and identify what priority it has in my day and week. Like that statement the flight attendants say when they do the safety briefing: “In case of an emergency, look after yourself first before you help others”. You can’t help others when you’re sick or incapacitated.

Exercise tips for busy people who say they are too busy to exercise

  1. The first part of the solution is simple: Add exercise to your schedule and add exercise to your TODO list.
    It’s what we do in business for all the goals we want to achieve, so why not do this for our personal goals? Add it to your calendar as you would for a meeting, conference call or coffee chat. We make time for everything that is in our calendar – so obviously we need to add exercise into our schedule as well.
  2. You do what you measure.
    Have you ever noticed that in your business it’s the KPIs that you measure and show publicly that are met or exceeded?
    It is a known management technique to get more done in business. Write down what your goals are and have daily, weekly, monthly and annual reports on how you’re achieving your goals.
    The same is true for your exercise schedule. Why do you want to exercise and what do you plan to do or achieve on a daily, weekly etc. basis?
    I didn’t like what my iPhone was telling me about my activity levels for the past week… but it was measured and it made me think about ways to improve.
  3. Start small – Rome wasn’t built in a day.
    This is probably the most important tip and yet the most difficult one. Business owners, entrepreneurs and busy people often like to set audacious goals and aim for bold goals and targets. They (we?) are also impatient and like to achieve these goals ahead of time.
    The problem with exercise is that when you go too strong too fast it works against you. You won’t enjoy the experience and the whole idea becomes too much of a chore and within a few weeks it has slipped of your TODO list and into the archive or trash can.

Priority items get done first

Ultimately it is all a matter of priority. From my experience it’s the thing I value the most that I do first. The thing is that I need to re-assess my priorities and make exercise the one thing I do first, whether it’s 30 minutes of yoga, a walk with the dog or riding my horse. It doesn’t have to be full on sweat (I’m not strong enough for that yet) but it will become a habit and that’s a good thing!

So now it’s up to you: How do you prioritise exercise as part of your busy schedule?

Email me if you want to chat, or leave a comment below. Together we can create an environment where we are never too busy to exercise. As a bonus it will make us feel good about ourselves. No more sleepless nights because we’re disappointed about what we did or didn’t do. No more feeling deflated because of the lack of exercise.. Let’s make our body healthy and ready for business!