In my post on 11 beliefs that keep people from achieving their workout and weight loss goals, one of those beliefs I mentioned was people saying they don’t have the time or their too busy.
In this post I want to address that belief and hopefully offer some insights that can help you.
These are strictly based on what I’ve used to help me stay consistent with my own workout goals.
As people we like to be in control of our lives AT ALL TIMES. We like to know that we’ve got a handle on everything that happens in our lives and we can always determine the outcomes we want.
Well in the perfect world of unicorns and cotton candy rainbows that may be true, but in the real world we NEVER have total control over our lives no matter how hard we try.
Life often throws us curve balls and unexpected events that if you don’t know how to handle them can affect your consistency, and the progress you’ve worked so hard for.
I’m sure you’ve had instances where your day was carefully planned, you knew what you had to get done, why and when, and you could steadily work and be productive. Then suddenly *BOOM* something or someone throws a wrench in your gears and completely throws you off-track.
One of the ways consistency works best is when you can schedule your workout in advance to ensure that you can fit it into your life instead of trying to squeeze it in.
I can recall when I had gotten a pretty good hold on being consistent in my life, not perfect just good enough that I felt I was making progress.
I started out being consistent with my workout routine, then moved to include spiritual time and reading time. Then once I got a handle on those I moved to include writing articles for the blog. Also, reviewing other articles by other writers to see how I could improve my own writing, and I had just started taking a marketing course as well (for no reason other than to satisfy my obsession).
It was pretty manageable and I was doing good. Then I decided to also include tutoring English to Asian, South American, and European students online.
That’s when all hell broke loose.
The challenge was you would schedule classes and students could book those classes. However, they have a system where students can book a class 15 minutes before the time at the last minute.
Now if you’re like me, you like to have total control over your time and schedule, know what your day will look like even before it starts, so you can properly plan and execute your days, to maximize productivity.
With a system like this (which to be honest with you is nonsensical to me), it’s very easy for your days to get completely off-track and insane. Plus if you’re like me (which you probably are in this case), last minute surprises and spontaneity in your schedule is a recipe for massive disaster. It can completely throw off the rest of your day.
It started to affect my consistency in my workout because I had to be constantly adjusting and readjusting my schedule to fit and account for last minute bookings, which in itself was frustrating. I was starting to see the inconsistency in my Track & Measure sheet (which alone was frustrating enough).
So here’s what I did that helped me to maintain productivity and consistency, and the tips I want to share that can hopefully help you.
5 Ways to Stay Consistent With Your Workout
1. Prioritize the activities that are most important RIGHT NOW
The first thing you need to do is declutter a few things in your life.
One of things you have to realize is when life gets crazy trying to speed up and push harder will only make things worse. Trying to execute your workout at the same level of intensity and time commitment may only serve to frustrate you more. The best thing to do is slow down so you can catch your bearings, readjust, and go at it again, starting with a steady pace.
This means you have to decide which activities are an absolutely must for you right now (your top priorities). Then decide which activities can be placed on the backburner until life slows down a bit and no longer so hectic.
One of the best ways in deciding which to prioritize and which to cut is looking at your ultimate life goal of what you want to accomplish, and seeing which activities contributes the most to achieving that goal.
If you’re not sure if a particular activity does, or if it contributes in a significant way, then that’s a good sign to cut it. Keep only those you’re ABSOLUTELY sure about for now
2. Change or readjust the time of the day your workout gets done
Your workout may have to get scheduled at different time to better manage your hectic days.
For example when I started tutoring I did it in the mornings between 6am-9am. Typically this is when I would get my spiritual time done. However, because of the sessions I had to reschedule spiritual time to the night before bed when the day was the least hectic.
The problem was this was the time I did my writing, so I had to readjust writing articles to the afternoons after my tutoring sessions between 12pm-2pm.
The next problem was that this was the time I did my workout routine so I had to reschedule it for a later time in the day around 4pm.
So for you I would suggest looking at your schedule and seeing where can you fit in your workout routine, and most importantly stick to it.
Which then brings me to the next step.
3. Shorten the time for your workout routine
If you’re a seasoned veteran with working out, or aspiring to be one, then more than likely you’re doing an hour of working out. At the very least you’re doing 30 minutes.
I know you may want to push and continue to do the full workout. However, if your days are a bit hectic and overwhelming then you may need to shorten your workout time to 15 minutes. It may not get you the full intensity you want or result, but a 15 minute workout 5 days per week is better than a 1 hour workout twice per week.
The goal here is to remain consistent through this hectic period. To weather the storm as best as you can until it ends.
Additionally, I would look at which activities in your life overall you can still do in less time and still produce similar results that you want to.
This may be tricky because it can be difficult to lessen the time for an activity and still produce the same quality result.
However, if your goal is simply to remain consistent in your workout, then being consistent is more important.
This is significant because though your level of physical fitness may slow down, you NEVER want your mind to slow down. The last thing you want is for your mind to slip back into old habits of not working out. Especially if you’ve built the discipline over the months and years to stick with it.
It’s easier to increase your intensity from 15 minutes back to 1 hour, than it is to restart the entire process.
Mentally you want to keep fit and keep that mental discipline alive.
Also, it will allow you to maintain your identity of being someone who sticks to their workout routine, which ensures the behaviours of daily action remains.
4. Be strict and focused with the workout time you have
Now this one seems ridiculously obvious, and I would agree. You’re already limited for time so why would I need to even mention this one? Well our brains tend to play a little trick on us where time is concerned. It makes us believe we always seem to have more time until we no longer have enough time.
Haven’t you ever had an instance when you knew you had a lot to get done, and procrastinated a little here and a little there, always saying to yourself “I have time”. Until you look at the time only to realize you really don’t have as much time as you thought you did? Now you’re rushing to get things done (I know this has been the case many times for me).
The important thing is if you want to remain consistent when life gets crazy you have to protect your time. Like a King or Queen would protect their castle, or a parent would protect its child. You have to be strict with yourself and others to ensure that you can maximize the time you have available to you. Literally not wasting a minute, to ensure you get things done and you remain consistent.
So if all you have is 15 minutes for your workout, don’t spend the time posting pics on Facebook and Instagram about you being in the gym about to get your workout in.
Just get it done and get going.
5. It’s okay to miss a day…but never miss two
In every single one of my posts I’ve mentioned the importance of never missing a day in your workout. As a matter or fact this entire series is based on the idea of how to help you stick with your workout and weight loss goals, and never miss a day.
Though it’s something I emphasize, I’m also practical and realistic, and believe in real life, real world scenarios.
I know it’s not every day you’ll be able to execute your workout routine when life is crazy. I can understand that.
When life gets crazy It’s okay to slow down, never to stop.
That’s the idea of point 5. That though things may get crazy for you, and the temptation may be there to stop entirely…don’t. It’s better to slow down than to stop.
If you have to, and I mean absolutely have to miss a day because of how hectic your day was, set the standard for yourself to never, under any circumstance miss two.
This goes back to what I mentioned about maintaining the mental discipline of your mind and habit.
You want to remain consistent as much as you possibly can, so that your brain maintains the mental muscle of putting in the work.
This also conditions your mind that even when things are hectic, even when you don’t feel like it, you are a winner, you never stop taking action to get your workout done.
Eventually you’ll develop the mindset, even identity, of “A winner never quits“. Not only will this be so in your fitness lifestyle, but it will filter into other areas of your life as well.
To help you stick with your workout routine, even when life gets crazy, I’m putting together a free guide.
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