I’ve spent the last week “trying” to get exercise back into my schedule. Being a firm believer in Yoda’s quote, “Do or do not; there is no try”, I’m sure you can imagine how far “trying” has gotten me. It’s Tuesday and I’ve made it to the gym ONE TIME this week (yesterday) and I certainly won’t make it to the gym today. Knowing how the spiral of inconsistency in strength training works, I find myself saying (to myself): “You have got to work out! You have got to work out! You have got to work out!” And… I’m sitting in front of this laptop working on this post. So… needless to say, allowing my inner drill sergeant to run the show is not the most effective way to get this goal met.
Women breadwinners everywhere face similar challenges: how to prioritize different, clearly critical life responsibilities or tasks, all within the confines of the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that we all have.
So… how do you do that?
5 simple, straight forward, highly effective steps:
1) Decide the area of life you’d like to move from the bottom of the priority list to the top. For me, in this moment, it’s exercise (specifically strength training).
2) Look at your daily and weekly schedule. What time are you best at? What time would be your “prime time” for getting this priority taken care of? What would you need to move around on your schedule to make this priority a TRUE priority so it actually would happen?
3) Shift the priority ON YOUR CALENDAR for the next 7 days. Put it in writing. Do this in 7 day increments so if you find that something didn’t work this week, you try something different next week. In other words, as I’m writing this post, I’m putting my workouts ON MY GOOGLE CALENDAR and that Google calendar syncs with my android phone. I’ve even got reminders set up to let me know where I’m supposed to be and when.
4) Make this new priority a NON-NEGOTIABLE. In other words, decide and commit to the idea that if nothing else were to get done in your day, THIS will get done… and stick to it.
5) Keep track of your progress over a 6 week period. In other words, develop a consistency tracker. I use a poster board and mark off each day using a highlighter. You can use an app as easily as you can pen and paper but you need a consistency tracker that you will be able to look at everyday when you get up and before you go to bed.
At the end of the day, the truth is the truth, whether we ignore it or not and here’s the truth:
We make time for the things that are important to us.