Earlier this week, I added my second installment of Fitness Unraveled Quick Hits to my Instagram Stories. (Admittedly, I’m not yet great at this “quick” stuff, but better than my first try, at least.)
I talked about unraveling the fitness idea of minimum required time and intensity.
I wanted to talk about it because one of the biggest barriers for most people in today’s world when it comes to taking care of their physical bodies is time. (Well, for taking care of any part of themselves, body, mind, or soul…it’s time.) In fact, I got quite a few responses to that bit.
“Never enough time.”
“Yeah, I feel that!”
And my favorite:
“Always, but I’ve always been told you make time for what’s important to you.”
Ahhhh, I smiled to myself at that one, because me too. In fact, my husband and I talk about it at least a week. It’s a mantra. And it is, indeed, a thread, in part, of my training and coaching philosophy – for others, and myself.
I do believe there’s something to this idea, and that’s why I incorporate it. My words to this friend:
“Indeed. It’s true. But it’s important to remember there’s still grace around that. The implementation doesn’t have to be rigid, or a certain way. Also, what’s important can shift and change throughout life.”
The something part that people usually miss is to actually know what’s important to you, deeply. Many times, people only think they know, but are really acting from a should. And that’s when this concept becomes a throwaway phrase and a negative motivator and guilt inducer.
But when people are able to dig in a little further and get a clear picture of what’s important? It gets a whole lot easier to make it happen effectively, with grace, with understanding.
I don’t know this woman super well, but I know her enough to see even from afar that her children and being a mother are the most important thing in her life. She also seems fairly passionate about work, and like she has a strong relationship with her husband. Those are three big, important things, that take up a lot of time and energy and heart.
My point being not that health and fitness don’t have a place or shouldn’t be a priority, but that their ranking in importance might not be high enough to warrant the biggest investment of time.
Acknowledging this point can provide a distinct sense of relief. And it can also make allocating the corresponding amount of time feel a lot more aligned and appropriate, and also successful and beneficial, even if it’s just a little time to start.
Because the thing here is that many folks want to make fitness a little more important, to make a shift. Which obviously, I’m 100% behind, and I think it’s where this friend was coming from. That’s when the whole grace and attention to implementation part comes in.
So, approach this logically for a sec. (Side note: this is actually pretty difficult to do because we’re so bombarded with information and rhetoric that fitness-ing should be super easy and logical, when really it’s super challenging and emotional. Your experience is acknowledged and validated. Hugs.) If you find that health and fitness are a priority for you, or one that you want to move up in importance, but time is a barrier, assess your situation and your options realistically – much like you would that project at work, or planning that event at school.
What’s the bare minimum amount of time you have available? Not how much you want to spend, how much you have.
Figure out what you can do in that time.
You’re not ever going to be able to make time. But you are always going to be able to decide what the best use of it is.
And when it comes to fitness, what you do to make the best use of your time never, ever has to look one way. It only has to be your right way. There’s no minimum, and everything counts. If you believe that to be true, time no longer becomes your barrier.
So believe it. Start there. And if that sounds outlandish or overwhelming, come along on the Fitness Unraveled journey, where we’ll dig further into both pieces of this – what’s important, and how to implement effectively in ways that feel good for you. The group won’t start till April, but hi, that’s really soon! Put yourself on the waitlist here to get early access to limited spots.