‘I would love to do more, I just don’t have the time’.
How many of you have used that excuse when thinking about adding in some healthy habits? That might be getting more movement or exercise into your day, taking up a new activity, cooking healthier, more nutritious meals or even shopping more consciously.
I get it! Our lives are busy and fast-paced, as we juggle the myriad of responsibilities – work, families, social lives – it’s hard to see where you can fit something else in.
But I want to challenge that thinking for a moment – is ‘I don’t have time’ actually a valid reason, or is it simply a form of procrastination and a barrier we create? Because in my experience, there is always enough time to look after your health.
That doesn’t mean giving up everything else – I am all about balance in life, and that goes for our health goals too. Prioritising our health doesn’t always require hours of extra time in your day. It’s about making conscious choices and breaking free from the procrastination trap.
Here are some tips I find work when introducing healthier habits into your life. I hope they help you on your journey towards Prioritising Health over Procrastination.
Set Realistic Goals
If you are an all-or-nothing person, it’s time to rethink that approach. Start small. Rather than trying to overhaul your entire lifestyle at once, set achievable goals and gradually build healthier habits. Get up 20 minutes earlier in the morning to fit in a short workout, walk or yoga. Or aim for 10 minutes a day of exercise, or add one more vegetable to every meal. Once these activities are incorporated into your life with ease, you can add more.
Short Workouts Count
You don’t need to spend hours at the gym. Short, high-intensity workouts or even a brisk walk can make a difference in your fitness levels. Most of us could fit in 10 minutes in the morning, or lunchtime to do a HIIT workout or yoga stretches. There are loads of these on YouTube which you can follow.
Plan Your Meals
Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen. Meal planning and preparation can actually save you time during the week and ensure you make better food choices. Take some time on the weekend to plan your week’s meals and then shop accordingly. That way you will have everything you need for the week, and won’t waste time deciding what to cook or resorting to processed food or takeaways.
Eliminate Time Wasters
And by this, I mean scrolling and binge-watching! We are all guilty! If you spend half an hour or more a day scrolling on social media or watching that one extra episode of a series – this is time you can use prioritising your health with meal prepping or exercise. Identifying and reducing these activities can free up time for health. Try it – just reduce one of those activities and see what a difference it makes.
Incorporate Movement into your day
Finding creative ways to incorporate physical activity into your day is a quick and easy win. Take the stairs, walk during phone calls, or do a quick workout during your lunch break. Walk to and from work – or get off public transport a few stops early. Once you start, you will feel better and find more and more ways to add in more movement.
We tend to schedule our meetings and workload and squeeze in everything else around that! Efficient time management can create pockets of time for self-care as well. When you are planning your week, schedule workouts and meal prep time like you would any other appointment.
Make meal times sacred. Slowing down and taking time to sit and eat will bring your attention to what you are consuming. Eat away from your workstation, savour each bite, and you will soon be making thoughtful choices about what you eat.
You don’t have to go it alone! Join a walking or exercise group, or enlist the support of family, friends, or a fitness buddy. They can help hold you accountable and make healthy choices more enjoyable.
It’s important to remember your health is an investment, not an expense of time.
Procrastination in the form of the “no time” excuse can be a major roadblock for many. By challenging this notion and making conscious efforts to prioritise your well-being, you can break free from the cycle of procrastination and take meaningful steps toward prioritising health and a happier life.
So, the next time you catch yourself saying, “I don’t have time,” pause and consider whether it’s a legitimate constraint or an excuse holding you back from your best self – and tell yourself ‘I have the time to look after my health and wellness’ and see what a difference that makes.
If you want one-on-one guidance and support to help you achieve your health goals then let’s talk.