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Honor Your Body (and Your Time)

I heard it again today. I was working with a client who was struggling to encourage her husband to take care of himself. She’d started handing him powdered smoothie packets before he left for work to encourage him to have one healthy snack a day. She’d leave tupperware of fruit on the counter for him to make into a smoothie…with instructions! She’d already given up encouraging him to exercise because, “He just doesn’t have the time,” she said.

It’s the most common reason people give for not regularly taking care of themselves: “I just don’t have the time.” I mean, be honest, how often do you say it? I’ve heard this excuse from everyone — a partner with in one of the country’s largest law firms with to kids and a husband, to a divorced housewife who’s kids were in college.

Everyone is busy. I get it. Life happens. Our days our filled. However, if we really sat down together and looked at our lives we’d see that there are chunks that we can carve out to make room for taking care of ourselves…even if it’s just for one hour. Maybe it’s cutting that second hour of binge watching Stranger Things. Or perhaps it’s the combined time you scroll through social media in a day. I guarantee there’s some chaff to cut.

Here are three simple tricks to honor your body…and your time.

1. Routine vs. Willpower

We humans are creatures of habit. We like to think we have rockstar willpower, but really our lives are about 95% habit and 5% willpower. We are pulled by our habits.

As Tony Robbins said in his fantastic Netflix documentary, I am Not Your Guru, “Push will wear you out. When you’re pushing to do something you only have so much willpower.”Crowned Twitter | © 2016 Crown Yourself Enterprises

Our habits pull our daily decisions. Think of the last time you got creative and took a different route to work. It’s probably been a while, right? But, not all our habits serve our highest and best needs, and pull us toward our purpose. And, to quote Tony again (because he’s just that good), “Most of us are unaware of the patterns that really control us.”Crowned Twitter | © 2016 Crown Yourself Enterprises

When you first start a new pattern, it will create friction because you’re pushing against what you were formerly pulled to do…like sleeping in, instead of exercising in the morning. But, if the new habit you’re forming is for your highest and best good, and you’re driven by your purpose, you will find that in a matter of weeks you are pulled to do it, rather than pushing.

Take a minute to assess your routine, particularly the first hour of your day. Do you immediately start it on breakneck speed checking emails as you rush through making a breakfast smoothie? Or do you ease into it with yoga, a bit of journaling, a nice sit down breakfast?

2. Let your rest mean rest. And your no mean no.

Our bodies work in cycles. We work. We rest. It’s like a heart beat. Up. Down. Up. Down. So many of us linearize our lives, making our rest blend into our work. Eating at our desks. Checking emails while lying in bed. Tweeting while watching a movie with our partner. When you “multitask” recovery with work, you’re “faking” recovery, which invariably makes us even more exhausted, and feel like we have less time.

Batch your day into intermittent work and recovery periods. Studies prove that our greatest asset, mental focus, starts to drain at about 90 minutes to 120 minutes. Have you ever sat in a meeting that went longer than 2 hours? You start to feel drained as hour three rolls by. So, when you’re not in a meeting, allow yourself to schedule 20-30 minutes rest periods throughout the day. After 2 hours of solid, focused work (not multitasking), for the next 30 minutes do something physical. Go for a walk. Lift some weights. Stretch. You’ll come back to your desk with a fresh head ready to tackle the next challenge.

3. The secret to habits

You have to be accountable. Once we start building our habit to fit in exercise, we need consistency. We need accountability. Sometimes this means hiring a personal trainer or having a workout buddy. You can get results, even if it’s only once a week. It may take a little longer to achieve your goals, but you can do it!

One of my clients only saw me once a week for personal training and we would do a little bit of coaching during our hour long session. One hour, once a week. That’s it. I’d regularly recommend exercise and diet homework — simple tips like do cardio for 30 minutes 2-3x a week, choose between having cereal and having toast instead of having both, drink two more bottles of water a day, add a cup more veggies to each of your meals. Super simple. Sometimes he’d do his homework, but more often than not he’d skip a few weeks to month of his own cardio, doing it only once or twice a week. His diet improved in small doses, but big sugary breakfast bowls of cereal are still his thing. (We’re working on that.)

But, he never skipped our once a week training date. Not once. Having that appointment kept him accountable. Within nine months, he dropped 12.2 pounds, lost 2.2% of body fat, and lost 7.75 total inches!

He lost over twelve pounds with just once a week exercise!

Making yourself accountable to a workout buddy, a personal trainer, a therapist, or a friend, will keep you on track. Paying a personal trainer also offers a financial incentive, because if you miss a lesson, you’re out $60-$100 bucks!

You can hold yourself accountable too, but you have to have a set time, a set date, and a set back up plan for if you miss your set time and/or date. Meaning, instead of saying, ‘I’m going to try going to the gym in the morning before work,” you have to say, “Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, before work, I will be at the gym by 6AM. I will do a half hour of cardio twice a week on Mondays and Fridays and I will do a half hour of weights on Wednesdays. if, for any reason other than my own {lame} excuses, I miss a session during the week, I will make up my half an hour at the gym on Sundays at 9AM.” That’s how you hold yourself accountable to a schedule. You have to have rules. You can’t just try.

Like Yoda says, “There is only do or do not, there is no try.”Crowned Twitter | © 2016 Crown Yourself Enterprises

Now you tell me, what are a few time-wasters that are hindering your renewal time? (Social media, binge watching Netflix, checking emails every two seconds, etc.) And, how are you going to be accountable to sticking to your workouts? Are you going to hire a personal trainer? Find a workout buddy? Let me know in the comments below.

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