And now, a guest post by Brooke Stone. Click here to visit Brooke Stone Lifestyle Management: “Live your life. Let us do the rest.”
So, here’s the deal. It’s hard to find time to work out because it sucks (Mark, bear with me here). Exercising uses up time and energy you don’t have and makes you sweaty – which feels good until it dries on your face and causes major post-adolescent acne hideosity. But you know you HAVE to do it, or you will get unfit, unhappy, and un-hot. No one wants that. Sometimes we think we do (doughnut), but we really don’t (Vince jeans).
How in the world are we expected to work out when we have so many other demands on our time? Buddha, Krishna, Unbearable Lightness of Being – whatever the hell is up there, or not – WTF? How do we do it?!
We trick ourselves. That’s right. Trick. We reframe the situation. Assuming you have already tried scheduling a workout into your calendar, finding a workout buddy, and other typical suggestions to no avail, try these two suggestions and let me know how you do:
Most of us believe we have little control over an uncomfortable situation. With exercise, we explore the options, pick the least horrific alternative, and suck it up. This usually amounts to two weeks of forced participation, and a fall off the wagon. We set ourselves up to fail, which only increases the likelihood that we will fail again and again. This cycle simply wont work if you wish to make health and hotness a priority. So take control.
Try this: Acknowledge the workouts that you’ve genuinely enjoyed. Take a minute and figure out what was making you enjoy them. Did you love the instructor? Did you love the way your butt looked in the $52 workout shorts? Did you love the person sweating it out next to you? The music? The time of day? The fact that you didn’t eat too close to the class and you didn’t feel like you had to vom? Find out what was making you tick, and therefore click. Write it down. Now. Do it. Please.
Now, use this data to inform your fitness choices. Go to classes taught by your favorite instructors exclusively – who cares?! Buy the $52 workout shorts if they get that killer ass back to the gym. Ask the instructor to play your favorite song – they have to make so many playlists, I’m sure they’ll thank you for the help.
Take control, create a situation to which you would like to return, and return! You will discover that it’s much easier to find time for something you actually want to do, something tailor made for you.
More than Madonna Arms
Like most people, you probably arrive at the gym, yoga, Pilates with visions of the perfect physique, but it’s not enough to keep you on the gym floor or on your mat. You get bored. You get tired and sore. You think there must be some better style of exercise that will deliver the results you seek. So you go off looking for it and repeat the cycle in search of those ever elusive Kabbalah-inspired Madonna arms. You will never find them. Shalom.
Find your connection to physical activity on a level deeper than physical appearance. When you are able to dig down and find a way to simultaneously condition your body and nourish your mind, you will work out every day and not understand how others do not. You may have seen this in your marathon-running, yoga-crazed, or Mark Fisher Fitness-addicted friends. Were you jealous?
Try this: Consider the parts of your personality that don’t get a lot of air time most days. For me, I almost never get to be playful and childlike or to exhibit my easy going, relaxed side (Yes, husband, I have one). Thus, I have become addicted to rollerblading and yoga. These two physical outlets allow me to tap into the parts of myself I often shut away. My alarm goes off in the morning, and I know when I hit my mat I get to be relaxed Brooke, even though my teacher and fellow yogis are the only ones who know she exists. When I am rollerblading along the East River with my husband, wind in my hair, asphalt occasionally in my face, I’m free! I can fall, I can be imperfect, I can laugh – loudly! So I do these things, I look forward to them, and only after I’m done do I remember it was a work out.
Brooke Stone is a Lifestyle Management Professional with significant experience assisting individuals, businesses and NFP organizations. Together with her clients, Brooke works to increase productivity, manage commitments and streamline lifestyles. With a variety of skills including large scale project and event organization, small business start-up consulting, professional organizing, systems engineering and integration and superior personal and executive assistant skills, Brooke will help you find the time in your life you have been craving.
A concern for the overcommitted lifestyles of parents, executives and involved individuals led Brooke to create BSLM. Brooke and all of the LMPs encourage you to outsource the parts of your life for which you have no time, energy or expertise and to rededicate the time saved to your life goals and passions. Lifestyle management, for every lifestyle.
Brooke is a graduate of Ithaca College, a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and has been seen on A&E’s TV show Hoarders. Brooke is a contributor to the BSLM blog, Praxis.