When I was younger, the calendar ruled the house. Each and every family event, as well as any appointment or meeting that we had, was on the calendar. My mom always bought one of those giant paper calendars that you can hang on the side of your fridge, or keep on your desk. Assuming your mom was as good at organizing things as mine is, I’m assuming your house had a scene similar to this:
Now, I don’t exactly take after my mom’s organization skills; I’m a rather messy guy. If there’s any one thing that I have learned to do, it’s organizing a calendar. I’m not sure what took me so long, but I’m happy I figured it out. On my computer or my phone, all I need to do is open my Google calendar and I have a copy of everything I could possibly have schedule for the day. If I have assignments or anything upcoming that’s not on the calendar, it’s on a Sticky note on my computer, or it’s on the whiteboard on the back of my bedroom door. In short, I can’t really forget anything; it’s all written down and planned out.
Why is this important to you? Well, because you miss workouts, and that’s not good. The most common rationalization for missing workouts, or not working out in the first place, is a lack of time. Notice, I call it a ‘rationalization’, rather than a ‘reason’, or ‘excuse’, because there isn’t really a valid excuse for not regularly exercising, or for frequently missing workouts. You can think of as many explanations as you want, but in the end you’re just bullshitting the both of us. Who’s the one it’s really hurting?
You live a busy life, I get that. You can still spare a few hours a week to invest in your quality and quantity of life. It’s not that difficult to find as little as 3 hours to spend working on your fitness. After all, it’s only 1.7% of your week. If you’re smart, you’re trying to put some more time into your fitness efforts, in addition to just trying to be active as much as you can be. If you have trouble finding time to workout, try putting it on your schedule.
If you schedule your workouts just like you’d schedule your business meetings, dates, and family events, you’ll be more likely to take care of your self. Why? Simply because you’re used to abiding by the schedule on your calendar! If you have roommates (or family), put it on the community calendar, so other people know when you’re going to exercise. Not only will you motivate them to do the same, they’ll help hold you accountable.
Personally, I add training sessions to my Google Calendar as it’s own schedule, so a different color appears. This way, I can simply scroll through any given day or week and see the color green, which is my ‘Training calendar. When I see Green, it means my schedule is full, and I can’t do anything else. It’s perfect, because I can’t think of any excuses for missing a workout! Here’s a peak at my academic schedule for this upcoming fall, and it’s strictly class times at Adelphi, and the time’s I’ll be participating in my Practicum placement.
Now, this schedule is a lot of time for a typical college schedule, but I need to put in 16 hours of observations each week as a health and physical education double major. I like it, because I’ll get to spend 3 days each week working with kids; I’ll get to make a difference even before I’m teaching! In addition to this academic time, I’ll also be training clients, teaching some drum lessons, spending time writing for my blog, doing school work, and countless other things. With all of that going on, when am I going to spend time with my girlfriend, and hit the gym?!
It’s not that difficult, because I’m going to schedule it. I’ve yet to figure out a general template yet, but let’s hypothesize some days each week based on this schedule. Please pretend that it’s similar to your schedule, and think about how you can schedule your own week of workouts. Let’s begin:
- A three day per week schedule would include either Saturday or Sunday, along with Tuesday and Thursday. This allows me to have a day off in between each training session, and using Tuesday and Thursday, my shortest days, allow me to finish my overall schedule earlier in the day.
- To add a 4th day, I could include both days of the weekend, along with Tuesday and Thursday. Same rules for the week, and take advantage of the weekend which tends to be less cluttered for most people.
- 5 days per week would be the upper limit for strength training or intervals in my opinion; there just simply isn’t enough recovery time. A 5 day per week schedule would include either day of the weekend, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and/or Friday.
- 6 days per week. That’s just stupid. Good thing Wednesday is booked for 12 hours straight.
Of these possible schedules, I may be using the 5 day per week model, and head to the driving range every Tuesday before class. I need to play more golf. Sundays have become a great day for me to do lower body work, and I like to avoid training on Saturday so I can relax with my girlfriend. I’d like to have set schedule that works throughout the fall, and I think this one would work.
If you have a similar schedule, than visualizing your own training week is going to be easy; you just plug in to the schedule. If you have less time; do the same exact thing. First, fill in the events you know are coming every week. Fill in your work or class schedule, important meetings and recurring events. You know these are going to be the same every week. Next, fill in important events that you know about well in advance. Family weddings, anniversary parties, concerts. Now schedule your workouts. Put them on your calendar, get them in ink, or saved on a computer. This way, when you’re planning dates, or movie nights, or holiday parties with your friends, you’ll know exactly when you’re going to the gym. It’s that simple.
Hopefully you’re going to start scheduling your workouts; there really isn’t an excuse for not having the time to take care of your body. It’s an investment in your future that no one but you will make. Make the choice to invest in yourself, even if it’s as simple as adding events to your calendar that you don’t let yourself miss. Hopefully you can figure out exactly when you’re going to take care of yourself. If you can’t, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or send me an e-mail, and I’ll help you the best that I can. Stop missing workouts!