Now, I’m lazy in the sense that I procrastinate. I’m lazy in the sense that I leave trivial things that can be done quickly until the last minute. Sometimes I need to be chewed out to complete something, or even have a deadline coming and I stay up a few extra hours to get it done because I mismanaged my time. A lot of these negative traits result in ordeals that otherwise could be avoided.
When it comes to many things, diligence, prioritization, and discipline add up to accomplishments; the dishes being done, or the trash taken out, the project finished, or the networking meeting made. But what if these skills aren’t developed, or escape us for whatever reason?
Here are a few tricks to improving your fitness and taking life by the huevos.
1. Find Purpose
Some people I know enjoy inactivity more than activity. Forget guilt; it’s much easier to not do anything. Sometimes that’s all I ever want. One reason I accomplish anything at work is simply because my kid can’t feed herself and if I expect my wife to hold the house down at all times who the hell am I and why am I a life partner to begin with?
We have a handful of people at the gym getting ready for a powerlifting meet. Are they powerlifters? No. They’re working professionals, parents, and needed another reason to exercise besides “looking good naked.”
When I challenged them to lift heavy things and said I’d do it with them if they took the plunge, here we are.
The last thing you need to do if you hate the gym is to sign up for a gym. It will not solve your problems. If you hate people, hiring a coach to train you probably isn’t a great idea either (unless your resolve is stronger than your discomfort.). If you can see yourself hiking? Go do it. If you can see yourself rock climbing? Go join that gym. And if you don’t think you’re ready? It’s like getting into a cold pool. Just jump, and it’ll get better over time.
2. Get Creative.
“I don’t have time” is another way to express, “I have other priorities” or “other priorities take all the time I’m willing to spend outside of leisure.” This is okay! If you’re not paying someone to get you in the gym or teach fitness to you, nor are taking the time to youtube exercises and research (qualified) coach’s works, but still want to get in shape, there are a couple things you can do.
Think of all the moments in your life in which there is “empty” time: taking too long in the shower, checking Facebook in your bed, taking the elevator at work, watching T.V. before bed. All of these idle moments are moments in which we can make activity happen.
In each of these moments are ways to be more active; calf-raises in the shower, flutter kicks and Facebook, taking the steps at work, doing squats while watching T.V. If you’re not making time to go to a gym, use idle time to move.
3. Make Convenient Decisions
“I try to cook or ‘meal prep’ and end up not doing it.” Yeah, because it can seem inconvenient when Netflix and Cookout makes us feel that much better.
I used to be really good at meal prepping. That was when my only concern was how big my biceps were and not everything else, like vacuuming, feeding children, not forgetting the dogs exist, reminding my wife I know she exists, and otherwise resting to keep my head from exploding. When it seems like every other thing gets in the way of preparing decent food options, let’s think of ready-made foods that require minimal to no preparation:
Protein powder, Bananas, apples, avocados, canned tuna, canned chicken, greek yogurt, wheat bread, deli meats, sweet potatoes (microwaved), peanut butter, etc. As an added bonus, drink water between bites of food and eat slow.
If we can get out of our heads and forget what a “perfect” diet is, we can choose successful foods. And if we don’t like these foods? Find foods we do like that follow this “no-prep” idea. And if we’re such picky eaters and over the age of 18? Time to grow up and eat your fruits and veggies, kids.
4. Still Not Making Decisions?
Yes, sometimes just making decisions and acting on them can be exhausting. Especially when we don’t get enough sleep, or get home late from work.
I walked past dirty clothes on the steps yesterday just because I couldn’t decide if they should go upstairs in the bin or downstairs in the wash.
Asking ourselves “What do I want for lunch today” is a quick way to waste decision making inventory and also eat too much pizza. Also asking, “Do I want to go to the gym today?” is another way to lose the battle of convenience. If we have food ready the night before, we don’t have to make that decision nor eat donuts every Saturday morning (guilty).
By finding convenience foods and by eliminating the number of decisions we make per day, we are more likely to make better decisions.
Example: google search “At Home Workout Routines 4 Days Per Week,” put your exercise clothes out, and bag 3 meal choices the night before. Takes 10 minutes, and now you don’t need to make any decisions the next day.
Do this every other day without fail.
At the end of the day, we should follow this formula:
Find a “why.” If you can’t answer it, find a new “why.” Discipline is for doing things we don’t enjoy, or for mastering the things we do.
Get creative. I don’t like pullups but I like rock climbing; I don’t like Stairmasters but I like hiking; I don’t like row machines but enjoy swimming. These are all small changes we can make to make the possibility of moving more a more desirable and obtainable outcome. If we don’t like anything at all, stretching in the shower, taking the steps at work, parking at the back of the parking lot, are all other ways to get it in without actually finding a new hobby. (And we should always find new hobbies).
Make decisions. Not making a decision is still a decision, and most likely the wrong one. If we’re hyper aware of the amount of time we’re taking to make a decision, make ANY decision and deal with the consequences.
If you still can’t make a decision, make decision making more convenient. Using time efficiently is less about using every minute of every day, and more about how best to use a minute every day.