Prioritizing movement, fuel, and recovery is the biggest hurdle most of us face when it comes to investing in our stamina. It has become apparent that without a critical change in perspective most of us will never ‘find the time’. With so much on your plate, the secret is not finding the time, but rather, taking the time. This subtle shift in semantics makes all the difference.
Many of us feel as though time holds us hostage, imposing its constraints on us. Some days it takes all your composure and energy to accomplish something as simple as getting to work on time. But you know deep down there is a better way. You see that group of outliers who can prep healthy meals, exercise daily, get a monthly massage, have a weekly date night with their spouse, etc. How do they do it?
It comes down to vision, strategy, and execution. Those who invest daily in their stamina do not leave it up to chance to find extra time. They are intentional with their practice, they take the time, they reclaim the time that is rightfully theirs. So can you.
These 3 specific steps will help you take the time for what you value:
- Envision a Way Out – Overwhelm is the new normal for so many people. It is easy to get trapped in a perpetual cycle of stress. Take the reins and take control of your stressors, no one will do that for you. What do you wish life was like, without the overwhelm, without the constant stress, and lack of time? Take time to imagine what is possible. Write it down. Include the big wins (changing jobs, publishing your novel, obtaining a new certification, taking your dream vacation) as well as the small victories (stretching for 5 minutes each morning, packing a lunch to take to the office each day, calling a loved one to catch up). What are the activities and actions that would have a huge impact on your daily life? What fulfills you? Give yourself a glimpse into the state of ‘future you’. Take at least 20 minutes to solidify this vision.Read over your new vision and select one of those small victories to attain in the next 7 days. Focus on the small wins rather than trying to make huge changes all at once. Repeat this process until you begin to feel the changes taking place in your day, enjoy the new perspective they provide.
Once you have gained some momentum and consistency, conduct a time audit to identify distractions. Spend a 3-day period writing down everything you do and how long you do it. You will be surprised at the lost hours you uncover. Once you have insight into your day and the valuable hours that can be lost, set a schedule with time blocks and include at least one item each day from your vision.
Only try and change what you can control. There are always going to be hours of the day that are set in stone: commuting, working, meals, kids’ obligations, etc. It is what you do with the time in between that makes the difference. Take that time for you. It is there- find it and use it.
- Involve Others – If you live with other people, a spouse, kids, a roommate, elicit their support. Communicate your desire to find a new way of doing things and ask for their involvement in your success. They may even have ideas that help with your new strategy and schedule. It is likely that your partner and kids have been feeling similar pressure and would benefit from setting their own goals.In addition to family members, enlist an accountability buddy to help you commit to taking time for yourself. Ask this person to text or call you once a week so you can report to them how you spent your time and how closely it aligned with the goals you set for movement, fuel, and recovery.
- Assess and Adjust – Those who are most successful in developing stamina constantly anticipate and adapt. What works during one season of your life may not work for the next. At times you may even find yourself needing to adjust from week to week. Be prepared and willing to be dynamic and forgiving of yourself in this change process.This need for adaptation also requires the abandonment of perfection. Focus on the wins not the losses; acknowledge what you didn’t accomplish but celebrate what you did. Afterward, set realistic goals for the upcoming week, taking into consideration what you have coming down the pipeline. Do your kids have a tournament all weekend, demanding you seriously dial in and strategize your personal activities? Do you have a particularly stressful deadline at work? With this type of weekly reflection, you can honestly assess the previous week and adjust for the next. The key is that you are living with intention, not perfection.
You deserve to live your vision. At times it can feel like there is no way time to execute your goals but you can change that with a shift in perspective. Begin working on a new vision for your life today. What you focus on expands. Focusing on your vision opens new possibilities. You will see time in your day you did not see before. You will find opportunity for self-care. When you see it – seize it.
Start with a vision. Without knowing where you are going, how will you get there?
In Health & Happiness,