If you ask a group of people about their biggest obstacles to living a healthy lifestyle, almost everyone will mention a lack of time. Some people don’t have time to cook, and rely on fast, convenient, unhealthy foods. Others don’t have time to exercise. Some people don’t even have time to think about forming better habits!
But the truth is that most of us could carve a little more time out of our days. The difference lies in our priorities. If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, try these four methods to create a bit more time in your daily life.
Identify your time suckers. Make a conscious effort to monitor how you spend your time for a few days. Do you watch more than one or two TV shows? Did you get into a time-wasting political argument on Facebook? We all have one or more habits that waste our time and prevent us from making healthier choices. The first step to making more time for your health is identifying these time suckers.
Substitute healthier choices for your time suckers. If you’re spending a lot of time on social media, it’s because you crave social connection. Redirect that need into a healthier choice, such as meeting a friend for a hike, or joining a Zumba class. If you can’t miss your favorite shows, record them and watch while you ride a stationary bike.
Evaluate your priorities. We all know at least one woman who has a full time job, several small children… and a tiny waistline. Annoyingly, she finds time for a morning run every day, and cooks balanced, organic meals for her family. But she’s no superhuman! And she doesn’t live on a different planet where the days last for 30 hours instead of 24. It’s simply a matter of priorities. She might be exercising and cooking healthy meals, but chances are she’s not doing some of the things for which you have found the time.
If you want to get healthy, analyze what is most important to you. Most people can cut some unnecessary tasks out of their daily routines.
Make small changes. If you try to revamp your entire life overnight, you’re likely to become overwhelmed and quit. Instead, start by making small changes. It doesn’t take any more time to grab a piece of fruit than it takes to push buttons on a vending machine. Trade 15 minutes of Facebook or TV time for a 15-minute walk. Purchase bagged, pre-washed salad or pre-cut veggies if you need to save some time on preparing dinner. Fire up the grill and cook enough lean chicken and salmon for several nights’ worth of meals.
The point is to identify areas that need work, and make gradual changes until you’re living a healthy lifestyle. Tackle one area at a time, and don’t overwhelm yourself all at once.