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How to make time for your health goals

16 January, 2017
Weight on calendar

It can be hard making time for your health. Between work, socialising and the chains of responsibility, there are times when 24 hours aren’t sufficient to ensure you’re looking after yourself.

It’s a problem of timing

Nearly all health goals can fall victim to timing, whether it’s squeezing in a gym session, finding time to prepare a healthier lunch or just sitting down, closing your eyes and letting your mind rest for five, short minutes.

People tend to make excuses – you can always buy a salad for lunch, or you can gym the next day, or the ten minutes you might have spent meditating could go towards doing something more useful, something that showed results at the end of it.

The reality is that we nearly always have time to make changes. But we have to change our thinking first.

Re-thinking goals

If you’re finding yourself concentrating too much on the end results or desired outcomes, try to take a step back – what can you do in the here and now that will allow you to get closer to achieving your desires?

Change doesn’t have to come in leaps and bounds – small steps lead to great things.

Example

Let’s say you’re trying to get your step count up. Instead of going for a long after work, you can:

  • Move around your work environment more. If you’re in an office, getting up every fifteen minutes and taking a stroll around can add up over time.
  • Get off public transport a station earlier or park further away. While this might take you a little longer to get to work and back to public transport/your car, you might be able to find a sweet spot that works for you and gets those steps up.
  • Walk during your lunch break. If you’re fortunate enough to work near a park, or even if you’re not, spending time walking at lunch, rather than sitting and eating, will allow you to stretch out your legs, get some sun and aid your health.

Scheduling your days

Routine, routine, routine

The most important part of scheduling is establishing a routine. At first, this might be stressful or even daunting, as you have to do something different to your regular routine in order to make a new one.

Approaching a new routine is all about meeting realistic expectations. Getting up at four to hit the gym might see you asleep at your desk by 3. Going for a run every night might see you eating huge amounts of food at 9:30 just before you collapse in bed.

So consider how your new routine will contribute to your wellbeing and trial it before committing to it. Remember, if you can make it through two weeks of a new routine, chances are good you will be able to keep it.

Fitting in your diet

If you’re not keen on grocery shopping or preparing food, there are quick solutions you can consider.

Smoothies

Smoothies are a great and (depending on the ingredients) healthy breakfast. For some, they’re considered a meal replacement, but depending on your needs, you can find ways to get these drinks to match your desired amount of calories.

Frozen meals

While this may conjure up images of limp beef drowned in an unidentifiable brown sauce, you can be assured the world has moved on quite a bit. Thee are several companies that will deliver calorie and nutrient specific meals to your door.

Keeping it simple

You can avoid cooking altogether by eating raw (not chicken though, please do not eat chicken raw). Raw vegetables or fruits with a healthy dressing or no dressing at all is a great snack, or consumed in large enough portions, a good meal.

Meditation

Despite the fact the duration of meditation can be as long as you choose, it’s one of the trickiest acts to incorporate into life. Finding the motivation to sit and engage in emptying your mind can seem difficult, especially when you have other pressing matters at hand. Again, this goes back to rethinking how you approach your health.

Think about meditation in the same way you think about taking a walk, going to the gym or drinking water – it’s an activity. It’s an effort that you have to try to achieve.

People meditate in vastly different ways. Mindfulness encourages you to let your mind wander before bringing it back to a null state, and continually repeating the process. Other forms involve holding one specific thought or question in mind and contemplating solely on that.

Keeping a record

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re moving towards your goal is maintaining a record of your progress. If you want to save time on making a whole spreadsheet to keep track of where you’re at, Make use of have some great templates to help you.

Remember, there’s always time to make a difference to your health and wellbeing!

All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified medical practitioner. CBHS endeavours to provide independent and complete information, and content may include information regarding services, products and procedures not covered by CBHS Health Cover policies. For full terms, click here.

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