Once upon a time I said I was going to write a book on overcoming excuses (particularly around living a healthy lifestyle). Well that never really happened. I did however write this mini chapter on the age old excuse of not having time, so I figured I’d share it with you.

Nobody is too busy; it’s just a matter of priorities. -Unknown 

The age old excuse everyone uses at some point is “I don’t have time.”

The truth is everyone has time. We all have the same amount of time every day. We all get 24 hours or 1440 min or 86400 seconds each and every day. Weird to break it down isn’t it?!

Let’s say you sleep the recommended 8 hours every night. That still leaves 16 hours or 960 minutes or 57600 seconds of your day. 

So when you say you don’t have time, you’re telling me that out of 57600 seconds you can’t find 1800 to set aside to workout out?? To take care of your body? You only get one, remember. 

We all have time, it’s merely a matter of priority. You will always make time for what you feel is a priority. Let’s say you have a deadline coming up and you haven’t even started to work on the project. I’m guessing you suddenly have all the time you need to get it done just before the deadline? Am I wrong? No? I didn’t think so. 

Among all the excuses I hear for why people don’t take care of their bodies, not having time is the most pathetic. Some of the most amazing athletes I know work just as many if not more hours at their day job than the average person. They also volunteer, eat, sleep, oh and that’s right – they take AMAZING care of their bodies. 

Let’s take Clare Gallagher for example. Claire is an amazing young woman. She’s a world renowned ultra distance runner. Women’s Winner of the Leadville 100 Mile race in 2016. She’s also a tutor, an avid environmental activist, traveler, and just down right good ol’ Colorado Mountain girl. My point is she MAKES TIME. She tutors for a living and runs as a passion and to care for her body. It’s important to her so she makes it happen. 

Clare at 2019 Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run going through Robinson Flat Aid Station. She went on to win this race too!

Remember that if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to show up for the others that matter in your life. 

So let’s break the day down further. I promise you still have time even with a job and community activities. 

We’ve already determined sleep leaves us with 57600 seconds in our day. Let’s assume you work 8 hours a day. That will leave you with 28800 seconds. Commute time for many is about 2 hours a day: ok down to 21600 seconds. Time to get ready in the morning and time for dinner at night totals 3 hours: leaves 10800 seconds. 

Did you read that?!

You still have 10800 seconds every work day left!

This isn’t even looking at weekends. All you really need to take care of your body is 1800-3600 seconds per day to workout! This would mean you still have 7200-9000 seconds every day to do whatever else it is you like to do. That’s a lot of time.

Alright you get it. You do have time. But how do you prioritize? How do you “make” the time (you that you already have)? How do you get over it? 

First things first. You have to want to have time. No matter how much you may need it, I guarantee if you don’t want it it’s not going to happen. Let’s look back at that project. You may not really like what you’re doing for that project. It’s probably why you procrastinated in the first place. But if you don’t finish it on time you will lose your job. Therefore; you inherently want to finish so you don’t lose your job.

If you honestly don’t like working out and taking care of your body then look at the other reasons why you’re doing it. You want to live healthier because?? Because you want to see your children and grandchildren get married? You want to go on a cruise and be comfortable in that new bikini? You want go places you can’t go by car? Etc…Write these out. Put them on your wall. Remember that yogurt commercial where she hung her “Itsy bisty teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini” on the wall until she fit in it? DO THAT!

Second, look at what you are doing. What are you doing during that time you could be using? Are you moping about how you don’t like the way you look and feel? I promise doing something about it will help more than moron about. Are you watching TV? Playing video games? Dinking around on Facebook? All that time could be used to take care of yourself!!! Heck there’s a lot of things you can do while still catching up on your favorite shows. Hop that dusty old elliptical for example. Or pre cut some veggies so they are easy to add to your next meal. Honestly there are lots of things that can be done while watching TV. Still watch live TV with commercials?? Every commercial break is now a mini workout. Tadaa! Multitasking at its finest. But seriously, do you NEED to be doing these things? Heck do you REALLY want to be spending hours on Facebook? Set your phone down, turn on some up music, and move your body!

Third: SCHEDULE IT! Yup, that’s right, put it on your calendar. Make your phone go off an hour ahead of time. It’s a mandatory meeting between you and your body. If you are a procrastinator there’s a couple options. Schedule it for first thing in the morning. Then it’s done, it’s out of the way of everything else and you don’t have to think about it the rest of the day. This is also a great way to get blood flowing and help you wake up on the morning. Another option is in the evening. Then it’s your last thing, your making it happen because the deadline is up, you are out of time so you have to fit it in. Downside is for many this can keep you up if it’s too close to bed. I recommend it be a couple hours before you plan to sleep. One thing I did in college to get through my long days was scheduled time right smack dab in the middle of the day. This helped break the day up and gave me a new burst of energy to go into my afternoon labs with. 

It’s all a matter of making yourself and your health a priority. Priorities always get time preference. And remember: you only get one body and you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself first. It’s true when they say you can’t pour from an empty pitcher. So make yourself a priority and I promise you, you do have time to fill yourself up.