Have you ever caught yourself saying "I have no time for ...", or "Life is so busy I can't do what I want to ...". Fundamentally everyones life is different with different responsibilities and commitments, but I have always been told "If you want something bad enough, you will make it happen." Here are some tips that I have used throughout the last 10 years to make sure I stay on task and make time for what is a priority.
1 - Get up early!
This has to be the most important of all, get up and do it, you are far more likely to finish tasks if done earlier in the day than later on. I personally start at 5am, where I will complete 2 hours of training before going to teach or work elsewhere and all done by 7am!! I am not saying to do 2 hours of training per day, it could be as short as 15 minutes! But, what I am saying is at 5am (or earlier) a lot more can be done, gyms open early, online programs are there to guide you through a home practice and if you want to train outside ... who cares if it is dark, wet and cold - wrap up and grab a torch!
You may think this is at the detriment of a decent nights sleep, but it isn't at all, ditch the pointless TV shows and get your head down on the pillow before 10pm for a good 7 hours sleep. In the morning, set the alarm, roll out of bed, get the job done and I guarantee you'll feel much better for it in the long run.
2 - Stop making excuses!
Some of you may have read the last paragraph and instantly listed all the reasons you cannot do this ... this can be a big sign how it has become your default ... stop saying "Why I can't .... " and start saying "Why not!". If you want to achieve something and you want to keep healthy, now is the time to make a change. It is never too late or too soon, what you do now will fundamentally make your life far better in the future. You will look back and say "it was hard but it was worth every minute of it".
Stop checking in to the gym on Facebook to impress others, stop worrying what others think, stop doubting yourself and say "WHY NOT!" it is really that simple. If you don't know something ask someone who does and study, "If you can dream it, it is achievable". Life is honestly there for the taking, it is way too short and we haven't got time to mess about saying "... tomorrow I might do that", don't even say "...tomorrow I will", instead ... do it today!
3 - Write lists and utilise calendars
This is a massively underrated strategy that is rewarding and highly efficient. I started writing lists using the "reminders" app on my iphone for the following day before bed, this would correlate with my calendar. Each task has a time next to it and is in order of when it needs to be done, regardless how small the task is, I will tick it off as soon as it is completed, that way I know I haven't missed anything and at the end of the day there is a sense of achievement.
The calendar (google, icalendar etc) is a great tool, as soon as I confirm an appointment it is noted down to assist the reminders for that day and beyond. Since doing this it has saved a lot of time, missed appointments and wasted phone calls attempting to organise things.
4 - Plan your food the night before
Nutrition plays a huge roll in mental and physical performance, if we do not fuel ourselves correctly we cannot expect to achieve great things. If I am working away from home all day, I have found that an easier way of maintaining good eating habits is to prepare my breakfast and lunch the night before. I have a smoothie in the morning with added protein, mixed nuts, spinach and banana and cook a slightly larger dinner to carry over to my lunch the following day. It doesn't add more than 5 minutes to my "routine" but provides me with far more energy throughout the following day and saves me searching for food.
5 - Take photos and videos
This is something that you will appreciate in years to come and reflect how far you've actually progressed. Looking back on photos of your posture, practice, movement and aesthetics can help give you the boost you need to stay on track especially when you get to a plateau (which happens to all of us!). It can also be used to inspire others and help them progress in their practice utilising "before and after" photos and sharing your story.
6 - If you fall off don't stay down
Everyone has "good" and "bad" days (just a reminder ... there is no "good" or "bad" it is only thinking this that makes it so). If you fall down just get back up and try again ... it is really that simple and repeatedly trying is how champions are made!! We all possess the ability to achieve incredible things but we sometimes fail to believe in our full potential stopping ourselves way before we have got anywhere near out limits. In order to know how great life is it must be understood that falling down is essential to being able to stand up.
7 - Be grateful
You are alive that in itself is incredible, don't waste time as it is the most precious commodity we have. Start everyday like it is your last, tell people you love them and spend time doing what makes you smile.
Thank you for your time!