If you keep a planner, you’ll notice which activities get written down and which don’t. The most important errands and plans go in right away – deadlines, work meetings, movie plans, reunions and nights out are all written down so you don’t forget them. It’s a way of making sure you have time for the most important things. Plans that don’t go in, like catching an episode of “The Simpsons” or heating up leftovers for dinner are items that can easily be changed or skipped.
So why do most people fail to schedule their workouts?
Part of it is that most people intend to work out every day or every other day. Repetitive activities aren’t usually scheduled because everyone assumes they’re guaranteed to happen. We don’t write down that we need to shower in the morning – because we don’t look or smell great if we skip too many showers. We don’t write down that we need to grab a snack, because we feel our bodies get tired if we go too long without eating.
Skipping a workout has the same kind of negative effects – the problem is, they aren’t as immediate. You don’t suddenly gain ten pounds because you decide to play some video games instead of hopping on the treadmill and lifting some weights. Over a month, though, your body will slowly change. You’ll lose muscle, gain fat, and find yourself farther from where you needed to be than before. After all, if you need a little extra time one day, unscheduled tasks are the first to be put off until the next day.
Make a Plan
Schedule your work outs. Make them a priority. Find time in your schedule and write down – or input it into a mobile device – that the block of time you’ve selected is full. Don’t make your workout too close to any responsibilities that may run over into extra time. If possible, do it before work – you’ll have an uninterrupted block of time with a clear end point and it’ll give you a better boost than coffee. The sooner in the day you complete your workout, the less chances you have to skip it.
If you don’t have a planner or need help scheduling your workouts, mobile application developers have you covered. There are apps for all operating systems that are designed specifically to schedule and plan your workouts in advance. Some of the apps even let you share your workout success – or jogging route – with friends. It’s a great way to make solo exercise time even more social and fun. If you like to keep your workouts to yourself and prefer a pen and pencil to an iPhone, just purchase an inexpensive planner and start making time for yourself.
When you create a schedule for your workout, decide exactly how you’re going to exercise to maximize your success. A mix of cardio and weights is a good call for most people; go into the building (or just leave your house and step onto a sidewalk) knowing that you’re going to jog for 40 minutes or 4 miles, do a certain number of squats, do a certain number of deadlifts and anything else you want to accomplish. It’ll eliminate wandering around the gym, staring at machines and trying to decide what to do next. You’ll pack more efficiency into each workout when you take a tiny bit of time beforehand to plan.
So start scheduling as soon as possible. Time spent working on your body will quickly become second nature and you’ll be able to watch your form, and your life, change.