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Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

When life’s already busy, here’s how you can make time to eat better and move more often.

Ask yourself why

Understand exactly why you want to eat better and exercise more gives you the motivation to prioritize it over other things.


Q: Why do I want to eat healthier and exercise more?
A: Because I want to fit in smaller pants.

Q: But why do I want to fit in smaller pants?
A: Because when I’m wearing smaller pants, I look better.

Q: But why do I want to look better?
A: Because when I look good, I feel good about myself.

Q: But why do I want to feel good about myself?
A: Because when I feel good about myself, I’m more assertive and confident.

Q: But why do I want to be more assertive and confident?
A: Because when I’m more assertive and confident, I’m in control, my fears won’t stop me, and I can finally go for my dreams.

Identify your top priorities

Think of your time as a jar, which you can fill with a finite number of rocks, pebbles and sand.

Your big rocks represent the stuff that’s most necessary to feel fulfilled in life. They often relate to family, health, and livelihood. Your pebbles add extra fun and satisfaction to life, but aren’t totally necessary. You sand is purely “bonus” activity. It can be enjoyable, but it’s not crucial to your survival or fulfillment

Everyone’s rocks, pebbles and sand will look different. But regardless, if you fill you jar with too much sand first, the rocks and pebbles won’t fit.

Keep a time diary

Your schedule reflects how you’re prioritizing the activities in your life. Track your time in 15-minute increments for a couple weeks to find out if it’s consistent with your goals and values. For example:

7:00-7:15 – Woke up, brushed teeth
7:15-7:30 – Checked Instagram
7:30-7:45 – Still on Instagram

Then analyze it:

Work 35%
Sleep 20%
Exercise 2%
Time with loved ones 10%
Watching TV 10%
Surfing the Internet 25%
Healthy meal prep 3%

Work 35%
Sleep 30%
Exercise 5%
Time with loved ones 20%
Watching TV/Internet 2.5%
Time in nature 2.5%
Healthy meal prep 5%

To start to align your schedule with what you want to accomplish, replace low-value activities with high-value ones, little by little.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics and can be reached at 520-261-4661 and Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com.

This column appears in the July issue of InMaricopa Magazine.


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