One of the most frequent struggles people have when it comes to weight loss is time.
Do you ever feel like there is just never enough?
If you answered, yes, you’re not alone.
In this post, we’re looking at tips, tools and strategies that can help.
Thoughts on time
We’re starting with thoughts, because they have way more impact than most of us realise.
The thoughts you have about time will create the results you are getting in your life.
They’re that powerful.
Your thoughts will generate feelings and emotions.
Those feelings and emotions influence how you show up, and the actions you take.
Actions create results.
So, if you want new results, it’s imperative to start thinking differently.
Here’s an example.
When you think ‘I don’t have enough time‘, how do you feel?
I’m going to guess, probably stressed.
This leads to actions that aren’t as effective as they could be. You may procrastinate, jump between tasks, waste time worrying, avoid making a plan, surf social media, eat to feel better, or a combination of all these things.
The result, is wasted time.
On the flip side, when you choose to think ‘I have enough time‘, you probably feel more calm and focused.
This leads to actions that are effective. Doing one thing at a time, making a plan and following it, staying committed to the task you’re working on.
The result, is using time wisely and making progress.
‘How are you?’ ‘Good, just so busy!‘
Another thought many of us have about time is ‘I’m so busy’.
People ask us how we are and we say “crazy busy!”
But how does busy feel?
For most people… it feels out of control, stressful, overwhelming, exhausting.
The thoughts are creating the feelings. Not the situation itself.
If your life is crazy busy, chances are you won’t feel in control of your, health, fitness and weight loss.
You’ll be more likely to think, “I’m so busy today,” feel stressed, and then your brain will go to…
‘I don’t have time to cook, I’ll just order pizza.’
‘I’m feeling really stressed. I need a snack.’
‘I don’t have time to focus on weight loss right now, maybe I should wait until this busy period is out of the way.’
(side note – once that busy period is out of the way, it’s pretty much guaranteed another one takes it’s place)
Alternative thoughts to ‘I’m so busy‘
I’m focused today.
I am calm and in control.
I can do this one step at a time.
I’m going to handle this day like a boss.
I’m willing to say no (to this food, drink, or undesired task) even if it’s uncomfortable.
Everything I do is a decision I make.
Nobody makes me show up; I always choose to.
These thoughts give you more power and help you feel more in control.
Which one resonates most with you?
Audit your time
If you have never logged what you do for a whole 24 hours, it’s well worth it.
Break your day down into 15 minute slots. How do you spend each one?
Are there chunks of time lost to scrolling your phone?
We all waste time.
We all have so much room to be more deliberate, purposeful, and in control with our time.
When you start putting more time and energy into how you think about your days, you start creating your life instead of just showing up and hoping for something new.
Quote from Corinne Crabtree.
Ways we waste time
Here’s a list of common easy pitfalls that cause us to lose time.
- Eating when we’re not hungry
- Eating past the point of feeling satisfied
- People pleasing – saying yes when we really need to say no
- Being overwhelmed and not taking action
- Not making decisions
- Judging others
- Judging yourself
- Regretting past mistakes
- Scrolling social media
- Falling down other internet rabbit holes
Ways to create time
Here are some ways to create more time in the day.
- If you can do something about it, do it. If you can’t do anything about it, stop worrying.
- If you can’t decide what to do, take your best guess and make a choice.
- When you feel overwhelmed, or find yourself regretting or judging, move yourself into action.
- Plan the day rather than reacting to what comes up.
- Make food decisions ahead of time so you don’t have to keep deciding in the moment.
- Say no when it’s not on your plan.
- Minimise what you do. It’s impossible to do all the things.
- Fail without regretting or beating yourself up. Learn and move on.
Let’s break a few of these down a little more.
Make a decision and do something
It doesn’t need to be perfect or the exact right thing.
You don’t even need to feel motivated.
Just take an action step that moves you closer to accomplishing something that day.
Action creates motivation, momentum, and progress.
The better you plan, the better your day will go. Many highly effective people plan everything – their wake time, food, hour by hour tasks, exercise, work projects, errands, dinner, bed.
If that feels like way too much, that’s ok.
What’s a level up from where you currently are, that feels doable?
If you’re working on health, fitness and weight loss, scheduling exercise could be a great first step.
Protect that time – it’s self care. You need it to become the next, even better, version of you.
Regular exercisers plan and prioritise their exercise.
Some of my clients find it helpful to get their workout clothes laid out ready before they go to bed.
You might get your exercise mat out, so you either keep tripping over it or get your workout done so you can put it away again.
It can also help to put your walking shoes by the door.
Sometimes planning can feel restrictive, but I encourage you to challenge that perspective. In reality, it means you get important things done, and that creates more freedom to enjoy life feeling at your best.
In this world of endless things we could be doing, No needs to be the default answer.
If the thought of that fills you with dread, it’s likely you are saying yes for the wrong reasons.
Are you being a people pleaser?
Are you doing it so you will feel good and others will like you?
You are already enough.
When we say yes to everyone, our intentions may feel selfless. But too many yeses don’t help us or those around us.
The end result is that we feel depleted, and the people we care about most get the dregs of our emotional energy.
We are far from our best selves when we are constantly saying yes.
The question to ask about your current approach is:
Is that working for you?
If it is, and you feel great, awesome. But if you’re feeling worn down and exhausted…
What’s the worst that could happen if you said no?
Minimise what you do
Successful people are good at maximising their routines and minimising their commitments.
They often eat the same types of food, go to the same shops, and wear similar clothes to minimise decisions (Mark Zuckerburg is well known for doing this).
They create a lot of time with less things, less decisions, and less extras in life.
And they are good at protecting their time when they need to.
Decluttering various aspects of life can help with this.
Wherever you can, look to remove:
- Physical clutter – live a more minimalist lifestyle
- Mental clutter – discard useless thoughts that hold you back
- Decision clutter – build habits and routines to reduce the amount of choices you need to make
- Life clutter – say no to commitments that drain you
Fail and learn
It’s a really good thing to make mistakes. It means you’re taking action.
Failing is not the opposite of success, it’s part of it.
Where we do go wrong?
When we waste valuable time regretting, beating ourselves up, and telling ourselves we’ll never get there.
If you skip that part, take the lesson and move on, you are bang on track to achieving your goals.
Learning accelerates progress. It saves time.
You don’t need to know it all to start.
You just need to start and be willing to make a lot of mistakes until you succeed.
This is the end of part 1 of Finding Time for Weight Loss.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon.
In the meantime, an excellent book I recommend for time-saving and success-building habits is Atomic Habits by James Clear – find it on amazon HERE.
I also want to give you the link to a planning journal I love, and a few of my clients have found to be really helpful too – find it on amazon HERE.
And if you’d love the support of a coach to help you work on finding time for weight loss, find out more about Online Coaching Hayley here: