No Time? Not an Excuse

So one thing I hear a lot in practice is that people commonly feel they do not have the time to complete and/or meet their behavioral/health goals.

Here is the process I witnessed time and time again: a client comes in, ready to make change- they come to their appointment, talk about what they want to do better, and start.  However another common thing I saw- was as soon as life got “tricky” (as it has a way of doing), or the routine changed- it is very easy for people to let go of their new-found healthy behavior.

I think that is just part of the culture we live in – as a whole I think people aren’t always willing to (or even see it this way) of putting their health and well-being as a priority.  I was one of those people – a busy week at work used to mean that it would be a week I didn’t work out.

do it

The job I currently work results in some pretty long work days, and I started this job when I was still training for the marathon.  So here was a typical day: 6AM wake up, 4-9 mile run, 9am-9pm work.  I realized that a year ago I would have NEVER gotten up before work to run.  I would have slept every second I could up until leaving for work, and just not have gotten a work out in.  Additionally there were some days when I was so exhausted in the morning that I could not run, so I would get home at 9:30, and run 3-4 miles on the treadmill.

suck it up buttercup

Granted.  This was a lot easier when I was getting ready for the marathon than it has been since.  BUT.  Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture.  A year ago – I NEVER WOULD have had this attitude, three years ago I weighed 15 more pounds than I do now, I didn’t eat that great, couldn’t run more than 3 miles, and didn’t like the idea of working out (watching tv, or reading a book was way more inviting).

how slow you go

Did it happen over night?  Nope.  But if I can do it, anyone really can.  So in practice when I’m told “I don’t have time” – that is not a response I accept.  There are 24 hours in one day, and 168 hours in an entire week.

 I typically ask my patients to work up 150-180 minutes of physical activity per week.  So if you follow the same goal, you won’t even be spending 2% of your week exercising.  Yup, 2%.  Doesn’t seem so bad when you put it like that does it?

one hour workout

So in closing – whether your goal is to run, to lose weight, to get in your 10,000 steps – there is almost always time.  The real question is when will you make your health, and your goals a priority?

Stay tuned as my next post will be about applications and devices that help with these fitness goals.


  1. I agree! As someone who puts health and fitness at the high end of priorities, I get frustrated at people who want the results, but don’t make it a priority, but then tell me I’m obsessed! I’ve also recently started a new job that results in me getting out of bed at 5:06AM every morning to workout! Kudos to you!

    1. Kudos to you as well! It’s hard – at least for me it is, and I recognize that, but I feel SO much better mentally and physically when get those workouts in vs when I don’t!

  2. I absolutely love this post and agree 110%. I went through a lazy phase and pushed to where I am now. These days my body craves the physical activity. As a coach I see people always wanting to get fit or lose weight but the majority of people like the idea of it but once the work and time are required it all suddenly changes. I think we live in a society where we want a quick and easy fix. We all want to change but few want the work required. Great post. Very motivational. Congrats on your progress!

    1. Thanks Sarah! I think you’re right in terms of we do live in time where we want to see fast (if not immediate) results, and it’s easy to forget that it takes time in general (and effort) to get the results we want.

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