One of the most common things I hear from people when I ask them about their health and fitness goals is that they don’t have time for exercise.  And honestly neither do I.  I work six part time jobs, ride between 2 and 5 horses three times per week and spend too much time on Facebook.  But…

I make time for exercise.

Although this mentality might not work for everyone, I tell myself that I HAVE to exercise everyday. If I don’t exercise every day I’m not going to meet my riding goals, I’m not going to meet my health and fitness goals, and my PCOS symptoms will increase.

Every-time I try to talk myself out of working out I remind myself that I’ve made great progress so far and that this progress is based on following a routine and sticking to my plan.  Plus, I recognize that if I skip a day, I’m the kind of person who will skip tomorrow, and the day after that.  It’s much easier for me to slip out of a routine than it is to make new, good habits so I know I have to focus and keep my goals in site.

So, how do I make time for exercise?

1.) I know myself

When I started incorporating a shorter, daily workout into my routine I thought about my previous habits.  I knew that if I didn’t work out before I started working on business things, it probably wasn’t going to happen.  I knew that if I was paying or being paid to be somewhere, I’d do it.  I knew if I gave myself a reward, it’d probably get me off my behind and moving.  I knew that if the weather was bad, or if I was tired, or if the moon and the stars weren’t perfectly aligned, I’d probably not make it to the gym.

So basically I knew that I needed to time my exercise in the morning, I needed to give myself rewards and consequences, and I needed to have options for working out at home.

2.) I created a routine I can live with

And I mean l.i.v.e. with.  Your fitness isn’t a toy that you pick up and put down.  You’re creating a new lifestyle of health.  You’re building positive habits that will multiply their positive effects and make you healthier and happier for the rest of your life.

My pain free routine is to get up a half an hour earlier than I would have in the morning because my workouts are about a half an hour long.  That might not sound like much but for that half hour I try to not stop moving so that I can combine as much strength training and cardio as possible.

While I do still go to the gym to see me trainer twice a week, the other five days I workout from home. I personally stick with Beachbody programs because I can get online access to them (as well as the DVDs).  This means when I do have to travel for business all I need is a WiFi connection and I’ll be able to get my workout done wherever I am.

3.) Find my motivation

I am easily motivated by competition.  You could just tell me that I have to get more gold stars than someone else and I’ll be all in.

This makes the gym a great place for me because even if the guy on the bench next to me doesn’t know it, the game is on.

Don’t pretend you haven’t done this before, you know you have!

But, when I work out from home there’s just me. To motivate myself I started a ‘workout jar’ that I put a dollar in every time I finish and entire workout.   I empty the jar when it gets full and get myself something special that supports my fitness goals.  Usually it’s a new pair of crazy running pants.

If you’re more visually motivated I really like this idea too…

So, to make time for exercise:

  • Know what has and has not worked for you in the past
  • Plan for a routine that isn’t mentally painful
  • Find what motivates you and hold on to it


Do you have any other ideas, tips, tricks, or motivational inspirations?  Please share them in the comments!