Lack of time is the most common excuse for poor health habits. I hear it all the time; I just don't have time to exercise, eat healthy, or sleep. Americans work more than ever before, even though technology promised to provide us more leisure time. Kids are just as busy with school and extracurricular activities, making parents even more busy.
The truth is, you don't need more time, you to need develop certain character traits. Would you really exercise, eat healthier, and sleep more if you had an extra five hours per day? Before you answer the question, consider this. You might have heard this statement before, I'll be generous when I win the lotto. The truth is that generosity has nothing to do with how much money you have. Generosity is a character trait. You don't become generous, just because there's more money in the bank. You develop the trait by practicing generosity when you have a little or a lot.
You might be saying the same thing when it comes to your health. If I had more time, I would be healthier. Lack of time might not be problem. Healthy people have the same amount of time, but they have a few character traits in common: determined, consistent, disciplined, gracious, and realistic. Let's look at each character trait and how developing and sharpening these can make a difference in your health.
Determined is deciding to do something about your health and acting firmly. This is the moment you decide that it's time to do something about your health and create a plan that supports your decision. This is usually a turning point for most.
Consistent is being constant and steady with your health habits. Practice, practice, practice! The more you do it, the more it becomes a habit.
Disciplined is following through with a health habit, even when you don't want to. This one seems difficult, but the reality is that you probably practice discipline every day (i.e., brushing your teeth, going to work, taking out the trash...).
Gracious is forgiving and being kind to yourself when you have setbacks. Understanding that health is a journey and that there are ups and downs will help you have a gracious mindset.
Realistic is being able to set practical goals that are attainable in a given time and space. Taking small steps over a long period of time will help with discouragement and the abandonment of your goals.
The more you develop these traits, the easier it will be to pursue healthy habits with the time you have been given. As you decide which character trait to grow in to be healthier, ask yourself:
What does it mean to be more determined, consistent, disciplined, gracious, or realistic?
Where in my past have I been determined, consistent, disciplined, gracious, or realistic?
What do I need in order to be more determined, consistent, disciplined, gracious, or realistic?
Instead of wishing for more time on the clock, try sharpening one of these character traits to move toward healthier habits. If you are serious about developing these traits, schedule a free 60-minute coaching session with Coach Liz to dive deeper into these questions. You will leave the session with a clear plan on how to develop these traits toward a healthier you!