It’s a warm, sunny day here on Long Island, and after my late afternoon sessions finish up, the regular season of my weeknight softball league will be coming to an end. Coincidentally, we’ll be playing the team we’re going to be playing next week in the first round of the playoffs. Tonight is for home-field advantage next week, so me and my boys best bring our A-Game, or else we’re going to have to hold off a team of similar caliber in a best of three series with a slight disadvantage in terms of who gets last licks…
Now then, one of the most common excuses I hear from folks about not taking better care of themselves is that they’re busy – And look, I get it! If you have a spouse and kids, plus a full-time job, plus an extended family, you have quite a few responsibilities on your plate!! You have to do your best to divide your team between all of these things and all of these people, and by the time you get a little bit of time to yourself at the end of the night, the LAST thing you want to do is to prepare a healthy meal or to work out.
Again, I empathize!
During my TWO YEAR plateau where I couldn’t get below 235 lbs to save my life, I had a full-time job at an NFL marketing agency nearly two hours away from where I lived. I’d wake up before the sun came up, would often even be on the road before the sun came up, would reverse commute to the border of New York (my home state) and Connecticut ( a neighboring state), would then have to return home in the late afternoon during rush hour traffic, and then, after depriving myself of sufficient calories during the day, I’d drag myself to the gym at 6-6:30 PM, where I would work out for an hour to an hour-and-a-half, and would then eat a small portion of food before showering and going to bed.
If I had a wife and kids at the time, FORGET IT!!! That meeting with the gym would NEVER have happened..
Fast forward a few years, which is shortly after I overcame my plateau: I had a job as a remote sales professional, but I was tired of busting my ass to line someone else’s pockets. I decided to begin advertising a general personal training service in my area. Surprisingly, after just a week or two, I got my first local client, and it quickly built up from there…
Not to brag, but I was living in an affluent area at the time. These clients had money, had families, and were looking to get their health in order. And there was one thing they ALL had in common: They met me EARLY in the morning to get their workouts in! My schedule was always PACKED between the hours of 5-9 AM during the week…
While I was a bit of an early-riser myself at the time (I’ve since taken a step back from that), I remember asking my first client who was both a good dad and a successful entrepreneur how he was able to drag himself out of bed at 4:30 AM to be ready for our 5 AM session when he clearly wasn’t a morning person. His answer was simple, and as I asked my other clientele shortly thereafter, it was always the same message, “This is the only time I have during the day… Between the wife (or husband), my kid(s) and my job, I’m exhausted when I come home at night, where I often STILL have to tend to family and business-related stuff right as I walk in the door! If I waited until the evening to get it in, it would just NEVER happen!’
I’m sure you’ve seen the articles lately on successful business owners who wake up at 4 AM (or earlier!) every single day! In this chain of articles, MOST of these wealthy, established folks who are certainly busier than you or I have their health lined up first thing, getting an early workout and a healthy breakfast in before they head to the office. This insures that regardless of the unexpected interruptions that will arise during the day, NOTHING will get in their way of making themselves the first priority of their days.
And THAT, my friend, is what YOU need to do to insure your success if you find yourself using time as an excuse for not taking care of yourself!
I won’t lie to you: In the beginning, waking up an extra 30-60 minutes early is going to be TOUGH!! You probably don’t sleep enough as it is (a topic we’ll get into at a later time), and that’s certainly not going to feel good for the first week or so that you do this. That being said, taking that first hour of your day to put yourself first, and to create a ritual that includes some type of exercise and the preparation of a healthy breakfast will actually ENERGIZE you, and will insure that you’re starting off each and every day on the right foot! 🙂
Do me a favor, and do away with the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse! If this is important enough to you, you’ll MAKE THE TIME, and unlike the rest of the excuse-makers out there, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals!
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