Meet Evan, age 52. He is our Life Begins at 50 Person of The Month, for April 2018! He is a husband, father, and business owner with a serious passion for fitness. For most of us, it is a fact of life that time is a precious commodity. No matter how many times we hear the cliches, "there's not enough time in a day", or "time is money", we still manage to take it for granted. We pack our schedules so tight that it is a near impossibility to get everything done, and when we become overwhelmed and something has to be eliminated, for 99% of us, the workout is the first to go. So how does a busy family man, and prominent attorney from New City, NY manage to get his workout in almost every day?
The answer may surprise you.
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Attorney/Business Owner
How many days a week he
works out: 6 to 7
Favorite types of exercise: Weight Lifting
The concept of time is a man-made construct, and when it comes to individual perception, you may get different opinions on just how fast or slow it passes. Regardless of where you might stand on the issue of time, the fact is almost everyone wishes they had more of it! As a personal trainer who has heard every excuse in the book for not engaging in regular exercise, I will tell you that the most common excuse is a lack of time. Someone like Evan is without a doubt one of the exceptions. Most mornings, he is in the gym by 6am, and when asked "At the busiest times in your life, how do you make time for exercise?", without hesitation he told me that his health "is a priority, so it comes first". He went on to say that "For me, if I wake up early and get to the gym, the rest of the day works itself out."
Technology helps...or does it?
Society has become more technologically advanced in the last twenty years, than in the previous eighty. The internet and smartphone alone has armed each of us with access to immediate information, and the power to organize and track every aspect of our existence. Once upon a time I would spend half a day taking care of my personal business. I'd write out checks to pay all of my bills, and go to the mailbox to mail them all out. I would make all of my phone calls, and then venture out to do my banking. Now, I do all of these things in a matter of minutes...all from my computer or phone
I no longer have to write out my shopping list, I simply dictate it to "Alexa", and then when I get to the supermarket, the list is all there on my phone. Once upon a time I would have felt like James Bond, having all of this technology at my disposal, but the truth is, just about everyone uses these methods in our day-to-day lives.
So, how is it that at a time when we have so many things that were designed to make life more convenient and save us time, we still find ourselves with seemingly less of it. If you're like me, when you think back to simpler times, you were probably able to get everything on your list accomplished. Well I have a theory about this. The same gadgets, and applications that were designed to save us time, make it that much easier for us to take time for granted. As for me, I came to the realization that while I was saving time in certain areas, I would just put several other things in my agenda. This created an unrealistic expectation on my part, and at the end of the day, I felt defeated because I didn't get it all done. Does this sound familiar? If it does, it should come as no surprise that you need to take a more realistic approach to scheduling your to-do list. Prioritization is a very personal thing, and certainly no one can tell you what should be priority in your life.
Now, obviously Evan's level of commitment to his fitness is way up there, and maybe in the scheme of things, working out is not as high of a priority in your life. However, I will say that exercising can be such a benefit in so many areas of your life, that you might want to move it up on the list. It can improve focus, and give you the confidence and stamina to get you through life's tribulations. Working out first thing in the morning, like Evan, can help you power through the rest of the day, while working out at the end of a stressful day can alleviate tension.
There is Time for All Important Things
This might sound contrary to a lot of what I've been saying, but I truly believe there is time to do all of the things that are important to us. I might be biased on the subject, but let's face it, without your health, you are not going to be any good to anyone. With this in mind, I would urge you to re-examine your priorities. Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says that, "we should not prioritize what's on our schedule, but we should instead, schedule our priorities." The way I interpret this is, rather than creating a list of individual items, we should instead, list our priorities. For example, instead of putting: #1 go to the gym, you should have on your list- #1 do something for my health. If your health and fitness is important, then it should be part of that schedule, and if it is scheduled as a priority, then not having time to get to the gym won't be an obstacle. I am also of the mindset that you can combine certain priorities with others in your life. For instance, family time is a big priority for me, and so is fitness. So, I try to work it out so that many of our family activities are active ones, such as bowling, biking, etc. Evan says that he works out with his kids when they're home from school, and they "enjoy snow and water sports of all kinds...". As a family man who is also passionate about fitness, he certainly finds ways to make it all happen. As far as what he does when he can't get to the gym- "If I can't get to the gym, I have a few body weight circuits that I'll do at home." A 20 minute circuit of body weight exercises can help you check that exercise goal off your list. It is also the kind of outside the box thinking that can help you get into and maintain a healthy habit of exercise. As for the rest, as Evan said..it will work itself out.