The second most common excuse I hear is “I am too tired to…” workout, cook, read, play with the kids, etc. This excuse is one I WILL accept, but only on occasion! It is true that some days our bodies and minds are just so worn down from the chaos of life and/or because we haven’t gotten enough sleep for a few days. On those days we NEED to rest. Taking care of ourselves includes adequate REST and SLEEP.
But, if you feel like you are too tired to take care of yourself most days, then we need to strategize to overcome that feeling. Unless you have a medical condition or an extremely intensive manual labor job, then you should have enough energy to take care of yourself throughout the day most days. More often than not it just takes planning, preparation and creating habits out of desired behaviors. Before they are habits though, the behaviors can be hard to push yourself to do when you feel a bit sluggish. Here are some strategize to overcome this obstacle:
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP – sleep is SO important and an essential part of living a healthy life. If you aren’t getting 7-8 hours of sleep most nights, then you need to make that a priority. With proper sleep the rest of your day/life/goals will run much more smoothly and you will have the energy to tackle anything. Recharge yourself, like you recharge your cellphone (Sheryl Sandberg)
- MOVE YOUR BODY – If you feel tired and uninterested in doing a healthy habit, first try moving your body. Even if it’s a 5 minute walk outside or laps on the stairs. Movement can help rejuvenate us and fill us with more energy and motivation. So, before you plop down on the couch first do 5 minutes of intentional movement. If I have no desire to workout, but know I should get something in, I start with walking and more often than not I end up completing a full workout and feel so much better afterwards!
- PLAN AHEAD – plan out your meals, workouts, and other healthy habits each week. Having them written down and scheduled into a calendar will help you stay on track and be successful. There are psychological benefits to writing down tasks and goals, learn more . Every week I complete a Healthy Habits Calendar with meals, snacks, workouts, etc. It makes it so much easier to complete everything knowing each day what I want to do.
- ACCOUNTABILITY – find someone to help hold you accountable for your goals, such as a workout buddy, a book club, a spouse or friend you can cook with. We generally don’t like to disappoint people, so having someone depend on us to show up for a task will also make us more likely to complete that task, no matter how tired we feel.
- BE REALISTIC WITH GOALS – it’s not likely you will succeed if you try to go from not working out at all to working out every day for an hour at 5am each morning. So, first try to schedule in one workout during the work week for 20-30minutes AND one workout on the weekend for 30 minutes. Then build a little from there. Setting goals to high will make doing them that much harder, especially when tired.
- SELF AWARENESS & REWARDS – get to know yourself and your strengths. When do you have the most energy during the day? What do you enjoy doing (healthy habit related)? What motivates you? If you are more productive in the mornings then schedule that workout or other healthy task for then. If you like to dance, try a Zumba class. If you enjoy massages or new clothes, then at the end of the week reward yourself for completely all tasks with something you will look forward to.
This week I challenge you to try these different strategies to see what works best for you. Try to push past that initial feeling of being tired, so you can accomplish what you set out to do. Need more guidance or a personalized strategic plan? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org