But I don’t have time

March 24, 2019

“Time is an illusion.” ― Albert Einstein

 

When I do workshops on nutrition one question I often ask is - what stands between you and eating a healthier diet?  One thing that ALWAYS comes up is “I just don’t have the time - to buy healthy food - to prepare healthy meals - to cook”.  Similarly with exercise/movement - many people tell me that there is just no time in their lives for exercise.  Even when it comes to getting enough sleep - so many people tell me that they just don’t have time to sleep for 8 hours a night. 

 

Now I am the first to acknowledge that so many of us have super busy lives these days - it can feel overwhelming to do everything you have to at work, manage to do the housework, take care of the kids, spend time with your partner, get enough sleep, relax... it’s no wonder there is no time for healthy food or exercise.  Yet the reality is - there is always time for eating well and always time for exercise - it really comes down to how much priority you are giving it in your life. 

 

The reason there is no time for something in your life - is because it isn’t as important to you as all of the other things you are doing. If you think about it carefully - if I told you that you would be given 3 million pounds if you exercise for 30 minutes every day for a week - you would probably find the time to do that.  It is not that there really just isn’t any time - it is just that it isn’t currently a massive priority for you.   Let’s take sleep as an example - if getting 8 hours of sleep was really a priority for you - you would ask your boss if you could come into work 15 minutes later, you may move house so that you live nearer the office, you would turn off the TV or stop scrolling through your phone 30 minutes earlier - it is not that it is not physically possible - it is just that it is not your priority right now.  Similarly, with a healthy diet - to be honest, making healthy choices does not really require a lot of time.  Even if you are buying food from outdoors - you can just make the healthier choice - you can pick the thing that is better for your body...it doesn’t really require more time - it just requires it to be a priority. 

 

Whether something is a priority in your life or not, depends upon what your mind imagines when you think about it.  So if thinking about eating healthily - you imagine yourself spending hours slaving away, cooking food - or eating a boring salad - you are likely to have no motivation (or to make any time) to make healthy choices.  If instead, when you think of eating healthily you imagine yourself feeling amazing, fully of energy - perhaps having a wonderful glow of good health...you are much more likely to find the willpower (and make the time) to make good food choices for your health.  Equally if thinking about exercise just makes you think about pain, feeling bad in your gym clothes and how much of an inconvenience it is to get to the gym - you are not very likely to make the time to exercise more.  If instead, when you think of exercising you imagine the endorphins rushing through your system, how great you feel and see yourself stronger and fitter than ever before - you are much more likely to find the time to move more. 

 

So to be honest - time isn’t really what stands in the way of anyone eating more healthily, getting enough sleep or exercising more.  What is really getting in the way is the images that come up when they think about doing the things that are best for their health - these are much more likely to be negative images if they are finding that they have no time for these things.  

 

So - if you find you have no time for something, it is very likely that it is not a priority in your life.  Ask yourself what are you prioritising over these things that you can find no time for - because when we REALLY have to - we can always find the TIME!

 

“Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time,' is like saying, 'I don't want to.”  ― Lao Tzu

 

 

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