"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men - Gang aft agley." What Robert Burns was referring to some 230 years ago was the fact that all does not always go according to plan. People are often full of ideas and the best intentions, but then real life gets in the way. As we discussed last week, you might have all the motivation in the world to follow a fitness regime, but your plan can easily go awry if you don't find some space in your life for some 'me' time.
Making time in your schedule, not filling your days up because you fear empty spaces, valuing yourself, assessing how you live, and turning off technology. All great ways of finding essential 'me' time in which your motivation can prosper. It is all too easy to talk the talk and not walk the walk when it comes to dreaming about a fitter, healthier and more toned looking you.
Motivation can only inspire you to change if you create some space and give your ideas a fighting chance of survival. Here are some more psychological and practical ways you can access 'me' time:
Encourage 'me' time in others: Try to get those who are close to you, whether family or friends, to do something that is personal and productive to them. This doesn't necessarily have to be fitness related; encouraging them to accomplish a simple goal is plenty. The more you accept the value of what other people are doing with their lives and see how beneficial it is, the more likely you will see 'me' time as worthwhile in your own life.
Dreams and ambitions: There's a big difference between a dream and an ambition. If you are setting goals and working toward them, then this is an active 'want'; if you're doing nothing then your imaginings are simply in the realm of a pleasant fantasy. Something you really want, be it to lose weight or improve your fitness levels, is not a real wish if you're not taking practical steps to make it a reality. Wake up, or accept you are daydreaming!
Eating, shopping, slouching: Some people are good at enjoying leisure time and might balk at the idea that they don't find time to do exactly what they want to do. However, 'me' time is not necessarily about filling time with non-work pursuits and constant entertainment. Others cry that they don't have enough hours in the day to follow their plans, and yet will happily spend hours eating out, on shopping sprees or simply chilling in front of the television.
Relax and action: Allow your motivation to take root, and grow by finding the time to relax so that ideas about your future can take shape. Lurching from one activity to another is not always the best approach. Too many people end up jumping into the wrong activity only to see their plans crumble and their motivation dip. Learn to go with the flow and don't over-think things. Relax, and action will follow.
Reassess: To find some quality 'me' time, assess where you're at with your life, evaluate where you have been and what has lead up to this point in time, and then look at where you want to go. You can then make adjustments and free up time that is being used up in activities that don't fit with who you are right now. Assess what you are motivated to do too. Do you really want to train for a marathon or just get into shape and enjoy a sociable fitness environment?
If your focus is on fitness, an assessment of where you are at physically and what exercise goals are attainable, can be a good starting off point. You can then create a workout plan and use this to find the space and time in your life to put this into action.