ANSWER – How to Make the Gym a Priority
I was super pumped when Billy asked this question this week, because I think it's something a lot of us ask ourselves when we want to get more active.
Trust me, I understand being busy. Last semester I worked 25 hour weeks. In addition to work, I was going to school full time and training for my first bodybuilding competition. And I was president of my sorority (which is basically like another job). Fitting the gym into your schedule isn't easy at first, but it can happen ONLY IF YOU WANT IT TO.
I apologize for the caps. Not really, because it's true. Saying "I don't have time" is a big fat lie, and you know it.
The gym should never be viewed as a chore. For me, the gym is my release and time to unwind. All of the stressors from my day are completely gone when I walk out those doors, and I think everyone should be able to feel that way in addition to some type of accomplishment.
The gym can become just another part of your day, like brushing your teeth or making your bed. It shouldn't be "a drag." Exercise is something that's beneficial not just for your body, but for your mind.
Let me make one thing clear: I'm not telling you to go out and try to lift 500 pounds and then run 10 miles. For Pete's sake, just take it slow! That's a great way to allowing the gym to become a bigger part of your day-to-day routine. With that being said, make reasonable goals for yourself.
When I first started training, the first question my trainer asked was "What's your goal?" I told him I really wanted to compete in a bodybuilding competition and we went to work. Maybe your goal is something easier...like losing 20 pounds, or running a mile without stopping? Maybe it's getting your summer bod started early. Set a goal that you know will motivate you, but not feel guilty if you don't succeed the first time around.
My final piece of advice is to set days and time and stick to it. I typically like to have one "off-day" per week that allows my body to rest, unwind and relax. Trust me, you'll need a couple of those days at first. But that's okay! Maybe you start doing cardio Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Or maybe you want to lift on just Tuesday and Thursday. Setting a plan helps your brain stick to your goals.
Make the gym time for just you. Be selfish. That's okay, trust me! Moral of the story? The gym will only be a priority if you want it to. You shouldn't have to find time. Just make time and it'll be worth it. Don't forget to reward yourself too, but most of all, never give up.