Getting The Time To Get Healthy
One of the most difficult tasks for most people to master is time management. There are those rare few characters who have both a talent for prioritizing and an ability to realistically estimate how much time it takes to do things. But for most of us, it's a challenge, and many of us seem to put everything else that needs to be done ahead of making any time to care for ourselves.
As a result, exercise and proper eating habits get short shrift as our lives become a scramble from one loudly demanding task to another, and our weight and health quietly slips out of our control.
It doesn't have to be that way. Not for health, not for other priorities. Of course, you'll never have all the time you want for all the things you want to do, but with a little help, you can identify the specific things you most want more time for, instead of enduring a constantly nagging feeling that there's not enough time for anything for you. Even better, you can find ways to make time for those things, but you'll have to make some choices.
The first choice is in just deciding to go ahead and do it, and stop being satisfied to keep scrambling. And the second choice is deciding how to approach the challenge. There are any number of ways, and bookstores are full of titles on how to get control over your time; there are nearly as many as diet books!
But you may not need to completely overhaul your time-management. We have a simple system we use with patients where we list seven important life roles most people fill, and we help them identify their priorities in each of these life areas. Take a look at this assessment tool, using just a couple of those categories.
Thinking about your roles as a Working Person and as a Growing Person, consider priorities you may have in each of these life roles:
As a Working Person:
- Working for income
- Getting additional job training
- Advancing at work
- Working for personal satisfaction
- Working for recognition and status
- Working for a sense of challenge
- Other priorities
As a Growing Person:
- Adopting healthier lifestyle
- Learning new skills
- Getting more education
- Eating better
- Becoming more active
- Prayer or meditation
- Other priorities:
In each category, check off the items that are most important to you. If an important aspect of your values or priorities is not listed, add it to the list.
Now look at the items you've identified as your priorities. Of these, select two or three that you would like to devote more time to, toward the goal of achieving a more balanced life. Chances are, these are things you're doing a little already, but not at a level corresponding with how important they are to you. You want to take more time in your life for these priorities, so something's got to give.