One of the exercises I give my clients to keep up with their health and fitness goals when life starts to get overwhelming in other areas is setting up ideal, moderate, and minimum goals for them to hit instead of expecting full compliance on our original program.
Here’s an excerpt from an email I sent a client who needed to spend a lot of additional time focusing on studying for exams:
“Absolutely. I'm actually going to give you a few different things, as I have been thinking about how best to navigate this period of focus on your studies. You have already done something very admirable, which you may or may not even be aware of: instead of taking a break from your workouts and saying, "I'll resume after my exams," you have decided to keep going, and to find a balance for your health and fitness. I just want to point out that that's not common--it's the harder of the two decisions, and it's what is going to keep you going in the long run.
That being said, here's how I would approach things:
1. On the days that you can fit in your weight training workouts, do. If you cannot fit them in on the planned days, do them the following day, or as soon as possible.
2. If you cannot fit in the workout at the gym, do the bodyweight workout. (see below)
3. If you cannot fit in either the gym workout or the bodyweight workout due to time constraints, do the tiny workout. (see below)
Additionally, please take at least 5 minutes somewhere in your day to consciously rest--take a break and breathe, meditate if you like, stretch. Give yourself a moment to pause, to congratulate yourself for the work you're doing, and then, to stop thinking about it.
I encourage you to give yourself a structure similar to what I laid out for exercise, for your nutrition.
1. What your best day looks like, e.g. prepping/planning your meals in advance.
2. A smaller step you can take, e.g. eating at least one balanced meal, slowly.
3. The smallest step you can take, e.g. adding one extra serving of vegetables.
(You don't have to use my examples.)
In your shared folder, but the link is here. Let me know if you cannot access the file or links to the exercises.
10 bodyweight squats
10 incline push ups (see the link in the bodyweight workout)
It takes 60 seconds. I just timed it. I call it a tiny workout, but it's more of a mental game. It's a way to do something so small, there is no excuse to not do it. But once you complete it, you can end your day without feeling like you have done nothing. On these days, fitness is top-of-mind, it's just not top-of-schedule.”
If you're feeling overwhelmed, or know you will be soon, contact me for a free consultation to adjust your exercise and nutrition goals to fit your schedule: info@ritualcoaching.