I recently shared some tips about training around a busy schedule. Within that entry, I stressed the idea that doing something is better than nothing. Unfortunately, while few would argue against this statement, it appears that many readers are struggling to accept and embrace the concept. I’ve received numerous emails from individuals who are frustrated by their inability to do everything they’d like. Between work, family, and school, many people can’t find enough time to accomplish each of their goals. With that in mind, I believe a follow up entry is needed.
Do What You Can
As a business owner, father, and coach, I know all about busy schedules. The days literally fly by. It always seems like there isn’t enough time to get everything done. I don’t view the chaos as a problem however. While my younger self was often stressed about time, I’ve grown to accept and appreciate my reality. I’m okay with the fact that I can’t always do everything that I’d like. I’d rather be busy than have nothing to do. So while I would gladly workout for hours upon hours if I could, I also realize that I don’t need as much time to be healthy, strong, and vibrant.
Unfortunately, recognizing the potential of something over nothing is easier than actually applying the concept when needed. Many hard working people have an all-or-nothing mentality. If they can’t do 100 percent of the job, they often struggle to do anything. They don’t understand that even the shortest somethings will accumulate much faster than the most well thought nothings.
“Don’t let your inability to do everything stop you from doing anything.”
Life Is Hectic, Deal With It
As much as I try to plan my days, I never know what the next day will bring. For instance, my daughter recently got sick in the middle of the night. I naturally woke up to help and found myself awake for several hours afterward. I couldn’t fall asleep, and when I did, I accidentally slept through my early morning exercise time. By the time I woke up, I had to rush to get ready for work.
I worked all day in a location where I couldn’t squeeze in any exercise. I then went straight from work to the baseball field to coach my son at night. By the time we were done, the day was long gone. I wasn’t done working though, as I had to rush home to respond to an urgent message. I didn’t finish until after 10PM. I was running out of time with another 5AM wake up planned for the next morning.
I could have easily gone to sleep and been fine, but I enjoy exercise. It is part of who I am. Therefore, rather than hopping into bed, I opted to perform a few sets of pushups and pull-ups. I went as hard as I could for 15 minutes. It might not sound like much, but I gave each set all I had. I wasn’t able to do everything that I wanted to do, but I still did something. I went to bed feeling satisfied. I didn’t beat myself up over what I couldn’t do. Instead, I took comfort in what I was able to do. It felt great to push myself through 15 minutes of exercise. I woke up feeling much better the next morning.
You Don’t Need Everything
Contrary to what the internet might lead you to believe, you don’t need to perform hundreds of different exercises to be healthy and strong. When it comes to fitness, the information age can be a double-edged sword. It’s great to have access to so much material, but there is such a thing as information overload. You don’t need to perform every exercise known to man to become a stronger version of yourself.
Many of the strongest people in the world focus the bulk of their training towards a small number of exercises. They know what works and never stray too far from the basics. They don’t seek out endless variations for each muscle group or movement. Busy people can learn from their example. When time is limited, perform a few compound movements and don’t stress about your inability to target each of the hundreds of skeletal muscles that exist within the body.
You’ll get another opportunity to do the things that you couldn’t today. What you won’t get is another chance to do something instead of nothing once today has passed. So even if today only allows for a few sets of exercise, you’ll still be better off as a result. Rather than complaining about what you can’t do, embrace what you can.
Something beats nothing.
“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.” – George Patton