Okay… before we get into the meat and potatoes of this topic, I want to start out by saying that this isn’t some “look at me” brag fest.
Although I’m extremely proud of myself for maintaining my physical health, this isn’t really about me.
In fact, the only reason I’m even writing this post is because I get asked about it all the time.
I’m also writing it as a sign of hope – to let you know that you too can thrive in your physical health despite what you’ve got going on.
So… long story short, I’m not some Jersey Shore, GTL douche bag just trying to show off.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s chat about how I’m able to stay fit even as a busy husband, father, and entrepreneur.
The 5 things I do to stay fit
I make it a priority
Okay, I know this may seem obvious, but as the old saying goes, “common sense isn’t always common practice.”
It’s one thing to say that you need to make your health and fitness a priority, but it’s another thing to actually do it.
So many people have good intentions, but very little follow through.
That’s why I make staying fit a priority. And that shows up in two key ways:
I schedule my workouts
I’m not sure who said it first, but some brainiac once said, “show me your calendar, and I’ll show you your future.”
What they were getting at is the importance of scheduling things.
Think about it, what typically goes in your schedule? Important stuff, right? Things like holidays, birthdays, weddings, or anything that you really need to remember.
We put those things in there because we deem them as being important in our lives.
So, if you want to make staying fit a priority, follow the wise guy’s advice, and get it in your calendar.
For me, every morning at 5:30 a.m., a notification goes off that says “morning routine.” That’s my reminder to get my butt up and do the things that I said I wanted to do.
I make it bigger than me
Look… I’d love to sit here and say that I’m this ultra disciplined, driven dude who sticks to my word no matter what.
I’d also love to say that I REALLY enjoy exercising.
But the truth is, those would both be flat out lies.
I’m definitely not the most disciplined person in the world, and aside from when I was trying to show off for chicks, I don’t overly enjoy working out.
That’s why I make it bigger than me. I identified all the reasons why I want to take care of myself and stay fit.
Real quick: notice I said “want” right there. While need may be enough to motivate us sometimes, want is a much better energetic place to be at.
When we “need” to do something, it comes with a sense of apathy. But, when we want to do something, we’re able to find joy in it.
Don’t ever doubt the importance of your language.
Anyways, for me, things like being able to play with my future grandkids, being active with my wife and kids, and my health not deteriorating as I age all make me WANT to stay fit.
Even during the times where I’m not feeling motivated, going back to those reasons are more than enough to get my butt in the gym.
So, if you’re someone who struggles with finding the personal motivation to stay fit, how can you make it bigger than you?
Drop a comment below and let me know.
I meal prep
You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule, right? If not, let me fill you in. The 80/20 rule says that 80% of your results in a particular area come from 20% of your actions.
In other words, figure out what moves the needle most, and focus most of your time on that.
Well, when it comes to staying fit, that needle mover is your nutrition.
Sure, exercising is important, but it means nothing if your nutrition sucks. You may look great, but internally you’re going to feel like a garbage can.
That’s why I make my nutrition a priority by meal prepping.
Fast food is freakin’ EVERYWHERE these days. And if we’re not careful, it becomes real easy to give into the temptation to swing through the drive thru and stuff our faces with total junk.
Now I’m not bashing fast food – I’m a sucker for some Whataburger, Chick-fil-A, or Panda Express! Can I get an Amen?
But, the key is moderation!
I meal prep during the week so that I can give myself the liberty to “cheat” on the weekends and enjoy myself.
I remember back in my coaching days, a buddy and I were warming up before the game and smelled some delicious burgers being grilled. I looked at him and said, “damn that smells good!” He agreed.
After that, he looked at me and said, “oh, but you probably don’t eat burgers, do you?” I looked at him with a crazy stare and said, “HELL YEA I eat burgers!”
But, again, the key is moderation. Meal prepping my food and eating pretty clean during the week gives me the ability to relax and indulge a bit on the weekends without feeling guilty or killing my gains.
I get my rest
Man… of all the things on this list, this might actually be the MOST important.
As a society, we do a pitiful job of getting rest. And what rest we do get is usually crappy because of our addiction to screens (Learn more about how devices affect your sleep here).
But you gotta rest if you want to be able to stay fit and healthy. There’s no arguing against it. It’s hard enough for most people to find the motivation to want to workout. Well, it becomes damn near impossible when you’re wore smooth out all the time.
I get it… we live in this hustle society that’s always telling us to go harder. And if you’re here, you’re likely a high achiever or want to be one, which means you’re a head down, put in the work type of cat.
I’m that way too!
But, there’s a reason so many entrepreneurs and people in high places end up looking like hell and are in bad shape later in life, and it’s because they didn’t take time to rest their bodies.
I know they call life a “dash,” and in the grand scheme of things, it is. But it ain’t so much of a dash that if you rest your body you’re going to miss out.
If you’re being intentional about your time, and maximizing your waking hours, rather than watching tons of tv, scrolling on social, or numbing out in some other way (not casting stones, just giving facts), then you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your rest.
If you want to make staying fit a priority in your life, take a look at your sleep habits and figure out what needs to change so that you’ll have the energy you need to do what you need to do.
I change it up
*Confession time* — back in my younger days, I was one of the dude’s who skipped leg day.
Yup… I own that!
Every day was upper body day, and you could tell. But, when you’re a male in your late teens and early twenties, you only care about 1 thing – pickin’ up chicks!
As much of a good kid as I was, I wasn’t immune to the idiocy that is being a male of that age.
Anyways… as I got older and settled down, my priorities changed. I didn’t care as much about being the buffest dude on the beach.
Side note: notice I didn’t say that I stopped caring about my physical appearance. I see so many people, men especially, that once they get married, use that as an excuse to “let themselves go.” Look, if your spouse is cool with it, then by all means, do you! But, hate me if you want, I kinda feel like you owe it to your significant other to keep up with yourself. Okay, rant over.
Out of desire and necessity (because I was getting bored), I changed my workout routine up.
Nowadays, I don’t go more than a few months without making some sort of changes to my routine.
I’ve slimmed down, bulked up, and trained for a half marathon all within the past 2 years.
If staying fit is something you’re serious about, figure out ways to change it up and keep it fresh.
I reward myself
So I know I seem like a mature, upstanding person, which I like to think I am, but I definitely still have some child-like tendencies. (just ask my wife)
One of which is being motivated by a good reward.
At the time of writing this, we’re in the thick of potty training my son. As part of the process, we reinforce his good attempts with one of his favorite candies, “N’na’Nmm’s” (a.k.a. M & M’s).
That little dude will sit up there and push until his head about pops off just to get some of that chocolatey goodness.
Well, we’ve all got a little JJ boy in us – we can all be motivated by rewards.
Whether it’s having your favorite sweet treat following a week of sticking to your workout and nutrition plans or going on a shopping spree or trip once you achieve some big goal, figure out how to reward yourself for your commitment.
No matter how big or small, rewarding yourself will go a long way in helping you make staying fit a priority in your life.
Putting it all together
Staying fit during these crazy busy lives we live can be tough – I get that.
That’s why having a system or a strategy that you can follow is so important.
And just to be clear, this isn’t the only or best way to go about it. This is just what works for me.
You need to figure out what system will work best for you so that you can achieve your goals and lead the type of life you want to live.
Let me know below if anything jumped out at you or is something you want to start doing.
Until next time, here’s to chasing your dreams and staying fit while doing it!