The only thing worse than not having time to work out is having a free window and not wanting to move. Here, our resident fitness expert Hilary Hoffman gives you all the inspo you need to make your workout happen.
BY HILARY HOFFMAN
On the days when we have no time, it’s not for lack of discipline or commitment that we don’t get movement in. Rather, it’s a clear reflection of our priorities. Personal and professional commitments come first. Let me give two examples:
Scenario 1: It’s 7 p.m. on a Tuesday and your boss asks you to revise a financial model ahead of a deal closing the next day.
Scenario 2: It’s 10 a.m. on a Thursday and mid-drive to the gym the school nurse calls to inform you that your 6-year-old child is running a fever.
In neither circumstance are you going to say, “Roger. I just gotta get in a quick run and then I’ll be back on the desk” or “Sorry, Mommy has Pilates/Daddy has to lift.” Instead, you’re canceling your workout and committing to an evening of Excel spreadsheets or you’re making a U-turn and scheduling an emergency doctor’s appointment. Sure, you care about making healthy choices, but you care about your career and family more. And that’s okay.
When I was working at Goldman Sachs, I can’t count the number of times when my plan to workout was interrupted by an impromptu client dinner or a time-sensitive request. And I didn’t hide my frustration well; while I was saying “yes” to these asks, I did it through gritted teeth and mild rage. But despite these emotions, I knew that I was making the right call.
So, what’s worse than having no time to workout? It’s having the time and not wanting to.
While there is nothing better than a canceled meeting at the end of the day, coming home early to newfound time can fill us with more guilt than motivation. We know we should move. We know we should take advantage of this opportunity. But despite “knowing” all of this, the hardest thing to flex when we’re tired is accountability.
When I’m in this predicament, these are the three tricks I use to jump-start my workout:
- Make mental notes when you have the itch to workout. I did this when I had my desk job. It would typically happen around 10:30 or 11 a.m. and I would say to myself, “Remember this moment and use it as fuel the next time it’s 7 p.m. and you find the time to move. Your 11 a.m. self would be overjoyed at the thought of going for a run right now.”
- Rely on discipline over motivation. We’ve all been encouraged to rely on discipline over motivation when mustering up the will to workout. I completely agree with this, but author Jim Rohn frames it a little differently: “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” These words help shift my dialogue from “I should workout” to “I will workout” as I’m reminded that I can only achieve my goals through effort.
- Enter, SOTO Method. I developed my SOTO workout program for this exact moment—when energy is low, when motivation is waning but the time is there for the taking. SOTO is there to inspire your willingness to move when an unsuspecting free five, 15, or 40 minutes presents itself.