I had a conversation with someone recently where they praised my ability to make it to my workouts. “I always see you checking into fitness places at the crack of dawn,” said my friend. “I’m always so crazed I can’t get it together to work out in the morning…or any other time of day for that matter. You’re just so on top of it.”
Yeah. You’re so cute. No, I’m not.
I wish I could smile knowingly and say that I’m just so entirely driven that I rise every morning surrounded by cartoon birds that help me make these workouts. I’m not. I’ve just learned to put certain things on autopilot. If not, I will absolutely slip out of my routine and become whatever the opposite of “on top of it” is.
So, I thought I would show you how some of the tools I use for work also help me get it done from a fitness perspective. If any of them work for you, I am all for it:
First of all, I plan all my workouts weeks in advance. If you look at my Outlook calendar (seen above,) I have placeholders for all the classes I normally attend. I have most of my exhale yoga classes as recurring events in my calendar. SoulCycle classes are also planned in advance, but there’s also an alert that reminds me that Soul bookings open every week on Mondays at 12 pm. It’s helpful because if you’re not online at noon, most of the classes are gone by 1 pm. But, in general, I know every week what time I’m going where.
I have also discovered that keeping my alarm next to my bed doesn’t work. If I’m really tired, I jack up the volume and put it across the room, on top of my workout bag. That’s also important: pack everything the night before and put it next to the door with your keys. That means even if you have to leave the house in your pajamas and get to class, you will make that class.
Because I live in New York City, I usually take the subway to classes, but I budget for cabs or an Uber to take me on Monday and Friday mornings. It’s in my fitness budget, which is also in my….
OneNote notebook where I keep all my fitness-related activities. I have a copy of my workout calendar every month along with clips of the classes I want to experience, recipes I want to try, my budget, and my Fitspiration Board, which just has tons of photos that inspire me to keep going. I like this notebook because if I’m floating around the city and I’ve got time to take a class or I’m trying to remember where I saw that adorable fitness jacket, I have it with me since OneNote works across my laptop, my Surface, my iPad, and my iPhone.
I can also remember to save for that surf camp I’ve been eyeballing in Costa Rica..
With the updated list feature for iPhone, I can also make new lists, like the one I just created for vegetarian restaurants I want to find here in New York City. Dirt Candy is at the top of the list.
I also always have a few things at the ready before I get up. Before I go to bed, I put all the ingredients for a smoothie into a NutriBullet container in the fridge, so all I have to do is add water or almond milk and blend. I also keep a mug filled with hot water on the counter so I can throw it into the microwave and add lemon (pre-cut every Sunday) to the water so I can alkalize my body. It helps me think clearly and it helps shake off that sluggish feeling better than anything. It’s also removed my desire to have coffee first thing in the morning, which has made my stomach so much happier.
Finally, I have fallen madly in love with the Microsoft Band. WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!? I finally have a fitness device that tracks step count, calories burned during workouts (including spinning, which was a real drag with other bands,) along with getting text messages, email, my calendar, and tracking my sleep. It also has an alarm feature, which is now how I get up in the morning. It’s hard to ignore your vibrating wrist; I don’t care how tired you are.
The band also works with MyFitnessPal to track calories, so I know how much I’m taking in versus what I’m expending. However, I don’t really use the calorie tracker. I know that sounds crazy, but I feel that since I’ve started eating more fruits and vegetables and cut out most dairy and all gluten, the calories I consume have been so much healthier. I’ve also stopped weighing myself for now. I feel like finding a workout regimen I enjoy and a method of eating that leaves me feeling at home inside my body is more effective. I might change my mind later, but I get more excited knowing that I burned 400 calories in yoga because of my efforts, and then letting that go. I’m more into how hard I work right now versus how little I could eat to meet an arbitrary number.
If any of these help you make fitness more a part of your life, I’m honored. For me, workouts are about me taking the time by myself for myself. These appointments are important, and they’re generally non-negotiable. These are the tools I use to make sure that, despite an incredibly busy life, that I am my own top priority.
This post is part of my partnership with Microsoft Corporation as an Office Champion. All opinions expressed within are my own.