Finding Time to Get Started and Stick With It

Exercise-Stick With It!Once you get started, you’ve won part of the battle. Sticking with it is what carries you over the finish line. That’s how you create a new habit.

So how does that work for you?

One of my coaching clients recently contacted me with a time management problem that may sound familiar to many of you:

She has been working to reintroduce exercise into her daily regimen. She had been in a regular routine several years ago, but let go of the thread and lost some ground. Getting back on track has been challenging. Right now her pattern, she says, is discouraging because she is “on again, off again” and she can’t seem to get into a reliable rhythm.

We had a great discussion and came up with some things for her to think about and try over the coming week. I thought I’d share three key points here. See if they resonate for you?

  1. Time Choices – Make Them Every Day!  The key point to remember here is that getting back into an exercise regimen is really creating a new habit.  According to many experts, that takes 28 days at a minimum.  It’s a set up to expect to fall into a reliable rhythm – especially at the outset.  Every single day that you exercise, you are making a time choice.  It is key to think of this as a proactive step, and not something that will just happen.  It may become a habit … but early on, there is nothing automatic about it.
  2. Realistic Expectations – On Again, Off Again May Be How You Start.  It’s important to not be discouraged by an on again, off again pattern.  Whether you are creating a new habit or breaking an old one, the follow-through is often spotty at the beginning.  The key is to keep coming back!
  3. Validate Yourself!  It isn’t always fun or immediately rewarding to start something new.  The first steps can be quite challenging.  That’s why it is so very important to be a wonderful, supportive cheerleader for yourself.  Think of what you’d tell a friend who was embarking on a new course and feeling discouraged with the results.

I know I said three key points … but I have to just add one more important piece – watch out for your inner critic.  That nagging, undermining voice can put a big damper on your efforts.  The more you can learn to recognize and not pay heed to those critical words … the better off you’ll be!

So, how do you manage creating or maintaining healthy new habits?  Are there any tips you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear!

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! For more Time Finding resources, you are invited to sign up and download The New Finding Time Boundary Template. It’s FREE, and when you sign up you will also receive (if you don’t already) my FREE, weekly Finding Time Tips and my FREE, monthly Award-Winning Finding Time E-zine!

Let’s explore time together …


  1. Hi Paula,

    I’m right there with you on creating realistic expectations. I like to start with a simple exercise goal when I fall out of the habit — say maybe going two days per week. Once I achieve that consistently, that’s when I get a little more ambitious. That helps me to not take on too much at once and be more successful.

    And sometimes I like to start with low expectations — give it a try and see what happens. That way I’m less likely to be disappointed.

    Thanks for this great post, I love the idea of combining health and time management!

  2. Hi Wendy – and thanks for those great, practical tips. I do think that letting go of expectations can be a big help – especially if you are trying something that you know is going to be a challenge.

    As for combining health and time management, we are definitely on the same page. Health (and healthy endeavors) are so key to our quality of life … and it all come down to the choices that we make about how we use our time.

    Here’s to Finding Time for Healthy Endeavors!

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