This week, I had an ah-ha moment.

I was thinking about how to get back into my daily workout routine and some the reasons why this has been such a challenge for me.

Let me break it down here in the same way that I broke it down for myself.

I’m a morning workout person. That’s when I’m most likely to work out, when my body is the most ready to work out, and when I feel the most benefits from working out.

I’m a morning work person. My brain energy is revving at its highest in the morning and I enjoy doing creative work during the early morning hours.

(Here’s the good news: both working and working out in the morning help me to enter my day feeling productive from the start.)

Also, I prioritize sleep above pretty much all else. I don’t function super well mentally or physically when I don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep each night (and preferably more), so sleep is always my priority. This is especially true when I’m traveling or when I’m just coming back from traveling in another time zone.

Truth time.

Lately, my morning hours have been taken up with work more than workouts. I’ve been conducting client calls starting at 6am with east coast clients and also completing other work during this window since I’m in a busy period with my side business. That busy period also includes traveling more, so my schedule’s been extra squeezed in terms of fitting in meetings and work time.

This is not the first time I’ve sacrificed my morning workout time to get more work done. In fact, I’ve labeled the loss of morning workouts as one of the red flags that tells me that I’m entering into a heavy creative period and/or my side business work is feeling overloaded.

Letting work creep into the time between 5–6:30am when I should be exercising is a clear sign that I’m either feeling super excited about a new project or that I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the current projects on my plate.

So this was my ah-ha moment this week: there will always be more work.

I know, pretty common sense, right? But the realization hit me hard.

I got to thinking about how as soon as one part of my plate empties, it gets filled with something else. The way that I juggle multiple projects means that there will always be something else waiting in the wings for my time and attention.

Workout time, however, is finite. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. The benefits that I might have gained from spending my time working out are also forfeited (or at the very least delayed) until I make time in my schedule to devote to working out.

So, I’m getting back on the workout wagon starting this week with morning workouts three days in row.

To keep up the workouts will take some strategic planning… Due to some upcoming travel and other meetings, I know that, realistically, I won’t get back to another morning workout until Sunday, May 27th.

Given that schedule, I’ve already blocked out lunchtime walks for next week so that I’ll at least have that.

Looking ahead, my morning schedule starts clearing up once I hit June and I can fit working out in a whole lot easier at that point. Also, I don’t travel AT ALL in July, so that’s a perfect month to get back to a regular routine.

The bigger lesson in all of this is that, for me, work happens by default. I’m lucky to love what I do, so I don’t need to worry that I’m not going to be able to carve out time for it.

Workouts, on the other hand, need more strategic planning and commitment. They don’t happen by accident and I need to be more intentional about scheduling them in to ensure they happen.

To think on:

  • What in your life happens by default and what needs more strategic planning?
  • What routines are you recommitting to in this season of your life?