We need to establish what the value is on exercise for each individual person. Depending upon what hierarchy of value you place exercise, will determine what sort of priority you then make. For example, if your health is number one priority or indefinitely in your top five, then you’re going to be doing things that are a priority for your health. You will focus on things like your food, your exercise, making sure you’re getting your sleep, you’ve got your stress under control, your hydration so these are all things that you can do to factor in your health.
Does exercise fit into your health priority?
If exercise is a health priority then that’s when exercise is going to become a priority. If however, you establish that exercise is not part of that health equation, then you’re not going to put it as a priority. It really boils down to what you value in life, what you prioritize, and what you feel is important to you.
Analogy of the lemons, cherry tomatoes, and rice:
We’re going to look at the three levels of priority in our lives. If exercise is not a priority and not important right now or something of a high value, you’re actually not going to do it even if it’s only going to take five minutes.
Lemons represent the number one priority in your life or the things that are not negotiable in your life. Cherry tomatoes represent the other things that are important in our lives but they’re not top priority. These are the things that also need to fit in somewhere but they’re a little bit more flexible, they’re not as rigid as our lemons. Rice is the stuff that is all the other bits and pieces that we fit into our lives; catching up with friends, buying a new pair of shoes, vacuuming, or anything you want to do, but won’t make a huge difference in your life, if you don’t. Our jar represents our time.
The best thing for you to do is sit down and write a list of everything that goes on into your life. This is the way that we prioritize. What are going to be your givens, your lemons? Have a look at what the top values are for you, the things that are not negotiable. Is it work? Is it school? Is it paying bills? Is it your health? Is it being alive? What is it that is absolutely not negotiable? These are the things that are going to take priority. If we try to put the rice in this jar first and then we put the cherry tomatoes and then the lemons all of these things are not going to fit into the jar. It’s the same in life. The super important things won’t get done if you focus on just the less important things.
Examples of priority items, non-negotiables (lemons):
Examples of important, but not priority items (cherry tomatoes):
- Kids’ sports
- Going to the hairdresser
- Going to the dentist
- Cleaning the house
- Mowing the lawn
Examples of other things in life that are not as important or top priority (rice):
- Buying new clothes
- Watching television
- Washing the car
- Sorting the cupboards
- Going for a drive
NB: These are just examples. You might find that something listed under the rice category above may in fall be a lemon for you. That’s fine; you create your list, in line with your values. That’s the point. This will be different for each person.
What to do:
Create a spreadsheet for yourself with the days running along the top, and the times running along the left. Then start entering all of your lemon items, your non-negotiable items, in the relevant days and times. Include the time you go to bed and the time you wake up. Block out your sleep time. Everything is going to be scheduled here. Once you have entered all of your top priority items (lemons), enter your important items (cherry tomatoes). It is dynamic and flexible; it’s called life. But if you have a starting point where it’s structured it’s much easier to then chop and change and move things just like with appointments without jeopardizing your top priorities.