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Health & Balance

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5 Ways to Make Time for Healthy Habits

Making healthier choices is sometimes as simple as making time. If you’re convinced that your day is already overscheduled and overbooked, think again: There might be a minute or two (or 10!) that you can use to work toward your food or fitness goals.

Decide what you truly want, and prioritize your life around it. Use these tips to help you fit in healthy habits.

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1. Track Where Your Time Flies

For a day or two, keep a journal. Write down what you do and what time you do it, in real time. (Stayed an extra hour at work, 5:30-6:30 p.m., or Hit the snooze button, 7:00–7:15 a.m., for example.)

Then, evaluate. Does anything surprise you? Snoozing longer than you thought? Maybe that’s an extra 10 minutes of found time. Staying late at work consistently? Perhaps you can stay 45 minutes instead of an hour (or leave on time one day a week) and use the time to make a healthy dinner.

Sometimes, those “extra” minutes won’t jump out at you so easily. So when you’re reviewing your time journal, ask yourself:

  • What tasks take longer than they should?
  • Do I push my priorities aside to do things that seem urgent but are really less important?
  • What am I doing that someone else should be doing? What can I say no to?

2. Slash Your To-Do List

Do you overestimate what’s realistic to get done in a day? Highly successful people often have very short to-do lists.

When you create your to-do list, pretend you have only about 80% of the time you think you do to get it all done. That can keep you from overloading yourself.

Set clear priorities at the start of each day, so you know what you need to finish by the end of it. Write down everything that “should” get done. Then edit it down to only the top few, and make sure they include your health goals.

Is your final number doable? Move things you know you won’t get to today to another day. That’s OK!

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