from Jane Thurnell-Read's Health and Goodness newsletter of April 2005]
I Don't Have Time
by Jane Thurnell-Read
People say things like this all the time, but is it really true?
When I talk to some people about the importance of taking exercise, they tell me they don't have time. Have you heard your friends say: "I'd like to relax more/spend more time with my family/start a new hobby, but I don't have time"? Perhaps you've even said this sort of thing yourself - no, surely not!
Looked at objectively, it's very rarely true. Everyone has the same amount of hours and minutes in the day, and some people manage to do a lot more than others.
I use a simple technique to help people realise that this sort of statement is almost always an excuse not a reason for inaction.
I ask them: "If I gave you 100 pounds/dollars/euros/etc every time you found the time to take exercise, would you take more exercise?" The answer to this is "yes" for most people. (You may have to adjust the amount to get a "yes" from some people.)
I then say: "So it has nothing to do with time - it's to do with priority. Being given money for the action increases it's priority. After all giving you money doesn't increase the amount of time you have in a day, so it shouldn't make a difference if your statement about lack of time were true."
Have a look at the article I wrote about having too much to do in the 2004 December newsletter.
I'll be looking at some of the 'reasons' people give for not taking exercise in the next newsletter.