The New Niggle: What To Do When You’re Motivation Rich But Time Poor


We all have those days when the idea of going to the gym or having a healthy meal lacks its appeal, and there are a lot of inspirational accounts, quotes and memes around designed to get you feeling motivated.

However, for a lot of people it’s not a lack of motivation that is the problem, but a lack of time.  Not many people I know work from 9 til 5 – for most it’s far closer to 8 til 6 – and if you throw in travel time as well then it is even longer hours.  There are days when I would love to get to the gym or bring in my own lunch, but I’ve run out of time to prepare for this accordingly.  This gets even more complicated when the little free time you have you want to spend socially.

I decided to write a post with five great tips to help anyone who has lots of motivation, but struggles to find the time.  I didn’t want to simply tell people to get up early or make time, because we all know it’s not that simple.  Hopefully these tips will help you to maximise your time instead.

I’ve spoken to some amazing bloggers who have contributed some tips, tricks and a recipe to help with some life hacks to match your lifestyle to your motivation.

  1. Visualise your Success

I am a more productive person in the morning by far.  This doesn’t mean everybody should get up early but it means that I get the most from my time if I get up early rather than stay up late.

However, this doesn’t mean that I relish the idea of getting up and into lycra early every day, but I do know I will feel better for it.  I don’t think about sweating during the workout but how I shall feel for the rest of the day as a result of the workout.  I visualise those positive feelings before I go to bed and when I wake up, and it means getting up early to workout feels like a positive thing that I’m doing purely for myself rather than a punishment!

Know what works for you and think about the positive effect that being healthy in this time will have on the rest of your day!

  1. Preparation is Key

Taimar of Tai.Bake.Cook is a bit of a genius when it comes to healthy eating and taking beautiful photographs of her food.

I asked her to contribute a recipe and chat a little about how she makes a healthy lifestyle work for her, and her Monday to Friday bars won’t disappoint you! For the full recipe see here or visit

M-F Bars800 (1)

They’re designed to take you through the week, perfect as a breakfast bar on the go, afternoon sweet fix or a pre/post workout energy boost. The combination of nuts is up to you, just keep the quantities the same and you’ll have a delicious bar. The addition of cacao powder to half of the mixture means that you have 2 bars in one, so if you don’t fancy something chocolatey in the morning but you do after lunch this is the perfect combination.

“I tend to make snacks like these on a Sunday and freeze them for later in the week. Then no matter how time poor you are there is always a healthy treat to hand.

One of the key parts to my life that makes me able to stay healthy while finding time to exercise and having a full time job (not in food!) is being prepared. I am the first to admit sometimes I try to fit too much in to my day and end up worn out and not getting the balance right. I am slightly obsessed with fitness and very obsessed with food! I find waking up early gives me a little head start so I am able to work out, go to work and have my evenings free to socialise, or most of the time to spend in the kitchen!

I don’t know if it’s the same in every office, but in my office there is a constant supply of sweet treats which for a lot of people are hard to resist, but if you have something to hand that is even tastier and much more satisfying you can stay away from the cakes and biscuits. You probably think healthy snacks can’t be as tasty, but trust me, they are even better and you won’t be hungry an hour later!”

  1. Keep it Simple

‘success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out’

Jake is the founder of Air Food Water Gym, the lifestyle clothing brand that wants people to feel good and do good.

photo 4

It’s no surprise then that when you’re brand ethos is keeping it to the basics of Air Food Water Gym, that Jake thinks the best way to make a busy lifestyle a healthy one is to keep it simple.

“Treat each day in isolation and be clear about what works for you and what doesn’t.

It’s all about results – be very specific about what needs to be done to get the required results. The joy of feeling good is what matters – find what is good for you e.g. wake up time, sleep time, what I’m going to eat and working out are the same each day.

We know that physical health and brain health are inextricably interlinked. Waking up early, meditating and hitting the gym sets the right intention for the day and allows the brain to perform at its best throughout the course of the day.

Finding what works is a matter of trimming off the fat  – work on replacing bad habits with good habits and the results are transformative.”

  1. Don’t Keep Things Separate

Nicole of The Healthy Bean is a city worker and yoga addict.  For her it’s all about integrating her lifestyle choices so that there isn’t a need to prioritise free time between fitness and friends

“When working longs hours I am often faced with the challenge of prioritising health and fitness over socialising and spending time with my friends.  I don’t want to be that person who turns down every social event in my calendar because I feel like I need to fit in a gym session when I get a rare free evening.  Lately I have found that combining the two helps me satisfy gym cravings and provides me with my fill of girly gossip. By inviting my friends along to a spin class or attending a free yoga session at the weekend (followed by brunch!) I am able to catch up with my friends and also get a cheeky workout in at the same time. So my biggest tip for anyone who is time constrained is to make working out more sociable!”


  1. Keep Your Schedule Guilt Free

There are days when I wake up for a workout and start trying to visualise how I’ll feel later on because of getting up early and working out, and the positive feelings don’t arrive. Instead I know I shall be exhausted and I’d be better off sleeping longer, eating a proper breakfast and working out after work if I have time, or another day if I don’t.

Giving myself that flexibility means that I don’t feel pressured or resentful of the time I give to working out, because I know it’s my choice and there’s no need to feel guilty for skipping a workout.  I love being healthy and active, but ultimately I should control it, it shouldn’t control me and that goes for everyone else too.  Do it because you love it and you’ll get better results and you’ll stick with it for longer!


One thought on “The New Niggle: What To Do When You’re Motivation Rich But Time Poor

  1. […] I have developed this recipe as a guest blog post for Running for August, she writes about fitness and training and wanted me to collaborate with her in writing about being healthy when you are motivation rich but time poor. This recipe is designed for all you busy bees,  I tend to make snacks like these on a  sunday and freeze them for later in the week. This means that no matter how little time you have there is always a healthy treat or a quick breakfast to hand. Read the full blog post on […]

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