21DFC Day 16 – Schedule The Time To Exercise Every Day

This is Day 16 of the 21-Day Fitness Challenge held in Feb 2012. The challenge is now over but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all the challenge tasks.


Hello and welcome to Day 16 (Feb 18) of the 21-Day Fitness Challenge! :D We now have 6 days left before 21DFC comes to a close!

21DFC Day 16 – Set Aside Time To Exercise Every Day

Do you set time aside in your calendar to exercise every day?

In Step 5 of the pre-work on Day 0, you were given a 21-day fitness chart to plan your fitness activities for the 3 weeks of 21DFC.  The reason why I issued the chart as part of the pre-work is because by first identifying what physical activities you are going to do, and when/what time you are going to do them, you dramatically increase the chances of them happening.

Even though I did not fix up a schedule for my exercises at the start of the challenge, that was because I had already set aside the 3 weeks to focus 100% on my fitness. I knew that I was definitely going to exercise; it was just a matter of the time of the day I was going to do it. I also knew that participating in the challenge, having to write the daily task posts and post my comments, were all natural reminders to get my exercise done for the day.

Moving forward though, for the habit to be a self-sustaining one, it’s essential that I deliberately set aside time to exercise every day, in my calendar. The very same calendar I refer to every day for my appointments, to work, to get my errands done, etc (i.e. Google Calendar in my case) – not some random desk calendar which I refer to once a year.

Why? Because relying on memory to exercise is simply not a foul proof method. With all the things that scream for our attention every day, there are bound to be days where we will “forget” to exercise.

Case in point – if you look at the number of participants who signed up for the challenge, a good number are no longer with us anymore. Why? Is it because they don’t have time to exercise? No, of course not. All of us have the same amount of time every day. Is it because they don’t want to be fit? No, of course not – if they don’t want to be fit, why did they even sign up for the challenge to begin with? Is it because they are not passionate enough about their goals? It’s questionable, but I believe that the people who read PE are people who are passionate about being better people, and as a corollary, about improving their fitness too.

The actual reason is going to differ from person to person, but I believe a big reason is because they did not schedule 21DFC/fitness into their life. They signed up, thinking that putting their name down will take care of everything. Unfortunately, many of them probably forgot about the whole challenge altogether in that same evening. The remainder who remembered, probably only recalled doing it for the first couple of days, before letting slip of it from their mind – thereafter not even checking PE anymore.

Ever since Week 2, I have fixed down time to exercise, on a daily basis, in my calendar. From Mondays-Fridays, I set aside 10am-12pm for my gym workouts (including 30 minutes walk to the gym). During this same duration, I’ve also synced other activities such as checking email, catching up on my Google feed, updating my site, writing, etc, so it’s two very productive hours in the morning. Then after my workouts, it’s straight to lunch.

Then on the weekends, my exercise sessions are in the evenings – jogging/running, specifically. That’s because my gym membership is only for off-peak timings, so I can’t go to the gym on weekends (well I suppose I can if I want to; I just need to pay the regular entry fee). It’s all good since it helps me vary my exercises a bit. (Post 21DFC, I may set aside Sundays/weekends as rest days, depending on how it goes. But gym on weekdays are definite.)

These activities are set aside in my Google calendar, to recur an infinite number of times, until the day I die. (i.e. I’ll be sticking to my fitness sessions for life!)

Today, your task is to set aside time to exercise every day (or X times a week, depending on how regularly you want to exercise on an ongoing basis post 21DFC). What time do you plan to exercise? What days do you plan to exercise (if not every day)?

After you are done, schedule that in your organizer/calendar/notebook/whatever time management system you use. Now, we’re all set for a lifetime of fitness! ;)

Share Your Plans/Progress for Today!

What is your intended fitness plan for today? What physical activities are you going to do, and how long do you want to do them for? Share with us!

Update your progress as you go along. At the end of the day, review your progress and share your learnings.

Check out other participants’ responses and join in the discussions!

(Image: Surfing)