Forming New Habits

I bought a treadmill. Well, technically, it was given to me in trade, but still…I have a treadmill in my garage. This is the first large piece of exercise equipment I've owned and, I must admit, I'm finding it convenient.

Part of the problem with working out, for me, has been finding the time. While people tell me that I need to make time to work out and take care of myself, I look at them and say simply, "When?"


I am a single mom who works forty hours a week and has an hour daily commute. My budget is on the tight side thanks, in part, to an ex who is "finding himself". Twice a week my son has Little League. Once a week, my daughter has gymnastics. I don't feel one activity per child is excessive, but it still eats away at the time between when I get home from work and when they need to go to bed.

Which makes working out at a gym an interesting dilemma. Because, again, when?

I have no one in the house in the early morning hours to watch the kids while I get up and drag my tired body to a gym. I have no one in the house after bedtime to allow me to make a late evening trek to the gym.

In the last year or so, I've made do with a walk on my lunch break and squeezing in something a little more intense on the evenings I don't have the kids. Of course, those evenings are also filled with the freelance work I do in my "spare" time. Still, I made due.

Now, however, I've discovered the joy and the freedom of having a treadmill in my house.

Forming new, healthier habits, is starting to look like a possibility.

I go out into the garage while dinner is in the oven, a timer set on my phone. I can get a solid half hour in, most nights, before that timer goes off. On the nights filled with the kids' activities, I turn on the TV in front of the treadmill and do my "Mountain Trail" program while watching my favorite sitcoms after they go to bed.

I'm slowly, but ever so surely, finding the time.

It's not easy. Some nights I sigh as I look at the workout clothes laying across my bed. They stare at me firmly reminding me to put them on and go move—a command that's not always easy to obey. But I do. Every night—or as many as possible—I tell myself that every mile I log on the machine is another mile closer to a healthier, happier me.

How do you find time to work out?