Are You a Dave?


Managing Director at an HR company

Dave is a busy executive overseeing the operation, client relations, and the management of a leading Australian HR company. His schedule is often packed with back-to-back meetings throughout the day.

Dave has maintained regular exercise since 2019 attending, on average, 4 sessions per week.

His attitude on exercise changed from the initial ‘it’s an appointment in my diary that I have to do’, to ‘exercise is my reward, something I look forward to at the end of the day’.

‘Attitude is a struggle; you’re the most important person here.’

Dave’s Top Tips for Fitting It In

It’s all about the mindset!

The question to ask yourself is ‘what’s your commitment to exercise’.  ‘Fitness’ to me means fit it in.

I don’t think I’ll ever see exercise as something I look forward to, but it’s a necessary evil in order to maintain my health, which is so important that makes exercise purely non-negotiable.

I was no different to anybody else that I made every excuse in the book to get out of going to exercise.  So in the first year of my exercise journey, I made sure to diarise my exercise time every day.  I made a commitment to it like I would a meeting with a client.  If it’s in the diary, it’s going to happen.  And 99.9% of the time I did it!

I also communicated this to my teams and clients, so they know to respect that time in my diary.  And you find that clients (and your teams) don’t really care when things get done, as long as they’re done!

Then what happened in Year 2?

12-14 months into this routine, something changed.  I started to feel the exercise commitment in the diary like a ‘work’ commitment, not something that I enjoyed.

I decided to reframe how I saw exercise.  I began to look at it like a reward, something pleasurable to look forward to as a result of battling through a busy day.

I stopped putting it in the diary, because by then, I already knew when the classes were and I’d work hard in the lead up to make sure I get out on time for the class, which is now a reward for being efficient with my time use.

But in order to get to this step, I needed the structure of the first year, because it established a framework for me to fit exercise in.  And with that I was able to see the results in Year 1, which made it easier to move onto the psychological shift in Year 2.

What tools helped you get the time you want for exercise?

For me it was the fundamental shift in attitude.  I said to myself ‘you know what, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to give myself the priority.  The ‘too busy’ excuse is BS!’

Communication to my teams and clients were also important in making it happen.  I explained that there’re certain things that are important to me.  I found people respected that, and most of the time, they didn’t care as long as the work got done.

How would you respond if one of your team members said that they needed to leave work at 5pm to exercise?

I’d fully support it – ABSOLUTELY!  Our company is soon moving onto a 4-day work week to place equal importance on our staff’s other priorities in life.  Giving people the space to do what’s personally important to them, be it going to their kid’s swim practice, or like me, finding the time for exercise.

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