Making every moment matter: how to add a fitness lifestyle into your variable schedule

“I’m running out of time.”

“There isn’t enough time.”

“I am just too busy.”

“I have too many things going on.”

“Time flies.”

Heard these before? Said these before? I know I have. Time is an excuse used by many to prevent them from adding in a positive lifestyle change like exercise into their life. It is easy to convince yourself that you are too busy and the more you use language related to the time you don’t have, the more you create chaos and less time in your life. This reminds me of the quote by Rumi, “What you seek, is seeking you.” Rumi relates what you focus on to be what comes to fruition in your life. So, if you are someone who tends to focus on the deficiencies of time, well, there you are.

So, if you are someone who tends to focus on the deficiencies of time, well, there you are.

It’s certainly something that I have wrestled with in my own life. My husband, a commercial airline pilot, is gone more than he is home each week. Which leaves him a short window to prepare for his next trip, spend time with me, spend time with his family and friends and also include his own hobbies into that window. It can be overwhelming. As the wife of a pilot, I feel the same pull as I am working from home and trying to maintain all the duties at home while he is away.


My husband, on his way to MCI.

  • I used to use time as an excuse for me to not exercise.

  • I used to use time as an excuse for me to not take care of myself.

  • I used to use time as an excuse for not getting adequate amounts of sleep.

  • I used to use time as an excuse for eating out and forgoing mealprep.

  • I used to use time as an excuse for not maintaining a sustainable fitness lifestyle.

I learned that time wasn’t the issue. All my excuses added up to a lot of time. My mindset surrounding time was off.


When I attended San Diego State University in the academic year of 2007-2008, my psychology professor, whose name I forget now, gave our class some sound advice about our thoughts that has stuck with me to this day. He told us that a human can literally tell themselves a story, habitually, and even if that story is a lie, the brain has made it truth.

A human can literally tell themselves a story, habitually, and even if that story is a lie, the brain has made it truth.

This can apply to time, and the many one liners we tell ourselves about time. When we think of time in a negative space, we make it true for ourselves that we don’t have enough of it.

Time stories plague the airline industry, and it’s easy to see why. In a world run by the clock, airline carriers are forced to maintain on-time performance, pushing the frontline to eb and flow with the demand. Working in a time conscious arena can blindfold you to the reality that there is time for YOU in the midst of your variable schedule.

Instead of thinking as taking care of your health and wellness as a huge demand on your time, try reframing it into a more positive outlook. This can look like, “I only need to take 30 minutes to workout and I am pumped, that is going to be so quick.” Or it can also be something like, “I am so happy that I’m taking the time to mealprep for a few hours because I know that it will save me buttloads of time on the road.”

Mindset is one key way to improve the way you see your time, so that you can look at time differently and implement changes more effectively. It takes more than just mindset to be a master of your time, the other key component deals with prioritizing.

Look inward, and ask yourself if you are good at prioritizing your time?


I don’t think you need anyone to tell you if you are great with your time or not, because you yourself know how well you do with your time. I am here to show you there may be areas you can afford to axe time from and in turn, add on to maintain a sustainable fitness lifestyle.


  • Take 10 minutes from getting ready, it could be from how long you take a shower, to your simplifying your hair routine, and take that 10 minutes to eat a nutritious breakfast.

  • Take 30 minutes away from your allotted Netflix time, reading time, or just plain lying around time, and make that into your exercise time.

  • Take 15 minutes from sitting down with your friends to getting outdoors with them on a walk.

  • Put a time limit on your social media scrolling, and insert a new hobby, like painting or blogging.

Prioritizing takes effort, and planning. Especially for my frequent flyer friends. Your schedule is not guaranteed, and if you’re on reserve it means it’s definitely a crap shoot. However, you can always be prepared.


  • Maintaining a sustainable fitness lifestyle with the constant on-the-go is always going to take planning. One of the things is to know your schedule.

  • Got an early show on Monday and you know there is nothing open to grab a healthy breakfast, now you know the night before you can prepare a to-go breakfast bar or sandwich so you aren’t starving on the way in to work.

  • Found out you are working all weekend and you got stuck with turn and burn trips, now you can prepare some quick meals, so you can bypass any plane food and get more nutrient dense food in your body.

  • On reserve and get called out for a long haul, good thing you meal prepped for a 3-day just in case and brought it all with you.

Being prepared pays off, and I have had this happen on the road with my husband when we had 10 hours in BOS (Boston) on an overnight. I knew it was going to be quick, we had meal prepped food with us, and I was planning to get a workout in before bed. We had about 3 hours before we should hit the hay for the early show in the morning. However, we land and our shuttle is nowhere to be found to take us to the crew hotel. We wait 45 minutes before we decide that we should get a taxi because our shuttle wasn’t coming for us. This meant it cut down on our time to workout, and if we were thinking about going out to eat, now it was not an option.

We were prepared though. We had brought mealprep with us. We had my ready set resistance program that can be done in the hotel room with the equipment that fits so easily in my bag ready. With only 2 hours between getting to the hotel and hitting our heads to the pillow, we were able to eat a balanced meal, and get a 30-minute workout in. That is what I call efficiency because of preparedness!

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You have to be willing to sacrifice some of your “free” time for “me” time

You have to be willing to sacrifice some of your “free” time for “me” time. It is something I’ve implemented, and it’s allowed me to see that my time can be spent on more important things, like my health.

The last tip for my fly fam is to make sure that what you implement is sustainable. It’s a common mistake I see. Those that have variable schedules can sometimes place a heavy burden on themselves by trying to do too much. Failing to recognize they’ve stretched themselves too thin. Be honest with yourself about the time you do have and be realistic with your goals. Your health is important but not to the detriment of your stress levels. So be kind, open and like I said HONEST. You know what you can take on. You know what you can improve.

Sustainability equals consistency. I am an advocate of maintaining a sustainable fitness lifestyle so that you can live a life full of vitality, even when your career has high demands on your time.


Stay Fit to Fly,


Madolyn MillerComment