|and also Every Brain|
The best time to work on goals is immediately after you exercise. Or, if your issue is something like uncontrollable urges to eat, a 10-minute burst of exercise (a fast walk, a stationary bike ride, dancing vigorously, going up and down the stairs, jumping rope–anything that will get your heart rate up) can relieve the urge AND help to build new connections in your brain so that eventually the urge to eat will lose its strength and alternative activities will come to mind.
My son Ben turned me on to the book, so I have him to thank for getting me running every morning first thing after my coffee. I start out walking for 15 minutes, then run a little over a mile, then walk home–about 40 minutes altogether. Since I've started, this is what I've noticed: I'm a lot more productive during the day; I concentrate on my work for longer periods of time without getting distracted; and I feel calmer and happier. Thanks Ben!
When it starts to get dark, and the urge for a drink invades my consciousness, I go for a rapid walk with the dog. The length and time varies, but at least 10 minutes. I'm not saying that I don't pop open a beer or pour a little wine when I get home, because sometimes I do. But it's not to relieve anxiety, and that's a big difference. With anxiety already relieved, I drink more slowly and I drink less. For people with really out-of-control substance abuse problems, exercise can also definitely help, and there's a lot about how in the book.
Note: The Royal College of Psychiatrists recommends 40 minutes of exercise which gets you out of breath five times a week.