Are you making a conscious effort to manage your time or are you just going with the motions? Are you going through the day to day feeling out of control and experiencing a lack of balance? Do you find it difficult to make time for a healthier lifestyle?
My “On the Go Mompreneur” life is non-stop and busy! I have a 3 year old, a 1 1/2 year old, my own businesses and a house to run. Towards the end of my second pregnancy I dreaded the thought of not being able to keep up. The idea of time and managing it was non-existent. However I found that despite the time constraints it’s possible to commit to a healthy lifestyle (family included). It can be challenging, however; I am living proof that making time for healthy living is indeed possible. You must first ask yourself genuinely: Do you want to make time? If so you can master the ability to MANAGE your time by differentiating between what’s important and what can wait. You will need to make choices such as: “Can the pile of dishes in my sink wait?” Prioritizing will help you better manage your time because there is nothing in your present day life you cannot manage. When you are in control of your own life you feel good. You feel resourceful and that in turn allows everything else to fall into place. It may not be easy. Some habits may need to be broken and new ones created. Some things will need to take a backseat while reasons to make a change are more clearly defined. It starts with you. Incorporating a healthy lifestyle that consists of clean nutrition, physical activity and freedom from stress is where it begins. Below are a few suggestions to set you up for success in making time for healthy living.
Change the Conversation
We have enough of the outside world telling us what we need, what we are not doing, where we lack and who we need to be. Do not invite negativity from your own voice to that party! Don’t tolerate that kind of “talk from yourself. Do not tolerate excuses for why you cannot make time for what’s important. If you constantly tell yourself you do not have time to be healthy then that will sadly always be your reality. A simple change in your self-talk will make a heap of a difference. It takes a transition from the overused “I don’t have time” excuse to a solution based comment such as “where can I make an adjustment/change in my day to day so I have time”. If your self-talk is action orientated you will find that it changes your thought process. If you change your thought process you will make the changes necessary.
Assess Your Day to Day
The next step is self-assessing. Make some time to sit down and write out your day to day. Define your current schedule, priorities and responsibilities in detail. What do you spend the most time on? What can be done more effectively? What on your day to day isn’t much of a priority and can wait? Where is there time each day to fit in at least 20-30 min of physical activity? When is a good day to do clean food shopping and prep for the week? What makes you feel the most stress? The answers to these questions allows for you to paint an actual picture of your time and what it is spent on. It allows you to eliminate whatever is not a priority and define what does not contribute to your overall wellness. If it doesn’t serve your healthy living goal then perhaps it can wait.
Setup for Success
“If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail”. In your assessment you ask “what can be done more effectively”…. Really hone in on this one! When you put away the groceries are you squeezing in time to prep so you don’t have to do this later? Have you researched the most convenient foods on the go? I personally like to buy on the go portion containers and fill them for the next 2-3 days with clean meals. You can throw the proper measuring cups/spoons in your box of oatmeal, bag of chia seeds and other snacks so you can grab and go. Portion out some snacks for the week and put them in baggies. Portion out meals and leave them ready in your fridge to grab and go. Surround your social media with healthy living content. Cater to your schedule by choosing a workout you can realistically do with the allotted time you have. Write down your meals and physical activity regimen for the week with exact times and treat it as appointments that cannot be missed. Preventative management is more successful than reactive management.
What Can Wait Should Wait
If it doesn’t contribute to your overall wellness then it can wait. Don’t let the small things like cleaning, laundry or errands take over what’s most important: Your well-being. Too often we become too comfortable with using these excuses as a crutch. When changing the conversation you have with yourself you will begin to lose the excuses. Some of you tend to overcommit to duties or responsibilities even when time does not permit for such commitments. Please remember that it’s OKAY TO SAY NO. What you gain is usually more than what is lost. When you are better able to manage yourself you are of more use to others anyway. If you do not have time for other obligations then commit when time DOES permit. If in order to accomplish this some things need to be put on the back burner then so be it!
I hope this helps to re-direct your focus. Please don’t be so hard on yourself either! We tend to be our worst critics. Take an internal inventory of all you are and have been able to do. Appreciate your mind body and spirit for all it’s done. You cannot be resourceful to anyone at home work or anywhere else if you are not resourceful to yourself.
Coach Nadia K.