Life today is so overwhelmingly busy for most of us these days! You work full time. Your kids have multiple activities every night of the week and games or tournaments on the weekends. The house is a mess. Laundry is overflowing and you can’t even remember the last time you cleaned your bathroom. (Please tell me this isn’t just me?!). But, it doesn’t stop there. You aspire to cook healthy meals for your family, you desire to get in shape and workout every day, you dream of the perfect body you think you’ll never have. So, how do you balance your schedule to fit everything in? You can’t.
I’m going to be honest with you here for a moment. There is no perfect way to balance it all. Some days your house is going to be messy, or the laundry is going to get neglected, or you will eat out more nights then you would like to admit. But how can you make the most of your time to still balance and prioritize health and fitness in your life?
1: Sit down with a calendar, and I don’t mean your phone calendar. A physical calendar that you can write on and make notes. Write down your kid’s activities, your work meetings, anything and everything that you have going on for the week. Then think about what days you KNOW you will have time for a workout. Whether it’s a quick 15 minute HIIT session before work, going for a run while your child is at practice, or a lifting session over your lunch break, schedule it on your calendar so you can see it there as part of your week.
2: After you have figured out which days and times you have to exercise, decide what those workouts will be. Do you want them to be a mix of cardio and lifting? Do you want to run a couple days that week? Or do you only have enough time to squeeze in some short HIIT sessions? Using the same calendar, write down exactly what your workouts will be, on those days that you have already scheduled them. So now you have planned out both your workout days and your workouts for the week.
3: Take 20-30 minutes and plan out your meals for the week. Look up things such as ‘healthy easy meals’ or ‘healthy instant pot meals my family will love’ on Pinterest for ideas and pin them to your page as a reference to use again later. Once again, I highly suggest you write them down somewhere. A scratch piece of paper, a dry erase board that sits in your kitchen, or even using your weekly calendar will work great. You can do this with all your meals, snacks included! Having a meal plan in place for the week helps you feel in control, rather than letting the food control you.
4: Get to the grocery store to buy the ingredients you need for your meals. If you are like me, grocery shopping is a huge pain that you dread, especially if you have to take the kids with you. Make it easier! Use your grocery stores pick-up services (if it offers this) and order your groceries online. This saves me SO much time and money! I don’t have the kids nagging me to buy this and that, and I don’t throw those ‘this looks really yummy, but I know it’s bad for me’ items in the cart on my way up and down the aisles.
5: Commit to your new plan. Don’t let the excuses of feeling too tired drag you down, but instead decide that you are going to make it happen! Are things always going to go perfectly? Of course not. Kids will get sick, you will oversleep through your early alarm clock, meetings will come up. But even when something messes up your plan, you can still find a way to make it work. Remember what your long-term goals are, focus on making small changes where you can, and when all else fails, reach out to your friends, family or someone else who will hold you accountable and motivate you to push yourself!