With multiple people living under the same roof, the moving parts never seem to settle and days never look the same. This makes it feel impossible to decide how, when, where and what to do for any self-care routine. There really is an infinite amount of things we could choose to spend our time doing and, oftentimes as a busy parent, it’s easy to take care of others’ needs thinking, “I’ll exercise later….” and then the day is done and we’re too tired (or busy) to squeeze us in.
Today, I wanted to talk about 3 key, and frequently missed, ingredients when it comes to finding time to exercise, get enough sleep, eat right and enjoy life.
The first place to start when trying to create small lifestyle tweaks (or even a massive overhaul) is to define what success looks like for you.
Get crystal clear on your outcome.
Sounds simple, but, like I said, most people skip this part. When was the last time YOU sat down and asked yourself what you really wanted?
The first time I did this exercise was with a homeschool mentor of mine it felt scary – what if my big dream doesn’t come true!? I also felt guilty for wanting to do something that was separate from my kids – thinking it made me selfish for wanting something that was just mine or ungrateful or unhappy for my mom job. If that is you, turn off your censor and give yourself permission to dream.
Another thing we mistakenly do (to our health demise) is we pick someone else’s outcome. Mom, friend, co-worker, beautiful neighbor… Society does us NO favors here, heavily influencing what we feel like we SHOULD do instead of really thinking about what WE want.
So… What does success really look like for you?
It’s most likely not what you grew up seeing or what we’re constantly being bombarded with on social media.
If you really dug deep and took a good look at YOU, what do YOU want?
This is really important because you are unique and, I guarantee, it’s not going to look like what anyone else wants. It might come close, but the suttle nuances of your plan will come together as a one-of-a-kind painted picture of wellness when you do this right.
Another common mistake is that the answer is too vague. Do you “want to be a great mom” or “want to have more energy”? More energy and great relationships are a good place to start, but it’s not specific or measurable. Go deeper. See it, smell it, feel it, taste it.
What does that mean or look like on a monthly, weekly, daily basis? Do you want to have more energy so you can go for long bike rides with your kids or take a vacation to Italy and hike the trails of Cinque Terre with your friends when you retire?
Second, track and reduce phone time either on social media time or mindlessly logging in.
This might seem painful, but even if you don’t feel like you have a problem installing an app like Moment, Offtime or Breakfree could help you get a snapshot of how long you are on your phone in a 24 hour period of time.
Just as an experiment, I recently installed the Moment app on my phone so I could track my phone time. This is a little tricky because sometimes my kids get on my phone so it’s not all my time, but even with them getting on my phone I still make it a game to see how low I can get my minutes in a 24 hour period of time. By simply tracking your time, you become more aware of how often you are doing something and can consciously make a better choice. (It is also a great thing to have installed on my teenagers phones as well so we KNOW how much time they are really on there.)
Phones are addictive and denial is not the first stage to recovery. 🙂 Don’t get stuck in this stage thinking, “But I don’t have a problem.” Knowing where your time goes is the place to start when you want to reclaim it in your days and weeks.
Third, get clear on your top priorities and then align your behavior accordingly.
Again, be specific.
Gone unchecked, most of us don’t make choices that are truly aligned with our priorities and what we really want deep down. (I’m guilty of doing this too!) We spend money on random crap instead of saving for retirement, Instagram keeps us mesmerized instead of spending time with our kids or husband and it’s too easy to stay up late with Jimmy Fallon, sleep in and skip our exercise.
I can give the details because I’ve got first hand experience.
When we moved to a rural village in Germany in 2011 and I started homeschooling, everything was 25-30 minutes away from our house: the grocery store, the base, the church, the markets, the gym. Driving around could be a huge time, energy, relationship, school, (everything?) drain. Learning how to consolidate errands to 1/2 a day on Fridays and getting everything else online was how I solved the problem of potentially living my life in my car.
What changes can you make right now that will eliminate the things you don’t really want that are eating up your time?
Now it’s your turn.
What is one key you can use right now that will make a difference in your life? Or what is something you’ve done in your life that has helped you stay consistent that I missed in this article?
I want the best for you and I know you are capable of making your dreams come true!