Achieving balance between family, work, fitness and the daily grind is not impossible. Life today can be downright chaotic, juggling demanding work schedules, children’s extra-curricular activities, household chores, and family. But what about your personal fitness goals? These sure don’t become a myth just because you have decided to have a family. It is possible to balance it all! It is going to require that you take a hard look at your life and become a prolific scheduler, but I have a few strategies that can help make this transition easier.
Create a list
Writing it down on paper makes it easier to simplify and organize.
The first thing you will write down in the first column is your top priorities. Priorities are identified as being “MUSTS” and are non-negotiable. These are things like work, meal planning & prepping, household chores, children’s school and their pre-registered extracurricular activities.
Secondly, you will create a list of “WANTS” in the second column. This list will include things like your workouts, date nights, and eating meals outside the home. I also recommend including your precise fitness goals in this column such as weight training three times a week, a long distance run on Saturday mornings or anything like that.
Lastly, look at the past two weeks and write down the things that are “TIME WASTERS”. This list will include the activities you do to pass the time such as scrolling social media, shopping without a purpose –really anything that you do with time that can be spent productively doing something else.
Now, take a hard look at these lists. Most people will see that their “TIME WASTERS” column is more full than either of the other columns. That is great news! This means that with some strategic scheduling – you are on your way to finding more balance!
Mark your calendar and get it done.
Now, I suggest purchasing either a monthly or weekly calendar and picking a spot to display it so everyone in the family can see it. First, write all the “MUSTS” into their corresponding day with times on the calendar. Then fill in the schedule with your “WANTS” and the time period for all of them. Make sure you put your fitness schedule on the calendar and make a note of the days where it doesn’t seem to fit.
Incorporating fitness into busy lives is a common challenge and unfortunately, one of the first things that gets omitted. It starts with pressing the snooze button in the morning too many times, or skipping your evening workout in favor of social events. Once you have mastered your ability to schedule your workout time and commit to it, you can focus on making the most of each workout.
Here are some ideas to ensure you are on the right track:
- Get up early and get it done. Some of my best workouts are first thing in the morning. My mind is clear and I have less distractions. Purchase a piece of cardio equipment for your home so you can literally roll out bed and get exercising.
- Become a fitness family. Instead of heading to the gym on a Saturday afternoon, take the family to the park and play a game of soccer or do a mini boot camp where your kids can participate. Involve the whole family in learning to cook healthy and nutritious meals.
- Make your workouts efficient. A lot of time can be wasted waiting around between sets at the gym. Adding circuits and supersets can help make the most of your time plus has the added benefit of burning more calories.
- Be flexible. Some months will feel easy to incorporate fitness into your life while others will be a challenge. We all know that life happens and we can’t control everything. My advice is to roll with it. As long as you remain committed to your fitness goals, the little speed bumps that life throws at us are not significant in the long run.
- Remember that getting fit is not a final destination. Fitness, just like finding balance, is a journey.
These tips are just the beginning, but they will provide you with a solid foundation that will help you achieve balance for the long haul. Taking a more organized approach to scheduling your family’s week will pay off by allowing you some more time for fitness for yourself, and more time for the family to come together to explore the opportunities of a new lifestyle.
By Angela Robinson