Updated: Jan 10
With New Year's resolutions in mind, there has been a lot of chatter in the gym about goals. One consistent theme keeps coming up - the need to find balance between family, work, and fitness.
It is safe to say that most of us have a relentless and full schedule.
The good news is you are not alone in this. And because of that, there are a lot of people working on solutions.
With the help of three of my clients, we have some ideas to share.
These ladies consistently hit fitness goals. All three have demanding responsibilities at work. One is busy raising her family with multiple jobs. One has experience of being a single parent. One competes at various horse events in multiple states while working a time sensitive job.
I asked them to share one piece of advice on balancing a busy family, demanding job, and fitness goals (or a variation of this).
Each offered amazing insight, perspective and advise:
Practice the Stop, Reset, Prepare Strategy
Adjust Your Schedule
Get Tough on Your Goals
Your Calendar is as Important as Their Calendar
#1 Practice the Stop, Reset, Prepare Strategy
Katie is a single woman in her 30's. She has a fulfilling, yet demanding career with time sensitive responsibilities. She also competes in various horse events in multiple states.
Her job often requires long hours with deadlines and meetings. She is the sole caretaker of her horses, which takes time and attention. She is also accountable to a team she competes with, who depend on her.
In her words, "it is easy to fill my day with important tasks from sunup to sundown. If I am not careful, everyday could get away from me. I must stop, reset, and prepare myself to be successful".
STOP - Slow down and get organized
RESET - As you look over your schedule for the next week or so, prioritize
PREPARE - Decide in advance when you will meal prep, go to the gym - and do not allow these to move
"I have found when I get organized at the beginning of my week, everything runs smoothly. I clearly find time to meal prep and schedule my workouts. I can take action to prepare for my week. I can even decide if I will need to lay clothes out the night before a busy day".
#2 Adjust Your Schedule
Misty was a single parent for 10 years. During this time, she came to accept a few things she would have to do to maintain her health and fitness.
The first was the need to get up at 4 AM to exercise. As many come to learn, exercise is about much more than muscles and being lean. Exercise boosts immunity, increases energy levels, and improves mood - specifically improves happy chemicals in the brain.
Misty shares, "I just accepted I had to do what I had to do. I did not like getting up that early at first, but I had to start my family by 6 30 AM. Overtime, I started to like getting up that early. In fact, years later I still get up at 4 AM out of habit - and love it!"
If you have a busy family life, you need to exercise to maintain your best health.
That may require getting up before the kids or getting your workout after bedtime.
Here are a few ideas we have found to help with early rising.
Go to bed at an earlier hour
Reduce screen time before bed
Get a comfortable pillow and nice temperature in your bedroom
Set an alarm away from your bed so you must get up
Consider Melatonin or other natural sleep aids
#3 Get Tough on Your Goals
Misty shared another valuable lesson in the way she recognized strength training required her to be mentally tough - which brings balance outside the gym. Exercising can be hard physically, but more relevant to her, she had to push to believe in her abilities.
"As I get stronger mentally and physically in the gym, I have found mental strength translates into other places in my life.