Losing weight can be hard enough even if it were a full time job but what about when it is not? What about when you need to balance motherhood, a career, and maybe even being a student? It can seem impossible and it is no wonder so many women give up on getting healthy and fit until… until work slows down, until the kids grow up and need you less, until, until, until.
The only problem with waiting until is that until never comes. As soon as you get one thing checked off of the list, something else takes its place so the quicker we resolve to figure out how to put ourselves on the list NOW, the easier it is to escape being in a perpetual state of putting off our health and fitness.
So how does a working mom get herself on the plate without living with constant mommy guilt and a long list of “should haves”? It takes a delicate mix of prioritizing, scheduling, staying disciplined, building your village AND being willing to scrap it all for a better way.
Step #1: Determine your priorities.
Take the “S” off of your chest because Alicia Keys and everyone else who proclaims that you are superwoman is setting you up for fatigue and frustration. My business coach always says, “You can do it all but not all once” and I couldn’t agree more. Accept that there are seasons in life and that you will want to pick your priorities for each season. After you have picked your priorities, be willing to unapologetically say no to everything else and schedule your days according to the priorities that you have chosen.
Step #2: Time block and MEAN IT.
It is all good to have decide on your priorities but that is not enough. You will need to determine how much time you will spend on your priorities on a weekly and daily basis and then PUT THOSE TIME BLOCKS IN YOUR CALENDAR. Taking the step to set appointments is your sign to yourself and everyone else that you mean business and are dedicated to honoring your priorities. No empty spaces are allowed in the calendar. But what about my downtime? Schedule it! What about my time with my spouse or my friends? Schedule it! Having everything that is important to you on your calendar makes you less inclined to say yes to things that aren’t priorities just because you see that empty space on your calendar. Think about it. Haven’t you said yes to something that wasn’t important to you and then felt guilty that you weren’t spending enough time with your kids? Or that you skipped your workout again? I know I have done this so if it is important to you, put it on the calendar and MEAN IT.
I realize that most of us cringe at the thought of adding what may seem like more restriction to our lives by having our time be spoken for in advance. However I have found that deciding in advance how you will spend your time is actually so freeing and eliminates a ton of overwhelm and guilt. When I am working, I can do so without guilt about spending time with my children. When I am hanging out with my family, I can be fully present and not worry about that work project because everything is planned. I already know when I will handle the things that would normally dance around in my mind and make me crazy.
When I ignore what I know about time blocking and scheduling, I am a crazy busy, guilty, overwhelmed mess who is typing that last email at the dinner table. Really it isn’t pretty. Just ask my husband and he’ll tell you.
Step #3: Get help.
In order to get help, you have to stop feeling like you “should” be able to handle everything we have on your plate- alone. You could. However, I am telling you that if you want to eliminate the overwhelm and guilt, it is time to get help.
I have spent a little over a decade studying people who I would consider successful. I am talking about the women who have a sweet spirit, fit body, a banging career, awesome marriage, great relationship with their kids, and great friendships. I have discovered their little secret of how they have what evades us… they don’t do it alone. They build a TEAM! You don’t have to be rich or famous to form your own team. You just have to be open to getting help and to noticing who you are connected to who you could enlist to be a part of your team. Finally you have to be aware of your unique gifts and talents and the things that you naturally do that enhances the lives of those around you. Sometimes people join your team just to experience the blessing of what you do naturally- without thinking.
Step #4: Evaluate regularly
If you are hesitant to try this new way of being because you aren’t sure it could really work for you, give yourself a trial period and realize that you can always change your mind. If you realize a few weeks into it that you have added some things to your calendar that aren’t really priorities- change it. If you get help from the wrong person and it is more annoying than helpful, change that. There really is no losing in this game only learning, moving forward, and getting better.
Here’s to your weight loss without guilt or overwhelm!
What did you think? Let me know in the comments below! And if you found this helpful or inspirational, be sure to share.