You know the saying, Actions speak louder than words?
It is so very true. I cannot tell count the number of times that someone has told me they don’t know how I find time to do X, Y, or Z. First, I can promise you I am not a magician finding elusive time. I am consciously creating time and space to do things.
This is not to say that I am perfectly executing all, even any, of these things at all times. When it comes to what other people should do, no one needs to be a mini Becka. Take what I have to say and try it out, and see how you can change it to make it work for you. Or before you even try it, realize it does not help align you to your goals and skip it.
My family. My health. My business. My dancing. My volunteer work. All of these are priorities to me. I create time for them to happen. Not a priority: my house, grocery shopping, and watching my kids at practice. I am an advocate for automating things like toilet paper, utilizing grocery deliveries, and hiring people to clean the house and up after the dogs. Now, some people need to have fewer things they focus time and attention on because they need (budget/money-wise) to shop and clean themselves. No judgement either way. Just know that if you are choosing to live in a clean house and you are the one to clean it, that needs to be a priority. If it important to attend every function for a child, you may not be able to do your own activity, like dancing in a company. Just in March, I had Mike record Grace’s wheel competition because my dance rehearsal overlapped the time.
When you look at peaceful, successful people, what you often don’t see is how they start their day. Grounding oneself works for so many different people. Whether you sit in silence, jump in a cold shower, say some prayers, step barefoot outside, or listen to a guided meditation. Checking your email, news app, or social media first thing is the best way to make sure your day is about responding to what happens around you. Rising and taking time to set your intentions on the day gives you the opportunity to direct more of your day. A few exceptions here, maybe you have a two-legged or four legged being in your house that dictates your sleep, this may not be the season for you to implement rising early. When I have class at 5 AM, my alarm is going off at 345 so that I have time to center myself before rising and getting going with my day. This means that I prioritize bedtime, too. I cannot stay up late scrolling social media or drinking wine if I want to be rested at 345.
If you have had any interaction with me surrounding weight loss, weight gain, or weight management, you know that the number one key, to me, is to plan ahead. I will never be the type of person to track my points all day on WW, and decide at 6 PM what I will eat for dinner based on my remaining points. I like looking at my week, every week. I happen to be writing this on Sunday, and I just filled in my calendar for the week. I have written in all the classes people have signed up for, all the appointments and meetings I have scheduled for the week. Color coding makes me happy, so in a different color, I also add the kids activities. Often times, I am not even the person driving them, so I need to make sure that the times I do drive, I keep it open. Next, I fill in other priorities. Right now, exercise is a huge one. In the Polar website, I have schedule my workouts for a whole month. On Sunday, I look at what is planned for each day and schedule what time that workout fits in my schedule.
I do have some interesting complications to making a schedule on Sunday for the week. The biggest one being that sometimes, clients haven’t signed up for class for the week. Or their schedule changes and they make day of changes to the class they will be attending. Another thing I don’t have control over is when I get out of the restaurant. If I schedule to do something before the actual end of my shift, and I’m not cut early, it can’t get done. Yet, if I come home early, I am not always “motivated” to work ahead on tasks. I also live in a house with 3 other people, and I can’t schedule 100% of the time when they are around. I’ll talk more about that below.
When it comes to planning, it is important to create WHITE SPACES (LINK BLOG HERE). I would never schedule every minute of a day. It is important to have catch up and downtime. With my work not being a typical start and stop once a day, I do make sure to schedule time with kids as needed. It isn’t that I wouldn’t talk to them or play a game with them otherwise, but if it is a priority, I am going to take the time and not find the time. Being that I teach classes when most people are not at work, the majority of my classes are outside of school hours too. I know how important quality time is, so I do not rely on touching base with the kids between classes. Overwhelmingly, I miss mornings before school but I do try to do most every bedtime. It’s a whole routine with reading and cuddling and meditation.
Make time for things you love.
I love to read, and I read a lot. The best way to make sure it happens? I have built it into my morning and evening routines. Even just a few minutes a day adds up to a lot of pages read at the end of the year. On the flip side, I often am amazed at how much television other people watch. One hundred percent, I prefer books over television, and I am not judging those who choose tv. However, if you are looking to make yourself more productive, little choices like tv over books are something to consider.
When watching tv though, have you ever seen a home makeover where they talk about the bedroom being a serene place? I do not eat in my bed, or watch tv in bed. Upon getting out of bed in the morning, I make my bed, get ready for the day, and leave my bedroom. Now, I often go to my room in the middle of the day to shower or change clothes. However, lounging in the bedroom does not happen. The bed is a place I go for rest. It is a great way to train your body and mind, hey, I’m in this bed, so it is time to relax and restore.
Managing stress, drinking water, and getting quality sleep are often underrated things to better control when on a health journey. We have talked food and exercise to the point of confusion, yet know that food and activity changes need to occur. If you are on a health journey, make sure you are prioritizing all five of these basics.
Goal setting is so much more than picking some dreams and thinking, that’d be nice. It takes dedication, commitment, and action. The most important part of goal setting is figuring out the actions to get you there. If you say that your goal is to lose 50 pounds, you need to change your priorities. Leave a little earlier, so you can park farther away, choose stairs over elevators. Find a water bottle and/or straw that you enjoy drinking from. Make sure every time you eat, you have a veggie on your plate. When we are getting healthy and cooking food at home, you cannot walk in the door at 8 pm and expect yourself to then cook dinner. You need to be home early enough (or utilize a crock pot), in order to make dinner. When I was on my weight loss journey, I made a lot of changes and took so many actions each and every day. One thing I eliminated was alcohol. I still went out with friends, with co-workers. My friends were a priority, but so was my health. I went out and ordered water.
If your priority is around money and budgets, you would sit down and take inventory of money you spend and money you bring home. From there, determine what you can cut, where you can spend less, what you are saving. Your body’s health is no different. Take inventory of what you put in your body, and what energy your body puts out. Are you eating your veggies but hitting the snooze 6 times instead of working out? Are you following your meal plan until you are stressed, and then all the wheels fall off?
Look at what you have done and accomplished today. Did you get outside? How about did you drink your water? Have you eaten vegetables at every meal and snack? Get a workout session completed? Anything you answered no to, look at the rest of your day, where can you make those things happen? Even if the day is mostly over, take one step right now to be on the right path.
Taking action to bring us closer to a goal is not a linear process either. Do not give up when you aren’t 100% perfect. No one is that on top of things. As I like to constantly remind people, you have an “end goal” in mind. But life is a journey, enjoy the process. You will not arrive at a magical destination one day, you will need to continually work at it over and over, every day.