Everyone longs to be healthy. But we sometime find ourselves wondering how we are going to fit it in our schedule. I promise you we can find it and I promise you it’s worth it. I know from my own experience how tricky this can be. I originally started my career in the health and fitness industry because I love helping my clients achieve their goals, helping them find the right balance with nutrition, mental and physical health, a balance that works for them for the rest of their life. I started working in gyms over 30 years ago. I have always loved motivating people to live a healthier happier life. I climbed the corporate ladder and found myself in the industry but sitting at a desk. I thought this was success, but I was gaining weight, wasn’t sleeping, I didn’t have any time for my own health and worse of all I didn’t have time for my family. And it was showing up everywhere in my life. I felt awful physically and mentally, and I knew I needed to make a change.
We are all looking for a solution to how we can live a healthy balance life, but we need to recognize the truth. Are you really making a commitment to living a Balance Healthy and Happy Lifestyle or are we just making excuses? We all have challenges with work and family responsibilities, whether you’re a stay-at-home Parent or a CEO. We need to recognize that if we feel our health and happiness slipping away……it’s time to make some changes.
Balanced living means considering all aspects of your life but first you have to believe it's possible. Next you need to prioritize and unjumble your life. And finally, you need to be consistent.
Believe – Why not you? You have felt it that tingle inside that gets you excited about making a change or starting something new…. then the self-doubt trickles in, slowly drowning your tingle, like water dripping on fresh a painting until the excitement is unrecognizable. Did you know that the number one regret of people on their death bed is that they wished they had the courage to live a life truer to themself and didn’t worry so much about what other expected of them? Somewhere deep inside, you know what kind of life you want. Think like the Oaktree not the Acorn. The Acorn hopes for one day and the Oaktree knows it’s possible.
Unjumble your life – Separate what you need from what you need to get rid of. We are pulled in so many directions and have so many demands that we never get our list completed. We have to many things to accomplish, and we end up going an inch deep and a mile wide. What are the top 5 things that a most important to living a balance life? When you can identify the top 5 things it allows you to say no to the less important or the things that are going to stall your success.
Consistency – This is a Biggy and without consistency it is almost impossible to find success. When we bite off more than we can chew it is hard to stay consistent with the changes that we have made. This is why most of us fail to reach our goals. We need to take bite size chunks of things we know we can do. Set yourself up for a WIN! (Examples... Walking for 20 mins after dinner instead of watching Netflix and eating a healthy breakfast) Once we have created these habits we can add on more.
Once we are able to commit to the belief, prioritizing and consistency we can then start working on a plan. By focusing on the following:
Family – Schedule time to check in with the family, maybe a Sunday night 15-minute meeting to review the upcoming work week. This will help to go over upcoming commitments so there are less obstacles in your schedule. Schedule at least 1 outdoor activity as a family, maybe a hike on the weekend. Loose the remote! Sorry spending time watching tv every night after dinner is not going to help you stay connected nor will it help move you toward a happier healthier life. This is a perfect time to move your body and connect with your family as you move towards living a happier and healthier lifestyle. We all know that walking lowers stress and cortisol & can assist in weight loss. But did you know that being outside could make you happier, more cooperative and some believe increases memory and intelligences. Imagine how much easier it might be to get your kids to do their homework and get the little ones ready for bed.
Work – Is your job an excuse or is it really keeping you from living a healthy life? Is it really keeping you from exercising? Is it really keeping you from eating healthier? This is the #1 excuse I hear from my clients. I can’t make healthy choices because of the J-O-B, and I feel you because it was my excuse as well! Pretty embracing because I work in the fitness industry. This is my top 4 ways to avoid using your career as an excuse.
1. Prep your food Take a couple hours on the weekend to prep whatever meals you are eating away from the house; this includes sporting events for the kiddos.
2. Walk at lunch When you have lunch already at your desk it buys back the time that you would be driving and/or eating out. So, get up and get to walking.
3. 3pm cravings When you’re feeling tired and or lethargic. You need to be prepared with an energy packed snack that won’t spike your insulin. When we eat unbalanced here it leaves us craving unhealthy foods when we get home. (See sample healthy mid-day snack in free worksheet)
4. Two 10-minute walks during the workday. Not only will the help you with stress release and lowering your cortisol, but it will also ignite your metabolism and help with those tight hips and stiff necks.
Strength Training - How you are working out is just important as the workout in itself, especially after the age of 40. We carry so much stress in our everyday life that we are already challenged with our Cortisol levels and when we add in high stress, oxygen deprived workouts it can contribute to cortisol spikes. If we don’t focus on weight resistant and stress reducing exercises, we can very likely be losing muscle and slowing our metabolism. The older you get the more you need to focus on building and maintaining your muscle mass. A pound of muscle requires 300 – 500 calories a week and adding more muscle is the secret to creating a metabolism that requires more calories. I’m not knocking cardio, it should have a place in your program and hopefully if you are able to make the changes in your family and work habits, it's already built into your week. But if you want long lasting results! You will need to pick heavy things up to change how your body burns calories
Me Time – Finding time to take care of yourself and quite you mind will help with stress reduction. Schedule time each week to allow yourself to de-stress, at least 1 hour weekly. There is 168 hours in a week - schedule 1 of them for you. Maybe you spend a few minutes on relaxing by yourself each day. Get up a few minutes early in the morning and have some quiet time before the rest of the house wakes. Don’t use this time to catch up on your emails or the news, that creates noise and stress. Grab your coffee, step outside and enjoy the sunrise. Instead of taking a quick shower at night take a long soak in an aroma filled bath (see list of essential oils that promote relaxation on free worksheet), use this time to meditate, read or just listen to relaxing music. Yes, you might get to bed ½ hour later, but you will sleep way better than you would have if your eyes had spent that time on a screen.
Make sure you get some laughter in each day. Laughing can help to alleviate stress, fight off infections, boost brain health, lower blood pressure and improve your mood.
My reasons for making changes may be different from yours. I was overworked, overweight, and over stressed. I thought I had no time for my family, no time for my health and I was spiritually bankrupt. I spent time focusing on what wasn’t working instead of what was. Some may have thought I had a successful career. But I know I was not living a successful life.
If in this moment you are wanting to make the change, make it specific to you. Finding balance and time to live a happier healthy life isn’t always easy but it’s always worth it.
If you need help finding your way to a Healthier Happier & Balanced Lifestyle, we are here to help you navigate, please reach out to me or the team. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .