Do these two things run through your head on a daily basis? I’m so busy and I wish I had more time to get everything done. I actually made a new year’s resolution (kinda) that I was going to stop replying, “Good, Busy” whenever a friend asked “How are you?” No one cares if I am busy because they are busy or busier too! Things are different for women these days and we feel more pressure to say yes and take on more than our mothers ever did. I remember a day, many years ago, I picked my toddlers up from my parents house after work, they were my childcare, and listed what I had to do that week. My mom said, “I don’t know how you young girls do it these days.” To her the idea of hour to hour and even minute to minute scheduling was crazy and exhausting. I quickly responded, “that’s just the way it is if you want to get it all done.” But is it really? It took many years after that moment to come to terms with the life that I was living and the choices I was making for myself and my family.
During the new mom years, I was working part time in sales and used my 2 days off to run my fitness business and to be with my kids. My husband was a full time teacher, after school coach and a travel coach. We also lived 25 mins from my parents, so workdays included an extra hour of commuting. The life balance of working part time was great, but it still seemed like everything was in rush mode. When I sat down to play or read stories, I was bargaining with myself about what would have to go on the back burner in order to spend this quality time with my kids or husband. I am trained in wellness and I know this is no way to live, so I made an effort to give myself a break and let things go a little. I allowed myself to eat out more on nights when I just didn’t have the energy to cook. I used food as a treat to help alleviate stress. I skipped workouts because I thought if I couldn’t do at least an hour why even bother. I let food in the fridge go to waste because I didn’t plan weekly meals out well enough. Sound familiar?
Back then I also used the grocery store as an outing. You know, the one place you can take kids where no one cares if they start to cry because their tired or hungry. That one place where you can see familiar faces and maybe catch up with a friend because we are all doing the same thing!
Fast forward 5 years and I am still a very busy mom of 2 young children, now a full time sales rep, a fitness professional and overall a very social being that takes lots of opportunities to be with friends. Have I figured out the answer to being busy with out stress, HELL NO! But, I can honestly say I finally get the expression, KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID! I have made significant strides in figuring out that busy is fine if you are doing what you love. The key is being able to SIMPLIFY to create time to pursue what you love and need!
To me simplifying is a 2 prong approach. It starts with the mindset that it’s ok to not have everything you want and that the journey to get there should be as enjoyable as the destination. Ok, that’s sounds way too fluffy! In other words, stop worrying about what others have that you don’t and where you thought you would be by now….appreciate what you do have because life gets complicated the more you have and the more you are responsible for. Do what you do well, REALLY WELL, by keeping your focus on fewer things. The second prong is creating ways to make daily life just a bit easier. Some people are master organizers and have systems for keeping clutter under control, not me by the way! Others are great at couponing and meal planning. I am great at finding ways to create more time in my day to focus on eating well and exercise. I love food and I love working up a sweat, they are needs, not wants. Some days that means doing errands, sweaty from a workout, but in the long run it makes me happy. I love this quote, “It’s not about having the time, it’s about making the time.” That’s why I created my 5 Simple Steps to get TIME back in your day cheat sheet. Go here and enter your email to get it http://bit.ly/5stepstime
There are so many helpful websites and resources out there giving advice on how to manage time. Figure out what you’re struggling with and put some strategies in place to allow yourself more time for the things that really count!