Your new Beginning doesn’t have to start on Monday…
It’s Monday morning. Today is the start of eating better and working out. This is the weekly mantra I convince myself of as I roll out of bed at 6:15 to take the dog out. We all know that every new beginning has to start on a Monday, right?! I mean, who is motivated to start eating salad on a Friday night after a long workweek and running the kids to every activity under the sun? Not me. I’m getting pizza! I’m not cooking. I’m lying on the couch. And I sure as hell am not going to the gym, because I’m tired.
So here I am on Monday mornings at the crossroad. I can take the dog out and start my day by taking the route that is under construction but leads to me feeling energized, in control, and just plain AWESOME…or I can take the nicely paved road that leads back to bed, with the dog snuggled at my feet. I can stay in the same routine (rut) that I was in last week which leaves me tired, overwhelmed, cranky, and feeling overall defeated. If I take the latter road, the week is shot, because in my mind every new beginning has to start on Monday.
So today I’m taking the road under construction. I’m taking the dog out and then I’m drinking an entire pot of coffee because I got this! Monday is described by my family as my “day off.” I think they have visions of me taking the dog to the park or lying on the couch wrapped in a comfy blanket watching a marathon of Parenthood. You and I both know that this is not the case. My “day off” is spent running the non-profit business called “My Home.” It’s meal planning and grocery lists and shopping; Its laundry and vacuuming and dishes; Its budgeting and bill paying. It’s getting as organized as I can to make the rest of my week less stressful. So how do I fit in working out? I realistically schedule it.
Being realistic is the key here. The more realistic you are about what you can do, the better your chance of success. If you are like me and find it hard to make time for yourself, then it’s time to challenge yourself to put you first. It is possible so stop making excuses. Do this, and trust me when I say, your family will thank you. I literally sat down with my kids and broke it down for them. If you think they haven’t noticed that you are stressed and moody then brew yourself another pot of coffee and drink it because it’s time to wake up. They see you are frazzled, tired, and moody; they have no clue why, but they see you loud and clear. Getting them on board will benefit them, and let’s be real here, in their eyes it’s all about them. I cannot stress enough how important having the support of your family is to being successful in putting yourself first and getting active.
When I sat down with my kids I explained to them in real terms how I was feeling and how having just a few hours to myself each week could help me feel happier, healthier, and more energized. In order for me to be the best version of me, I need to invest time in myself. The saying “happy wife, happy life” is no joke. When you feel good about yourself, everyone around you benefits from it. My family benefits 110% from me putting myself first and making being active a priority. I see the difference and so do they.
So how do you fit it in? Schedule it. I have 5 workouts a week scheduled into my calendar. Yep, 5. And I am busy! This may seem like a lot, but for me, it’s realistic and doable. When I first started scheduling my workouts I had 2…then it went to 3 and just last month when my oldest left for college, I bumped up to 5. By scheduling it in like an appointment it makes it a real commitment. Let’s say you have to drop your daughter at dance class, schedule a walk during the same time. Keep your sneakers in your car and instead of spending the hour hanging out and catching up with the dance moms, go for a walk. Grab another mom to join you! Think of how many of your kid’s weekly activities allow you the flexibility to either get to the gym for a half hour or walk a few miles right there and then put it on your calendar…every week.
On Saturday mornings my entire family sleeps in while I take a Spin class with my girlfriend. You may be thinking you want to sleep in: It was a hectic week of running and you need it. Well I’m telling you, kick starting your weekend with a Saturday morning activity will make you feel more relaxed and stress free than any amount of extra sleep. Want to involve your family? Get up and make a big breakfast, pack a lunch, and find a mountain or trail to hike. Take your Saturday morning activity and change it into a family one. There are so many amazing places to hike right in your area, get online and find one and put it on your calendar. We all have our excuses as to why we aren’t able to be active. But I firmly believe if something is a priority we figure out how to fit it in…no matter how busy we are. We find the time to spend 2 hours with our hairdressers every month, we find the time to read up on what everyone is doing on FB, we find time to attend a Sip & Paint girls night out. How? By scheduling it because it’s a priority. So tonight when the kids go to bed, sit down with a another pot of coffee, or a glass of wine, pull out the old calendar and start penciling in time for the most important person in your life…you.