I have heard over and over from my busiest of clients that there are not enough hours in the day. I get it. Our work and home life can often be overwhelming and we often put our work, or our family and friend’s needs before our own.
It will never work this way. Never. To live a full and healthy lifestyle, we must learn to put our happiness and health towards the top of the list. You are not being selfish. Conversely, by taking time to focus on you and your health and wellness, you bring to the table your best and healthiest self to all in your life.
Partners, spouses and family members are often the ones to blame here. There is nothing more annoying when I work closely with a client and one of two things happen:
Sabotage. This shows its face when a partner or family member gets in the way of a client’s journey towards health. Maybe they do the shopping and bring into the house trigger foods which have been removed. They may overload their family member’s schedule so there is no ‘ ‘me’ time available. Sometimes the loved ones are just too hard on the client’s journey and put them down for not being able to get healthy as quickly as they have. This is especially true with weight loss where one member has no problem shedding pounds. We are all different and our ‘bioindividuality’ makes each journey unique.
Secret journey. This is best described by a former client who refused to ‘come out’ to her family that she was on a journey to get healthy. Shout it from the rooftops! This will help with accountability and hopefully show everyone the seriousness that you are putting your health first. The most successful clients are the ones that announce their intentions in a public forum like Facebook and have reminders around the house that they are committed to their journey. Often times, it causes those around you to join you on your journey, or the ‘ripple effect’ as we love to say. The ‘secret journey’ may also come up in social settings where the client is embarrassed to say no to unhealthy foods offered. Get over it.
So how do we find ways to carve out the all important ‘me’ time? Here are three easy steps to help ensure that you will have enough time in your busy schedule to live a healthy lifestyle:
Set a schedule. You schedule everything else in your life and to be healthy in a busy week you have to open up your calendar and make appointments. Monday at 6:30 a.m., yoga with Pam. Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., Kim babysits so I can go to a healthy dinner with the wife. Wednesday at noon, green smoothie for lunch so I can take an hour for a brisk walk outside the office. Thursday 6:00 at p.m., bootcamp with Bender. Friday at 6:30 a.m., 30-minute meditation. There is room. Schedule it.
Holistic Sundays. By far the most successful part of our program for our clients is to take back their Sundays. No schedule here. This is time for you and your family. Take a long walk with a loved one or go to your place of worship. Set up for success and take a few hours to cook or prepare your healthy lunches for the week. Give up those brunches with too many adult bevies (you can do it). Make a rule that Sundays are for you. If your partner makes plans for you, have an understood rule that you have the right to decline and focus on ‘me’ time.
Plan ahead. Plan as far ahead as you can. Don’t let vacations, events and busy holidays get in your way and know what is on deck for the future. If vacation is happening, research and find ways to keep your healthy lifestyle by finding a yoga studio to drop in to. A quick search will give you a great list of healthy dining spots. I know it’s time to relax, but you may need to schedule your ‘me’ time on vacation, too. For the decadent holidays, take over cooking duties and swap out foods to a healthier menu.
You only have one body. You only have one life. It is true that you may also have one family, but it is time to make time for yourself so that your family will have you around for long life to come. Most importantly, have the (sometimes very serious) conversation with your loved ones that this is your time and that you are on a journey to get yourself back onto your path to total health. They need to either help you in your journey, or get the hell out of the way.
Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Chip Allman-Burgard, has studied over 100 dietary theories and coaches his clients through his 6-month ‘Lifestyle Overhaul’ program and the 3-month ‘Fast Track to Health’ at his Chicago-based company, Naturally Fortified.