I have been working to keep my time, mine. Anyone else out there have this problem? I have a daily plan and it slips away as though I didn’t do anything. I get maybe, two – three items crossed off my list and when I look back they were for someone else – NOT me! The first step to providing enough time for your workouts is to be realistic about what you can and cannot do.
I notice when I lose my time I am giving it away to things I may not need to be doing. I could call it “wasting” however that isn’t the right word. I ‘m doing things I enjoy or spending time with people I enjoy. I may just be overstaying my need. It is powerful to check in with yourself and notice are you giving your time away to others because you want to, enjoy it, or are you doing it because you think you need to – that’s your duty, they will be mad at you, or that’s what you are supposed to be doing?
Notice if your being (body, mind, and soul) expand when you are engaged in an activity. If they are not it may be time to look at your work / life balance. For some us we put way too many shoulds and have tos on our plate leaving little time for want tos.
With three kids, a job, and school I must say I’m busy. It is important I check my work / life balance often to make sure I am balancing out my life. If I spend too much time doing things I have to and not enough want tos my life wouldn’t work.
This includes looking closely at the things I enjoy. If I spend too much time with my friends I may not have time for my family. If I spend too much time with my kids I may have a under – exercised lab. If I spend too much time reading I may not have time to enjoy any of the above. Get it? Its all about balance.
Check out how you have spent your time in the last 3 days and notice if you are spending too much time doing things you have to, want to, or should do. Then begin to make sure you’ve got balance each day between all three. AND make sure to do at least one thing you enjoy each day, just for you.
Begin Living Your Life Today!
As you begin to take more time for yourself it can be hard to chose what to do without feeling guilt or even shame and selfish. So here are some ideas to help you take time for you and drop the negative feelings that may have long standing places in your psyche. Remember when you feel good you will pass those feelings onto to those you love.
1) Wake up slowly – read, drink a cup of coffee or tea, enjoy the quiet of your home before any chaos of getting ready for a school or work day. It doesn’t have to be a long period just quiet.
2) Do Yoga – or simple stretches and tune into your body and how it feels in the moment
3) Exercise – even if its just taking the dog for a walk
4) Hike – or get out in nature and follow her rhythms. I like to kayak or float this time of year and let the water be the guide to my speed. I make a conscious choice to go only as fast as the river flows.
5) Take a bath or spend some time at your private “home spa” – pick some treatments you would like at the day spa and do them at home in the privacy (and quiet) of your own home.
If you checked out Monday’s blog I hope you did some thinking over the last few days about where you might want to create better balance in your life. And if you feel pretty balanced right now you may want to think about strategies to keep it that way. Life has a tendency to cycle and the more tools you have in your toolshed to better able you’ll be to handle any curve balls thrown at you.
Here is an exercise I like to do in workshops to help create a visual of where life may be out of whack. I usually do it as part of a long workshop (more than 2 hours) so take some time with it and see what comes up for you.
Large piece of paper – make it work for you
Crayons, markers, or colored pencils – at least 3-5+ different colors
Some quiet time to think
Fold your paper into four quadrants – you can also use the back if your paper is small.
Across the top list your major areas in your life – give each its own color, for example:
- Me Time
- etc – put as many labels in as needed to get a complete picture of your life obligations.
In the top left square – using a different color for each activity (work, home, me time, social, spiritual, etc) place your average daily schedule – from the time you wake up till the time you go to bed. Mine might look like this:
6am – wake up (me time – red)
6:30 – yoga (spiritual – green)
7 – breakfast (home – purple)
7:30 – shower (me-red)
8:00 – leave house (work – orange)
and on throughout my day – each activity has a connection to a larger area of my life and is colored coded accordingly.
In the bottom left quadrant draw a circle – using the visual of a clock (but don’t use the actual time numbers as your segments) begin to fill in the number of hours you spend in each major area of your life.
This may sound a bit confusing – but the idea is to take an honest look at how much one area dominates your life.
I like to start with one area
Count the hours I spend “doing” in that area
And color all my hours in one block – so I end up with a neatly shaded pie
Each color representing a different life area, and each area/color a different slice. It soon becomes clear which slices/areas dominate my life and which are lacking. In the above example I would have:
1 hour – me time
1/2 hour – household
1/2 hour – Exercise
1/2 hour – work
Once you have completed this exercise it is easy to repeat every so often to determine an objective look at how you use your time and what areas of life are controlling the majority of you. This objective look creates space for you to determine if the activities you spend the majority of your time on are the ones you want to be spending the majority of your time on and better able to make changes accordingly.
As I enjoy a much needed summer break I thought I would focus on wellness this week. Being healthy isn’t just about being physically fit. In fact, that is only part of the equation.
Being healthy has many layers. Wellness can be thought of as a wheel (think pie – sorry to be using food but it works!) encompassing such things as career, relationships, and culture (the slices). It is important to examine each area to understand where you may be losing energy and in need of better balance (one slice is huge and the others slivers)
Although, my background deals mainly with physical health I can’t ignore the impact the other areas of wellness have played in my personal training clients’ success or failures.
Do you feel out of balance in any areas of your life? Have you thought about how they might be effecting your efforts to be more physically healthy? For example: Do they impact your food choices, your exercise habits, or your motivation and confidence levels?
After noticing how these imbalances are effecting you can you see ways to change and stop patterns of behavior? Sometimes just noticing can be so powerful the choice to changes becomes easy. Other times it may be incredibly difficult to change even though it becomes obvious you are self-defeating the hard work you are doing (or have done) to live more healthy.
Take some time today to notice the impact other areas of your life may be having on your physical health. In our next posting we’ll look at ways to bring better balance to life.