A great way to find balance is to first identify the barriers to your balance.
Are your kids just too much work? Are you putting in too much time at the office? Commute killing you? Can’t sleep? Have too many social commitments?
You can fix these issues….the secret is in goal setting. Most barriers to exercise, goals and a fulfilling life that’s not too full, are not real, they are just perceived. The first step to beating your barriers is to write them down and brainstorm ways around them.
Do shorter workouts and multitask your moves. (That is why I designed my fitness DVD to fit an hour long workout in just 30 minutes.) Don’t feel like exerting yourself today? Do yoga, pilates or just take a walk to do your errands. Get more childcare, say no to one thing on your calendar this week, combine your socializing with friends with your healthy cooking or a fitness class, plan a family vacation with childcare and healthy eating and fitness excursions! Do mediation audioguides during your commute. Order groceries online instead of spending an hour shopping. It’s usually about freeing up time to fit in everything you crave in life.
Two items that will help you find balance come from my studies as a personal trainer and health coach.
The Institute for Integrative Nutrition uses a Circle of Life graph. This is how you will find what areas of your life are lacking in balance. These include creativity, career, spirituality, relationships, home life, fitness, home cooking, etc.
In personal training, we change lives by motivating clients to start the S.M.A.R.T. way, follow the guidelines us fitness trainers
learn when we are certified from Personal Fitness Training Theory & Practice pg 380):
Specific: Define your goal – for example if fitness is lacking, make a goal of by how many pounds you want to lose, miles to run, minutes working out, etc.
Measurable: Make the goal measureable so you are clear when it is achieved “I want to be able to go out with friends twice a week.”
Action oriented: write out the details – for more family time as a goal, write out what times each week you will set aside, what the actives or memberships will be that you can commit to, and what you will do, like you’ll go on a family bike ride each week, museum visit, playground excisions, etc.
Realistic: Chose an appropriate goal for you, don’t try to run a marathon, don’t quit your job, but maybe take summer Fridays off, sign up for a 5k, join a club with friends.
Timed: Set a time to measure your success, check in and re-asses. First day of summer? The first of every month?
Wipe out excuses, start the S.M.A.R.T way, and fit in your fitness, work, life and find balance!