As a homeschooling mom of 2 girls, a wife and business owner I know trying to make time for ourselves isn't always easy. There is an endless amount of chores, Your kids educaton, whether you homeschool like me, are doing remote learning or just making sure your kids are getting their homework done. Then there is your spouse or significant other, friends, famliy and don't forget YOU. I feel pretty confident that you know WHY making time for you and your fitness is important, so I'm going to just skip ahead and tell you HOW I make time for my fitness (amongst everything else).
It all starts with asking yourself what is most important. Make a priority list, figure out the top 3-4 things that need to come first before anything else. For me (other than food, shelter, clothing, and love) I put my kids Education at the top of my list. I decided to educate them at home, I took on that responsibility so it's my job to make sure they are getting an education. It doesn't mean that every season or every month looks exactly the same, we take breaks and some months are more relaxed than others, but when faced with a decision I ask myself will it interfere with my kids education?
Next on my list is health/fitness for me and my family. My workouts are important to me, its important to me that I do everything I can to take care of myself and keep my body healthy and active. With that being said, in order to keep it high on my priority list sacrifices are made. I don't go to the gym, it's not in the budget and I definitely don't have the time to drive back and forth to a gym. I workout at home, in my living room. I don't have any special machines...I just use good old fashioned dumbbells and a mat. I have worked out 100% from home for the past 10 years and lost 80lbs and have kept it off for many years doing so. Becuase it's so important to me, I make it work with what I have. It's also important that my kids stay active. So playing with friends, going for walks, bike riding, playing at the playground all falls into this category.
Third on my list is my business....I love what I do, I love helping others reach their fitness goals, I love helping moms make time for themselves and feel stronger and more confident.
So guess what isn't on my list? Yup you guessed it, cleaning the house. I keep the house (with the help of my kids and husband who is currently still working at home) at a clean level, but it is not spotless, there is clutter, always something that needs to be put a way and dishes always waiting to be put into the diswasher. I'm sure ther are expired foods in my fridge and laundry is a lot of the times being done on a need basis....but it gets done. However I will not sacrifice my kids education, my workouts or my business to clean the bathroom. So if I have some time we will get it done, but I don't put it above anyting in my priority list. Remember your priority list might look different, Work may be your number 1 beacuse that is what puts food on your table, and kids education might not even be on there if your kids go to school.
So I shared how I decide what gets done in a day or a month, but then how do I actually decide what needs to get done within each priority? I set goals. For example, my kids education, I pick a curriculum, set a goal for each month to get XYZ and done and than re-evaluate at the end of the month. In terms of my fitness I set a goal to workout 4-5 times per week and a lot of the times I have smaller fitness goals I'm working towards like tracking my food for a month, increase the number of pushups I can do, or just strength training in general. Small goals help you see that you are progressing and gettigs things done.
So now we get down to nitty gritty part, we know what is important, and how we want to work towards getting these things done, but the biggest problem we have always had is, time? Block scheduling will be your friend, it's not a hard set schedule, but a basic routine you would like to follow. Things like school blocks, workout/get ready for the day block, and a house block. I will share mine because I know people love to see others schedules.
6am-8am Morning Block - Wake up, drink coffee, sit quietly and then try to get a little work done.
8am-10am Get Ready for the Day Block - workout, make smoothies, clean up, shower, get ready for the school day, kids chorese and kids will start on independent schoolwork.
10am-11:45am School Block - Girls can finish up, and I'm available to answer questions, teach a lesson, help them etc. I can also get some light work done at this time.
11:45am-1pm lunch Break Block - eat lunch
1pm-3pm Combined School Block - We do history and science together so I'm very involved in these since we do read alouds for history and i'm there to facilitate science. I allow no distractions during this time, so we can focus on what needs to get done.
3pm-5:30pm My Work Block - Kids finish up chores/schoolwork and then they are free to do what they want, I buckle down and get some work done. If I have a client that needs a new workout this is when I will work on this. If I have a client who needs to zoom call with me, this is when I will try to schedule it, but sometimes mornings work better and then I will just do that in the am and set aside some of this time to help the kids with school work or answer questions.
5:30pm-6:30pm Dinner Block
6:30pm-9:30pm Nighttime Block - Cleanup, kids evening chores, get the house ready for the next day, I grade or take a look at the kids school work and make sure everything is all set for the next day, get some work done. kids are free when all their stuff is done and then they get ready for bed .
Prior to Covid my kids always had activities during the later afternoon/early evening which meant the stuff I could do on the go (work, grade schoolwork etc.) came with me and I would save the other stuff for later on in the evening or early in the morning.
Last is learn to give yourself grace, remember your priority list, if you couldn't get to things because you were busy with something on your priority list, that my friends is a win and an acomplished day. I have had to learn to be ok with my house not being magazine perfect, that laundry will not always be folded or washed, that sometimes the kitchen floor will need to be swept and it will have to wait until tomorrow and that sometimes my kids need me more than I "planned" on. I remind myself all the time that it's ok, I'm always striving towards doing my best and thats all anyone can ever ask for.
Are you a homeschooler? A parent facilitating remote learning? Do you stuggle to find time in your day to focus on your health and fitness? Let me know what your biggest struggle is.