It is a well-known fact amongst San Diego fitness trainers that the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, becomes a slow period of time for us. The gym seems empty, your clients have other “obligations” to attend to, and their fitness goals take a back seat to social events, travel, shopping, etc. Then after New Year’s Day, just like clockwork everyone becomes more dedicated to themselves once again for two months, before other “obligations” reappear. What if, perhaps, we prioritize ourselves and our wellness goals instead of everything else? How different would our lives become?
I challenge you to reflect on how you allow other things in life to take priority over your mental, emotional, or physical self. In reflecting on this, how can you learn to prioritize yourself year round? I am not purely promoting selfishness; I am promoting our ability to allow our health to take priority over other aspects of life. Since I am a nutrition and fitness coach I can directly speak to the importance of taking care of your body through regular safe exercise and healthy eating. It always saddens me to see individuals allow their health to slip away because they simply did not make it a priority to exercise and eat well. We all share the same amount of time we get in any given day; it is how we choose to prioritize that time. I cannot tell you how many people I have met who use the excuse they do not have time to exercise, or prepare healthy meals. In talking with them, I am always able to help them brain storm ways to fit in that time. You know how I do it? I make it a priority.
I would like to walk you through an exercise. I want us to map out your week together:
1) Put down the hours you are required to be at your job. If you do not work, lucky for you, you can skip this step.
2) Put in the hours you plan to sleep. The ideal time for sleep is 10pm-6am. Given your work obligations you can discern from there, just make sure you are allowing for 8 hours total of sleep.
3) Travel time. Traveling for professional or personal.
4) Put in when you need to be around to spend time with family (ie. Watching important events, picking them up from school, helping them with homework, etc.)
5) Schedule your workouts. Yep, that’s right this is fourth on the list. This can be anywhere from 3-6 times per week for anywhere from 30-90 minutes (depending on your goal)
6) Schedule food prep. Either schedule an hour every day to cook dinner and prepare lunch for the next day, or give yourself a day when you have a couple hours for food prep, most people this will be Sunday. On the food prep day: cook your animal proteins, cut up veggies, prepare soups or stews to bring for lunches, etc.
7) Social events. Yes, that’s right; it’s sixth on the list. If the social events conflict too much with everything above, you may have to reconsider some of them. Again this depends on your goals. If you have more aggressive goals, social events will need to sacrifice, that’s just the way it goes. Now remember, if you don’t take care of number 1, how can you be there 100% for everyone else in your life?
8) Everything else. This is when you can watch TV, read Facebook, play Scrabble, read your book, go shopping, etc.
How much time were you able to map out for exercise and food prep? Did you find that you may have been spending time on areas of your life that might not be as important?
For 2015, I challenge you to think about what’s important. What’s REALLY important? The Voice? Checking Facebook? At the end of the day, we find the time to do what means the most to us. For most people, your health doesn’t become a priority, a real priority anyway, until you hear it from a doctor, and by then it’s usually too late. Yes, your family obligations and your livelihood come first and always should. But, the fact is, your family and livelihood are directly dependent on your health and well-being, so if not for you, do it for them. Let’s make 2015 the year that you start to prioritize your time as such.