From working a full-time job to trying to stay active to spending time with family and friends, I have to admit, it really isn’t easy balancing them all. Many people ask me how I can juggle a million things at one time and honestly, it is difficult, but it all takes time to get the hang of it.
Over the years, I’ve gotten better at balancing my work, social life, and keeping on top of my fitness goals. Here are some tips that can have worked for me and hopefully can help you, whether you are starting a new job or currently trying to find that balance.
1) Remember that it all takes time
Healthy habits take time to develop and I think we often forget that. Just like how people expect to instantly lose 10 pounds in a day, unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. With our hectic work schedules, it is not uncommon that your boss could hold you later for a night that you scheduled a yoga class. The key is to be flexible with your time. If that happened, no biggie, just reschedule the class. You will feel worse if you have an “all or nothing” mentality. Take it slowly, the more stress that goes with planning your workout schedule, the less enjoyable it gets. Like losing weight and physical therapy, establishing healthy habits take time. Be patient and remember that you’ve already taken the first step, which is trying.
2) Find an activity you actually like to do
Oftentimes, I find that when the day gets busy, exercise seems to be the first thing to get crossed off the to-do list. Many of us feel forced into working out and genuinely do not enjoy it so if there is something you want to get rid of in your long list of to-do’s, isn’t it great to get rid of the one thing you hate to do? I used to have a gym membership but hated working out at a gym. So 4 days a week at the gym turned into 3 days a week and soon only once a week. Find something you actually like to do- is it yoga? pilates? barre? spin? running? Don’t force yourself into something you hate because let’s be honest, you will keep pushing it off, just like a chore.
3) Take some time for yourself
It’s hard to imagine that you may actually have time for yourself in your busy day. Even though we come up with excuses like “I have no time for myself.” Well, it’s time to make time because without “me” time, you will burn out. Having “me” time will help you become less stressed out, and more productive in the end. For me, my “me” time is my yoga or spin class. I feel good knowing I am using my time to do something good for my body, my mind and my overall wellbeing. Trust me, the 45 minutes you took out of your day for yourself is absolutely worth it.
4) Plan ahead
To make exercising and your health a priority, it takes some planning ahead. This is different for everybody. Maybe you want to up the ante on your cardio so your workout plan will be mostly running or cycling, whatever works for you. Remember, this is YOUR workout plan. It should fit into your schedule and be what you like to do. Start with 2 or 3 days a week. Maybe you can fit in a morning yoga class in the morning before work once a week or maybe you can fit in a run once a week before work. Ta da! Two days already down. When you have a plan, it makes exercising much more doable versus you trying to plan workouts during times of stress, which at that moment, may seem impossible.
5) Build a sense of community
I was always a solo workout kind of gal but I’ve noticed that even sharing with my friends on what kind of fitness classes I enjoy helps keeps me motivated and excited to work out. Having the support and the room to share ideas and tips really helps with keeping on track. I started doing yoga at Bryant Park once a week and managed to get a couple of friends to join me. It’s amazing how now, my friends who never used to do yoga, show up every week. If you can’t get a group together, even sharing cool classes or fitness experiences creates a sense of community!
Even someone like me who seems to be able to do it all, really struggles from time to time. It’s difficult to balance work and fitness but it all takes time, commitment, and a little help from those who have already been through it 🙂
Do you have trouble balancing it all? What do you think is the most important thing to focus on when trying to balance life?