Fitting it all in

This school year my daughter’s school changed and I’m driving her to and from school.

This is not something I ever planned to do and it shifted my schedule. In the past (pre-covid era) she would walk or catch the bus and once she was out of the house, the time was mine.

Now, however, I’m more of an active participant in the school day as I am the transportation department;) and this has changed how much time I have available to do the things I have to fit in a day.

One of those things to “fit in my day” is working out.

I won’t lie. It’s been challenging to keep up my past routine so instead of beating myself up about that, I changed my routine and my outlook.

can’t fit it all in! There isn’t enough time to do the exact same things the exact same way as I did them in the past years…and it’s okay!

Has that happened to you? You had a routine that was working and then something changed – a pandemic, a birth of a child, caring for an elderly parent – and it went topsy turvey and you thought “How will I fit it all in?”

If you found yourself with knots in your stomach because you couldn’t fit 10 lbs of potatoes in your 5 lb sack of a day and your workout flew out the window, take a deep breath and hit the reset button. 

First, remember why you started working out in the first place.

Was it to feel better? Get stronger? Have some quality time by yourself? ;). Was it to lose excess body fat? Was it to be healthier? Was it to improve your confidence or your posture? How about relieve stress? For some women, working out is a way to be a good role model for their children.

Anyone of these are excellent reasons to make lifting weights and exercising part of your life but sometimes when you’ve come so far, you forget why you started in the first place.

Now is the time to reignite that burning “Why.”

Your “Why” will help you prioritize what’s important in your life and give you focus and internal motivation.

Second, think about how working out makes you feel (at least when you are done!).

This is a really strong one for me, personally.

When I think there is “No Time” I visualize the end of a good workout when I feel strong and accomplished. I bet you know what I’m talking about…the feeling when you are done is always better than the feeling of skipping a workout!

Third, change your expectations.

Notice I didn’t say lower your expectations. Simply change your expectations surrounding your workouts and your life.

When you don’t feel like you can “fit it all in” realize that you can’t. However, you can change and modify and still be successful!

Here are some ideas:

-Do short, highly effective weight lifting workouts. No workout needs to be an hour long unless you are specifically training for some performance goal.

-Skip the cardio and start lifting heavy

-Change the time of day you are doing the workouts. If you used to workout after work, get up early when everyone is still sleeping and get take care of YOU.

-Skip bicep curls and tricep kickbacks. Stick to the big muscle groups – legs, back and chest. I think of this as bending, lifting, pulling and pushing motions. This will not only save time, but it will utilize the big muscle groups that have the biggest impact on your functional well- being, metabolic health and physique.

-Change life stuff. Get professionals (or ask family members to chip in) to help you do things you’ve traditionally done. Send the laundry to the dry cleaners, get some housekeeping help, find an accountant, buy some pre-made healthy dinners so you can heat and eat (I buy pre-made healthy meals from the farmers market.)

If you are doing a job (or 20 )  at home, chances are there is someone who is doing it for a living and would love to be your service provider!

Imagine the time and energy it will save you and the joy you will have by not doing such tasks!

Fourth, get some accountability

This might be the most critical and also seem like the most impossible.

How the heck are you going to add another “responsibility to your list?”

This works because when you become accountable to someone else, you start prioritizing what really matters instead of drifting into bad habits like going down rabbit holes on social media or saying “Yes” to things that don’t really align with your goals, values or desires.

If you’ve had days of frustration and angst, like I did yesterday, and said to yourself “I just can’t fit it all in!” remember that you can’t, you don’t have to and that you can still lead a very happy and fulfilling life!