Prioritizing Your Health

We hear it all the time. “You SHOULD prioritize your health.” “You SHOULD exercise.” “You SHOULD eat right.” Well, I’d like to propose that prioritizing your health is not at all about what you SHOULD do. It’s about what’s right for YOU—what you need, want, and works for your stage in life, business, and family. I think most of us do WANT to prioritize our health, at least to some degree or another; however, many things get in the way of putting that motivation into practice. Let’s address some of the most common issues that can present as challenges to putting ourselves first when it comes to our health.

What is the main obstacle to you making your health a priority?

  1. Work. If work is what’s keeping you from taking the time to take care of yourself, it’s time to make some boundaries. I think we can all agree that when it comes to work, especially as mom entrepreneurs, we could work 24/7 and still not run out of things to do. Make your schedule. Stick to it. When “work time” is over… it’s actually over! Feel free to move on to what’s next—time for family, time for hobbies, time for healthy meal prep, time for YOU!
  2. Family. If family is what’s keeping you from making your health a priority, it’s time to ask for help. Running a business is hard, especially when yourkids are young and depend on you for nearly everything. If you can’t afford a full time babysitter or daycare, or it’s just important to you to be available to your children, consider utilizing a “mother’s helper.” Pay a trustworthy pre-teen in the neighborhood a few dollars an hour to simply play with your kids for a little while so you can take a walk or pop in an exercise video or work on preparing a healthy dinner. Taking that well deserved break can make all the difference in your productivity and your health, both physical and mental!
  3. Busyness. If it feels like much of your day is occupied by shuttling kids, meeting with clients, busting out deadlines, it’s time to plan ahead. It can be challenging to take the time to eat well. When you’re in the car and your stomach is rumbling, that fast food “restaurant” at the next light is a very real temptation. When you’re chained to your desk and the clock is ticking, anything quick, from a box or a bag, may be your first instinct. But there are ways around that processed food trap. Try throwing an extra large smoothie together in the morning and drinking half for breakfast and the other half for a snack later. Have veggies and fruits cut up in the fridge, along with some healthful dipping options like hummus or yogurt dip. String cheese or nuts are handy options for portable snacks that pack a high protein punch to satisfy hunger on the go and keep the urge for junk at bay. A little creativity and a bit of planning is all it takes to set yourself up for success!

So wherever you are and whatever your biggest challenges to prioritizing your health, there are steps you can take to a healthier, happier you. Make a goal. Make it a small one. Make a change toward health because it’s important to you. You’re worth it!

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How to get big things done

Confession: I’ve been making a whole lot of excuses for not exercising lately.

I have some back problems. I’m tired. The gym is too far away. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. I like my body just fine. I don’t have childcare…. yadda yadda yadda. And the whole “getting in shape” thing just seems too overwhelming. I just don’t have the energy to consider getting into a regular, daily, hour-long workout schedule. Argh.

Yesterday I was resisting doing something I was committed to for work. It’s a huge project that requires a ton of brain cells, focus and energy to get it done. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and really frustrated over the fact that I know I am committed to getting it done, but I just couldn’t. I simply couldn’t figure out how to get started with a project that seemed enormous, insurmountable, undoable.

I called one of the gals on my Personal Board of Advisers (who is also a coach) and asked for some accountability. She said: “Why don’t you just give yourself 30 minutes and see what you can get done? Just 30 minutes.”

30 minutes? Well, I guess I could do 30 minutes. That’s not so bad.

I set the timer, pulled up the site on my computer, and got started. The next time I looked at the clock, an hour had passed and I had completed three of my milestones! In just an hour! And I had been agonizing over this work for weeks.

So here’s how I’m going to apply that to getting in shape (Didn’t think I was going to leave you hanging, did you?).

Everyday at 10 am, I’m going to do a set of 10 reps of one sort or another: push-ups, crunches, lifting weights, climbing the stairs, lunges, or 10 minutes of jogging or walking.

Just 10 minutes.

I’m not setting up some complex workout routine, signing gym contracts, rearranging my entire life to make sure I can fit in an hour-long workout (plus drive time back and forth to the gym, plus arranging for childcare…).

I can do 10 of anything.

What about you? Is there some enormous project or goal you’ve been resisting like I have? Can you break it down into a tiny step or two that you can do? Please share below.

* Photo courtesy of flickr Creative Commons
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