When I first start working with a client one of the biggest concerns I hear is, “Where am I going to find the time?” Jumping into a healthy lifestyle can be a big time commitment at first. From the extra time spent grocery shopping, reading those nutrition labels, preparing more foods at home, creating an exercise routine, and investing precious minutes in self-care, leading a balanced life can seem like a full-time job.
For my clients that are worried about the time commitment, I like going through their daily activities, to see where we can find more time. For some, it might be to combine their lunch break with a light jog, for others helping the kids with their homework while making dinner, or using the time stuck in traffic to listen to a cooking podcast to boost their culinary skills.
Below are my top three tips to help make sure you’re able to hit all of your wellness goals, one step at a time. (Pun intended!)
1) Meal prep.
From navigating the foreign aisles of your health food store, cooking with new ingredients like tofu, and just finding recipes that are within your cooking abilities, for many new to healthy eating the whole process of eating at home can require a serious time investment, especially in the beginning.
However, meal prepping can really help to reduce your time spent in the kitchen. Whether it is chopping up the components of your salad for the week, making a big batch of chickpea vegetable soup, or preparing and freezing some delicious beet burgers, planning ahead with your meals can save you a serious amount of time that can be spent achieving your other wellness goals!
2) Organize your life.
Personally, this was a huge one. I really had no sort of system for keeping my life organized. I cleaned when I felt I needed to, paid bills as they came in, and food shopped as my fridge became emptier. This lack of structure led to many things falling through the cracks, which would end up costing me even more time in the long run to correct them. Now I have my schedule down, with their companion lists. Grocery shopping happens Tuesdays with my list in hand, which is really the same list each week with a few variations. And my cleaning takes place Sunday morning this way I get to start my week off with a fresh and tidy house.
Here are some of my favorite tips for organizing I’d love to share:
- Store like with like. Whether it be tools, beauty products, office supplies or cleaners, keep things that serve the same use or function together. This will help you spend less time looking for your extra pens, that screwdriver, or your glass cleaner.
- Grab one thing. A rule I like to live by is when I leave a room I take one item with me that doesn’t belong. This is great for making sure my cups make it back to the kitchen, shoes make their way back to the closest, and sweaters end up on their hangers.
- Less is more. I used to think having an overflowing container draw, cleaning cabinet, or shoe rack were good things. However, I have come to realize that clutter is a huge time-suck. Whether it’s trying to find the right-matched lid for a container, determining what shoes to wear with your outfit, or rummaging under your sink for the floor cleaner, precious time is spent because we just tend to have too much stuff. Go through your things and really ask yourself what you need to hold on to, that you actually use, and donate or throw out the rest.
3) Be realistic.
Many people hold themselves to arbitrary standards. Below are some of the following examples I have heard over the years:
“I can’t practice self-care if I don’t have the time for an hour-long massage.”
“I don’t have the time to cook my meals from scratch, so eating at home isn’t an option for me.”
“The gym is so out of my way, there is no chance I can keep up with an exercise routine.”
Who says that self-care needs to be an hour long? Or that all of your meals need to be cooked from scratch? Or that the gym is the only place for a workout? I challenge everyone reading this to let go of the standards we have set for ourselves in the past, and embrace a new mindset, one of realism.
If you are a new mother and have a few precious moments while your little one is napping, it’s okay to use those 3 minutes to sit in silence, start your diffuser, and breath in some relaxing lavender for your self-care. For eating healthy, use prepared foods to help you, like making a delicious black bean soup with a can of black beans, some store-bought salsa, and a splash of lime and you are set. If you’re new to working out, start small by walking 10-minutes a day, and building upon it with time.
What is one thing you can do to start adding more minutes to your day to get your wellness goals?