Make Yourself a Priority Everyday
This post entitled Make Yourself a Priority originally appeared on WomenOffshore.org, view the original content here.
Be a Priority in Your Own Life
Making yourself a priority is something we humans struggle with everyday. It is easy to let all the demands of life overwhelm us. Careers, schooling, raising a family, all of these things take time. And the easiest ways to cut out time are often the ones that make the biggest difference in your health. For myself, two years ago, I looked in the mirror and was unhappy with what I saw. So I decided to do something about it. Over the next year, I made my own wellness a priority. I trained hard, ate right, and lost 30 pounds.
I found out what kind of dieting works for my body, learned that I loved to lift weights, and felt my self-confidence on the rise. Along the way, I decided to get certified as a personal trainer – you can find me here at ACE . After getting certified, the next natural step was to help others.
When people, whether they be friends or coworkers or complete strangers, find out that I’m a personal trainer, the reaction tends to go more or less the same way.
First there is an exclamation about what a great job I’ve done with my own fitness level, and then it’s followed by a rueful remark of how they wish they had the time/money/motivation/discipline to do what I had made the time, money, motivation, and discipline for.
The excuse will never go away…
Whatever reason you’ve given for why you can’t make your health and fitness a priority…it’s always going to be there.
You’ll never feel like you have quite enough time. Ok, but how much time did you spend on social media over the past week?
Your budget is tight. Ok, but did you know there are endless free workout programs available online? Or that lots of them don’t even require equipment to get started, as your body weight can be enough?
You never feel motivated, and looking at pictures on Instagram just makes you feel even less motivated. Ok, motivation is a fickle thing, it’s going to come and go, you know? Instead, will you consider digging deep down into your heart and finding enough love for yourself to commit to making a change?
And then there’s discipline. Do you find yourself applying discipline elsewhere in your life? Discipline towards school, a career, child-rearing, a hobby, the list goes on. If you have the discipline there, then you have the discipline to make health and fitness a priority in your life.
Start practicing self love…
At the end of the day, you should be concerned about your fitness for yourself. Not to conform to some societal expectation of how you should look, what weight you should be, or what you should be eating. Exercise and eating right is a way to practice self love, to look in the mirror and remind yourself that you are worth that 30 minutes a day of activity, that you are worth taking a little extra time to prepare a healthy meal.
Many of you are career oriented. You do not hesitate to put in extra hours on a project, work overtimes, skip a meal because you’re on a conference call that can’t be missed. Many of you have a family. You have kids on a schedule, partners on a schedule, and you are the glue that holds the family together. But we hesitate to take that time for ourselves – to put ourselves first for an hour out of the day to ensure our own mental health as well as our physical health. This is where self love becomes so important: Recognize your own worth and that you are worth making time for.
Start making the time…
So how do you make the time when life is so full and workplace expectations are higher than ever?
Do not cut out any more of your sleep.
Getting enough sleep is vital to your mental well-being, as well as getting anything meaningful out of a workout, and not getting enough sleep can lead to a whole host of scary medical issues. So please, make sure you are getting enough quality rest.
Drink enough water.
Sounds silly, but your body will thank you. Your brain will thank you. The average woman should be drinking…wait for it…anywhere from 70-90 ounces of water a day. That’s ¾ of a gallon of water, to keep your body moving and grooving. For more on how to get that much water in you, check out my blog post on hydration.
Rethink what you eat.
Do you love to cook? Take this as a personal challenge to find healthier recipes to make for yourself and your family. Hate to cook? There’s lots of better-for-you options out there, including meal delivery services. You will feel better, lighter, have more energy, and your workouts will be much more meaningful if you make eating better a priority. Working out can feel discouraging if you don’t see progress, and the quickest way to kill your progress is to not consider eating healthy to be part of the process.
Do what you love.
Don’t you find that when a task is more enjoyable, you’re more inclined to not only do it, but do it well, and look forward to it? So find something that you enjoy! For me personally, I hate running. But I love going on fast, hilly walks with my dogs when I’m home. When I’m on the rig, I put on a TV show (lately I’m on Sex and the City!), and hoof it uphill on the treadmill. I love lifting weights. Find what you love, whether that be running, spin class, yoga, barre, weightlifting in all its forms, or Zumba. The list goes on and you’ll be that much more inclined to make time for it during your day.
Prioritize your time.
Stop and think about how you allocate your day. Now, look again and find the things that you could replace or reduce…Facebook and Pinterest, anyone? Binging on Netflix? How about rethinking how much time and focus we put on mindless activities and shift that time and focus to mindFUL activities.
Get help if you need it…
There’s a reason that there’s lots of personal trainers out there…sometimes you need that extra push, that extra accountability, and the encouragement. If that’s where you’ve found yourself, that’s what we are here for.