My life is very busy and fulfilling. When managing MW5 Fitness, I’m inspired every day, but it requires lots of energy to balance work, time with kids and time for myself. My three boys range in age from 2 to 10 and my work has been non-stop for 10 years, so I’ve been juggling for a long time now.
I’ve learned that lack of sleep, little exercise, poor food choices, and unhealthy habits sap energy and impact my daily life. So instead, I make sure that my prioities ar in order, all to ensure I can keep enjoying everything that I do.
Here are 10 habits that I've intergrated into my life.
1. Put fitness on the calendar
Every workout is scheduled for certain days and times of the week. If I don’t schedule fitness, it tends not to happen—it’s so easy to say I’ll start tomorrow. A regular fitness routine will keep you strong and sane.
2. Eat healthy, most of the time
Aim to eat healthy on weekdays (this means meals that are nutrient dense; high in protein, vitamins, and antioxidants). On weekends and holidays, enjoy! It’s easier to be regimented during the week when you know that, on the weekend, you can eat for pure pleasure.
3. Make lists
I love lists! For example, stick to a grocery list to save time and decrease the chance of impulse shopping, which leads to unhealthy choices. Everyone knows the danger of food shopping when hungry, but shopping with kids is equally dangerous because they clamor for sugary, salty food. If I have to shop with my kids, I send them after items on the list and reward them with their favorite healthy food if they behave and find the stuff quickly.
4. Swap caffeine for more water
Because dehydration is a main source of exhaustion and headaches, it will impact how much you can get done in a day. Even though you may feel like you need an extra boost, water is always better than tea, coffee, or fizzy drinks.
5. Set aside time to maintain connections
Every day, my kids and I spend time together. We talk about their teachers, friends, and school gossip; sometimes the topics turn serious. I really appreciate this daily ritual. Wether it's during the morning school run, after school activity drop-off or in the evenings at home, I’ve connected emotionally with the people I care about and can then feel satisfied and dive back into work.
6. Snack sensibly with small rewards
Keep fresh, easy-to-grab (and already cut up) vegetables and nuts around for snacking. They’ll help you maintain your energy, making you less likely to eat ravenously. I also use small pieces of chocolate to reward myself (2-3x each week) after unpleasant tasks. I’m quite passionate about chocolate, so the hard stuff gets done!
7. Be prepared to work out
Create strategies that help ensure that you accomplish what you set out to do. I keep exercise clothes and trainers with me all the time so I’ll never be able to use the excuse that I can’t work out because I forgot my gear.
8. Let go of the little things
Don’t waste your time worrying and being annoyed by situations you can’t change, such as a judgmental neighbor or annoying friend. Let that stuff go. Be proactive about addressing situations that you can change, such as a work or family issue that can usually be handled with a candid conversation. Don’t let small stressors pile up and stop you from appreciating all that’s wonderful in your life.
9. Use your daily tasks to get stronger
We all know that we should be pushing ourselves when we work out, but there are small adjustments we can make outside the gym to prioritize fitness. On top of playing with my kids, I try to always take the stairs or cycle to places rather than drive.
10. Make space to breathe
Carve screen-free, kid-free, and phone-free moments out of your day. I’m literally talking moments here. I will find a space to sit and breathe for two minutes. Taking in oxygen through deep, focused breaths will relax and invigorate you. If you have five or 10 minutes, even better: Lie down, and be aware of your breath moving down into your stomach and then exhaling until it’s all gone. Sometimes I get so hyped up that I forget to breathe. Making space to be conscious of my breath informs my whole day.
These habits may seem small but together over long periods of time can be truly life changing. I hope that some of these tips work for you and that you are inspired to make wellness a priority in your life!