Something’s Gotta Give
Something’s Gotta Give: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Letting Things Slide
Doing it all! Every woman’s dream, amiright? I don’t know about you, but I want both my home and my body to be clean, well kept, beautifully decorated, and nicely manicured. I want healthy, home cooked meals and polite children every day…to work on personal and professional growth and development…plus have great sex and 8 hours of sleep nightly. Oh, let’s not forget to drink a gallon of water and practice yoga every day…on top of fitting in workouts, and getting the dishes and laundry done. And that’s just the half of it! It seems impossible, doesn’t it? That’s because it is! No one is nailing it, plus this, that, and the other thing, 100% of the time. No matter what their lives look like on Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook. Something’s gotta give! It’s up to you to decide what’s gonna give and what truly deserves your energy.
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To-do lists and habit tracking can keep you moving
I’m the queen of to-do lists, and literally have one every single day. They keep errands, commitments, and bookkeeping from slipping through the cracks. I look at my to-do lists often, and they generally keep my mind and body moving with purpose throughout the day.
I’ve been a pretty hardcore habit tracker for over 3 years now. From eating habits, physical activity, making whoopie, and personal development, I’ve tracked it all. I’ve consistently and painstakingly updated my chart, spreadsheet, and/or habit tracker journal on a regular basis, with information transferred over from various apps on my phone.
I like numbers. I enjoy habit tracking. It keeps me mindful, and it makes me feel in control. A feeling I don’t typically get when it comes to being a stay-at-home mom to 2 littles.
How it’s currently going
Lately, I haven’t been habit tracking like a champ. However, I have been keeping up as best I can with the habits I deem most important. Afterall, I’ve taken the last few years to create, form, and maintain these habits. So I’m pleased to see that they have more or less stuck when I’m not constantly organizing the numbers and checking them off my list for the day. Because something’s gotta give, and in my case I need to spend less of my precious time on the bookkeeping and more time on making things happen.
Now, when I say I’m “keeping up,” I mean I’m still going. I don’t mean I’m excelling or winning any prizes for being super amazing and going above and beyond. I’m keeping my head above water, even if only just enough for my lil nostrils to get some air before dipping back under for a bit.
My primary focus is on completing my workouts, keeping to my calorie target, and creating blog content. I’m not even hitting those to my liking, but…I’m hitting them enough right now to get by. My workouts have been pretty quality, and I’m getting in enough of them to feel decent about it. My nutrition isn’t total &$%#, and I’m eating well enough most days to feel decent about it. Blogging took a backseat over the busy summer, and currently I’m working on it enough to feel decent about it. The term “bare minimum” comes to mind, but when I step back and look at things subjectively, I’m doing a lot. And so are you, so give yourself credit where credit is due.
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Not everything can be a priority all the time
Am I keeping up with every single little intention and goal I’ve dreamt up for myself? Nah, of course not. I’m sort of in survival mode…and I kinda hate it, kinda don’t. Being forced to let up on certain things might be a blessing in disguise. It helps me stay focused on what really matters.
Other intentions and habits I would historically track are just going on in the background right now. My step count is just kinda there, although I know I’m hitting it most days just by looking at my watch. My activity level is pretty high throughout the day between the kids, workouts, errands, and chores. I’m getting my minimum water intake each day, despite not tracking every ounce. It helps that I know how many times I need to fill my reusable bottle in a day. I haven’t weighed myself in nearly 3 weeks, but I have a good feel of where I am based on how I feel and what I see in the mirror. I’m not at my leanest or most comfortable, but it is what it is.
I’m focusing on the BIG things, or at least the things I consider important to keep up with on a regular basis – on top of my typical, suburban mom-ly duties, of course. Training. Nutrition. Writing. And I’m letting the other cards fall where they may. Don’t equate dropping things from your list of priorities with laziness. Do what you can do and know that everything else will still be there when you’re able to give them more attention.
Press pause, not stop
I’ve let other intentions like reading, updating old blog posts, and studying for the next NASM training certification fall by the wayside. And that’s okay. Because sometimes, something’s gotta give. I’m not quitting on myself or my other goals. They’re just on hold. For now. My self-imposed deadlines are exactly that – self-imposed. I have the authority to change them, and go at my own pace. I’m not answering to anyone besides myself here.
My goal is to find the happy medium between trying to do it all, failing, and burning out, and simply doing enough. I want to do enough to feel content, maintain my healthy habits, and maybe even slowly inch forward in terms of progress. Maybe.
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Enough is enough
Sometimes that’s what it takes to move forward. Enough. Just enough. You don’t need to be a superstar in all aspects of your life all at once. During certain seasons of life you just need to squeak by, and deem your effort, progress – and yourself – worthy. Whether you nail it or miss the mark, you’re worthy. Your self worth doesn’t hinge upon the number of goals you hit, workouts you did, calories you ate, steps you took, toilets you scrubbed, meals you cooked, or anything else. Loving yourself is hard enough in this day and age, so don’t beat yourself up over the details.
What’s the worst that can happen?
I know how good I feel when I hit my goals and keep the promises I make to myself. That’s just part of being driven and motivated by productivity. But sometimes a chill pill is in order, and ya gotta let things slide. What is the worst thing that can happen if you *gasp* miss a workout, or *shriek* eat a box of cookies in one sitting? Really? Are the fitness police gonna show up, guns blazing, and kick down your door? I think not. Have you ruined any and all progress you’ve made up to this point? Hell no. I’ll tell you what the worst thing that can happen is: You give up on yourself.
Because if you give up on yourself, and allow yourself to get swallowed up by negativity, shame, and self-loathing, you’re going to quit. Over something as dumb as not being perfect. Lower the bar, woman! Give yourself grace. Move. Forward. Accept the inactive days and calorie overdoses, and know that they happen. Just make them the exception, not the rule.
You’re always doing better than you think you are
Don’t allow a low step count or a sugar high to make you feel like a failure. You know how, at least for me, when people tell you you’re a great mom and you pretty much laugh right in their faces? It’s my knee-jerk reaction anyway. My mind goes directly to how scratchy my throat feels after screaming at my kids to get out the door for school this morning. Or that time (okay, okay, all those 100s of times…) I’ve said or done things in front of my kids that I’m anything but proud of. But ya know, I do some good stuff sometimes, too. And the sheer fact that I think I’m a terrible mom and that I’m letting my kids down at every turn probably means I do an okay job. Because I care. I try. I’m doing my best.
Our minds immediately think the worst of ourselves. We’re our own worst critics. Ask us to list off 3 things we like about ourselves and we flounder. But, ask us what we don’t like about ourselves and we will write you a novel. Instead of focusing on the missed workout or the cookies, give yourself kudos for what you’ve accomplished and done well. I guarantee you’ve made at least one healthy decision recently. Own it. Focus on it. Make another one.
Don’t give failure the time of day
What you focus on expands. Dwelling on negatives and wallowing in self-pity will only lead you on a downward spiral. Knowing you are, and are doing, enough will get you much, much farther. You’ll feel proud and more like yourself, and this will drive you to put one foot in front of the other. Pretty soon whatever “failure” you think you encountered is left behind. Failure doesn’t stand a chance if you don’t let it. All you have to do is keep going.
Let it go
In the words of Elsa of Arendelle, let it go. Allow yourself to be imperfect so you can be amazing. Progress happens on the other side of effort, consistency, and patience, not perfection. And I’m gonna let you in on a big, powerful secret: stalling out is not the same as going backwards.
Keep in mind that maintenance and effort is progress. I’m 38 years old. I’ve got, what? Another 50 years to go? I’m willing to bet that 50 years from now I’m not going to remember that damn 300 calories of chocolate that put me over, or that week I didn’t manage 4 training sessions. But I will remember how I felt about and treated myself. My inner dialogue. It will either make me feel proud or regretful, and I’d really like the former to be the theme when I’m looking back.
Stop beating yourself up for doing your best. Some days and seasons are easier or harder than others, and that’s just life. You got this!
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What are the top 2 things you focus on for you when life gets overwhelming? Drop a comment below!
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