Last night I met a close friend at a community event.
"I have a relative's wedding in a few weeks. Can you help me get in shape quickly? Just start me on some program I can jump right into?" This was coming from a woman who has a full time job, is a busy wife, mother, grandmother, community activist, and is exemplary in her Kibbud Av V'aim.
We all want fast results, yet many of us find ourselves drowning in our myriad responsibilities and can't seem to catch our breath. And for those of us in the sandwich generation, which is both a privilege and a responsibility, we are being pulled in so many directions and it can be overwhelming.
My first reaction to her request was that a few weeks wasn't enough time to accomplish what she was looking for, and secondly, how will she fit what I will suggest into her crazy busy schedule?
Then I had second thoughts and decided that she CAN start making changes, even small ones, and seeing some results in any amount of time she does have. It's never all or nothing!
If this describes how you're feeling, let's see if I can help. While I cannot add time to your day, I can make a few suggestions that will help you carve out some time for yourself to achieve some of your goals.
One idea is to use the time that you are already doing something for others, and take a few more minutes to do the same for yourself. Let's take eating well for example. Here's where success is often in the prep.
For breakfast, it's just as easy to cook up a portion of oatmeal for yourself while making it for the whole family. And the Instant Pot makes it so easy! You can either make it fresh daily or make a batch in the beginning of the week and warm up what you need for that day. Overnight oats are also great to make in advance and the kids (and you), will love adding in whatever toppings they want to customize it!
Another idea is that when putting away dinner's leftovers, pack some for yourself for the next day's lunch. Similarly, while packing lunch for the kids, make something wholesome for yourself at the same time. In both cases, the food is already out and there's only one clean up. You are no less important when it comes to proper meals! It's all about perspective.
Of course, when really on your game, preparing your meals at the beginning of week, and either refrigerating or freezing them in individual containers for easy grab and go, is always a winner.
Same with your mental health. If you seem to never have enough downtime where you can listen to things that inspire you, try listening to shiurim or other great lectures while you are doing things that don't need your brain on board. Activities like cleaning up the kitchen, doing other housework, or driving to a simcha. I love listening to nutrition and coaching podcasts while I exercise.
There is so much more to discuss on this topic that we can explore at other times. Tweaking some of the activities we already do to include just one small thing more, just might be the key to moving forward.
Simply hold onto the idea that very often it's in the messages we tell ourselves. If we can start thinking that time does support us, and act as if it does, we'll get there....one small tweak at a time.
Please share any time hacks you have below so we can all benefit. As always, I look forward to hearing from you!