Think about everything you need to accomplish just before you leave the house in the morning. Now consider everything that you want to accomplish throughout the day today, tomorrow, or by the end of the week.
Wow, that is a lot.
Now take a deep breath and accept our apologies for the stressful thoughts! We all have a set amount of responsibilities to address each day, on top of the new goals we create for ourselves to improve our lives in different ways. We can easily get swept up in our daily tasks, and trying to squeeze in self- or life-improvement (which takes work) is difficult when all you want to do is relax.
Consider your exercise habits. In the beginning, you start off your workout routine strong and see the results of your hard work. Over a month or two your clothes begin fitting better, you have more energy throughout the day, and you're sleeping better than ever.
Then, something interrupts your progress.
You catch a cold that puts you out for a week, or you get back from a long vacation and have difficulty finding the motivation to lace up your running shoes. Suddenly that week off turns into two, then three. You realize your clothes are getting snug again, your energy is lower, and your sleep is light and infrequent.
There is some comforting news here: you're not alone.
We have all been through it. Although there are people that take pride in the fact that they've never broken their healthy-eating or workout streak, the truth is that for almost all of us, life happens. We all need a break from time to time.
Yes, finding the motivation to restart your exercise plan takes work. But sometimes knowing when to stop is more beneficial to your health than trying to push through. With that said, it is also important to fully understand your priorities.
Take some perspective on your life, and see where the focus has shifted when you begin to feel overwhelmed.
Do you notice that you:
- Have turned down a lot of invitations from your friends recently?
- Don't know what is going on in your child's life at school or with their friends?
- Only have limited interaction with your partner, such as short discussions about daily tasks?
- Are eating food that is nearby rather, than eating healthfully and mindfully?
- Have only moved your body from your home to the car, the car to the office, and vice-versa?
If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, this may be a good time to consider focusing your energy on what you truly believe to be important in your life.
The bottom line here?
We are all busy.
Ask any of your peers, and they will give you an exhaustive run-down of everything they're trying to accomplish each day. Being busy is only an excuse.
You are in charge of what your priorities are.
It's up to you to shift your focus and create a new strategy for making your health, your relationships, and your happiness in life priorities at the very top of your list.
Take a moment now to reflect and consider any health goals that have fallen to the side. Then remember that we are here to help you get back on track!
[Credit: Bornstein, Adam. Are You Too Busy to Exercise? Me Too. Born Fitness.]