No time? No problem! Here’s how to create time for you and your health!
I found myself lamenting to my family, friends and my therapist that I was basically too busy to breathe.
I was a newly single mom with 2 children under the age of 3, in a tailspin of a divorce, attempting to rebuild my life and a career and felt overwhelmed and unable to take a minute for myself. One day when i was broken down in tears, my therapist said to me Keri, time is all about choices. You do have time. We all have the same 168 hours per week and there are people who make time to exercise, work, juggle a household, socialize and volunteer. I was outraged! How dare he! He couldn’t possibly understand what it was like to walk a day in my shoes as a single working parent! I blamed it on him being a man, of course. How could he ever understand? How thoughtless and cruel of him to imply I was making this all up. However, once I cooled down…about 2 months later I might add; I finally understood what he was trying to say and apologized for taking his comment so personally. I did that a lot back then but that’s for another conversation.
Here is what he was trying to say:
Time is relative. Time is about choices. Claiming to be overly busy relieves you of the responsibility of choice. It creates the allusion that time is out of your control, when in fact it’s not.
Time is simply about prioritizing.
The first step to my recovery and finally making time for myself and my health was to get honest. I started by tracking exactly how and where I was spent my time. I was shocked! I was making time to socialize instead of exercise, I spent a lot of wasted time in the car due to poor planning and lots of time lost on my phone connecting with friends and I’m sure complaining about how I didn’t have time for anything. You see! It’s all an illusion.
Step 1: Change your language.
I love what Laura Vanderkam, the author the “168 Hours” has to say about language.
“Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “It’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.
Step 2: Track your time
Get honest and track your time for a full week. Once you do this, create a separate 24-hour time clock of what your perfect day would look like. Then compare the two. What needs to shift to get your Real Life Clock to look like your Ideal Time Clock?
Your power and controls come in simple acknowledging how you spend your time. It will finally release the grip overwhelm has on your life and create the ability to prioritize where and how you spend your time. Ultimately, giving you the gift of time.
This, my friends is how you create new habits and finally create time in your life for you and your dreams!
Click HERE to Print your 24-Hour Time Log Template
Step 3: Set a weekly goal
A goal is only a wish until it is written down and has an action plan attached to it.
Everyone of us is busy and have things we want to accomplish during the week. However, in order to make your goals/wish list a priority you must write them down and map out a plan. For example, my goal this week is to get to bed earlier. Great! It’s a great place to start but that isn’t enough. I must have an action plan explaining exactly how/what I need to do in order to get to bed earlier or it simply won’t happen. Take a look:
Weekly Goal: I will get to bed by 11pm nightly.
Action steps: explain HOW I’m going to accomplish this. What steps do I need to take in order for this to happen?
- Have meals planned for the nights we get home late. This will allow me to get my girls to bed on time and give me the time I need to get to my to-do list and get to bed on time.
- Use an app or set up Guided access on my iPhone to limit my screen time and stop me from getting sucked into the social media void. Here’s instructions on how to set up guided access on your iPhone. Here’s a list of helpful screen time.
- Set up a daily alarm on my phone to remind me it’s time to wrap up and wind down.