by Jodi Robinson RD & Dr Lisa Adams ND | Featured Contributors
Lacking time is one of the most common obstacles cited by our clients. It’s still early in the year and we are still hearing about their shiny new health goals, but then we also hear how difficult it is for them to stick to their plan because they believe they don’t have the time.
As female entrepreneurs we have, like you, strived to balanced work, health, family, and life’s ups and downs. We understand the challenges, and we’ve also played the ‘not enough time’ mind-game with ourselves. Let’s face it: It’s not easy to find balance in our busy, often messy, sometimes complicated lives. Even the most intelligent and disciplined of us have struggled with lifestyle balance.
Just look at the life and journey of Arriana Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post and author of Thrive: the Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.* She literally had to pass out, hit her head on her desk and wake in a pool of her own blood to finally embrace healthy habits! She had been growing her company successfully for a couple of years, but was also neglecting herself and her needs which left her completely burnt out. After her lifestyle overhaul she went on to achieve astounding success in her business and enjoyed the multitude of other benefits that a healthy lifestyle provides.
With this is mind, it’s time to let go of excuses and embrace the wisdom found in the following mishaps worthy of a time-out:
- Automatically saying “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time for that.”
Do you often tell those around you, or yourself, that you just don’t have time for ________ (insert health promoting activity here)? If so, then you are actually putting yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to your health and business. It’s important to take a step back from our packed schedule and evaluate all of our goals and priorities. So yes, it’s time to stop what you’re doing and invest a little time here and now! Hoping we’ll have time tomorrow or next week just isn’t going to cut it.
We need to outsmart the overdrive
If you have a goal, write out what your first small and easy steps might be. Your goal could be completing a five kilometer walk for charity in the next few months to keep you on track for losing some weight. The first step could be as simple as going for a five to ten minute walk three times a week for the first two weeks and the next may be walking for fifteen minutes five times a week, and so on. Reality check – ten minutes a day IS NOT going to interfere with your daily schedule or business goals!
Then write out why you want to reach your goal: This is important to overcome our natural resistance to change. Everyone’s reason is different, but it’s critical to qualify so we can be sure each step we take is aligned with who we are. This will build motivation for change.1
Making ourselves a priority should always be a priority in our business. Many workplace studies have now demonstrated positive health and productivity outcomes when implementing physical activity programs.2 Let’s face it, if we aren’t ‘running well’ how can we expect our business to be well-run?
- Thinking we can magically find time for our health somewhere in between running errands and our meeting with so-and-so.
This second time management mishap is perhaps the most common. Health needs to be scheduled, just like your meetings and other obligations. You will struggle to get past the starting line if you don’t give your healthy habits a time slot in your calendar. You are solidifying a commitment to yourself and your goals!
We need to schedule well to get out of schedule hell
This can be as simple as writing it on the family calendar in the kitchen; putting a recurring alarm in your phone or online calendar; or telling your spouse or child that after you go grocery shopping every Saturday, you’re going to the gym. Create a set routine for your health and wellness activities, just like you do for your business and household.
- Taking on too much and being hard on ourselves if we don’t achieve a goal
We are always our own worst critic and making changes with our lifestyle can bring out that little devil voice inside: “Yeah, you tried this last time, didn’t work. You just don’t have time!” or “You slept in, so now you won’t make your yoga/fitness class; may as well just quit now since you can’t commit.” Sound familiar?
We need to pitch the perfectionism
The truth is that a little goes a long way: Research shows that committing to small, simple, and sustainable health changes over time are what lead us to achieve and maintain our health goals and create a vibrant lifestyle that lasts.3 So we need to tell that little voice to “shut-it” and give ourselves permission be human. This means that if we accidently sleep in we can still do ten minutes of exercise at home and maybe just next time put our alarm on the other side of the room.
What’s the Bottom Line?
There are only so many hours to work with a day and we all juggle many different responsibilities each and every day. If we can prioritize and schedule the business side of our life, then why aren’t we doing the same for our health needs and goals?
Our mission is to empower female entrepreneurs to put themselves first in their business and in life through reserving a top slot on their schedule for healthy habits and taking small, realistic steps to reach their wellness goals.
It’s not just the children in our lives needing to take time to re-think their daily choices and actions.
So please go get your favourite bevy, your schedule app or book, and give yourself a time-out!
Cheers to you and your healthy habits,
Jodi & Lisa
- Motivational Interviewing in Health Care: Helping Patients Change Behavior. Rollnick S, Miller W, Butler C. Guilford Press, 2008.
- American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Meta-Analysis of Workplace Physical Activity Interventions. Conn VS, Hafdahl AR, Cooper PS, Brown LM, Lusk SL. 2009 Oct; 4(37): 330-339.
- Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit formation’ and general practice. Br J Gen Pract. 2012 Dec; 62(605): 664-666. Gardner B, Lally P, Wardle J. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3505409/
*See more on Arriana Huffington here:
Fit & Fab Fempreneurs is a support hub created by Jodi & Lisa to support entrepreneurial women on their journey towards a healthier lifestyle. As a registered dietitian and naturopathic doctor, respectively, they have been challenged over many years in practice to balance running their businesses, striving for optimal health, and keeping their focus, fitness, and food in fabulous balance.
They love to empower and support other entrepreneurial women to bring more of themselves to their business by investing in their health, all while getting stuff done! Through creating simple, realistic, and sustainable health habits, women can discover healthy eating, better fitness, more energy, and achieve a healthy weight. They are passionate believers in self-care, self-love, grit and gratitude, and work hard to kick-to-the-curb cookie-cutter diet & fitness programs, food fads and guilt.
Are you looking for a supportive space to take a breath from your frantic and frenzied lifestyle?