Something that I’ve really had to perfect these past few years is the art (yes it may as well be an art) of balancing life and fitness. I’m a full-time student, who balances a business, life and also fitness. It’s a tough line up to manage, and it’s most definitely not a breeze. But, it is possible. I get a lot of people asking how I cope, and how I manage to do everything. To be totally honest, most of the time I don’t. It’s stressful, I’m not going to lie. It requires a lot of sacrifices. Not to mention, a lot of planning. But it is possible when we are realistic with ourselves, and our time.
Setting Your Priorities
Time really is the biggest constraint. So, the first thing to do is to set priorities. Get your priorities straight and you’re already on to a great start. The biggest change I found beneficial was stopping doing the little, stupid things that took up my time but that didn’t add value to my life. When you’re busy and trying to balance life and fitness, unfortunately, some stuff does have to take a back seat. But in the long run, cutting the ‘crap’ leaves more room for the things you are passionate about, and makes you more productive with the things you need to get done. Once you’ve done that, you can see what truly is important, and can then work out what you want to schedule and prioritise from there.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Next up is planning. Although it sounds straight forward, it’s something that a lot of us don’t do enough. Having a business really taught me the importance of forward planning, and looking / thinking ahead one to two months at a time. That way, we have plenty of time to formulate a strategic way to take on the task ahead / balance the workload that we may have around that time. In particular for me, I look at my university deadlines and plan backward from there. I plot in my business content and set deadlines for when that is to be completed by. Having this plan ultimately just keeps me focused, and makes sh*t happen. So get your plan, look at your next month and work back. What are you going to do when? What is your focus for this week? What would you like to achieve next week?
Work Hard, Play Hard?
Now let’s get onto the work-life balance. The dreaded phrase which even I’m not sure I’ve mastered yet. All I really know is, that we can burn the candle at both ends and end up falling short at both life, work and everything in between. I’ve been there, done that and got the souvenir ‘i’m an idiot’ t-shirt to show for it. It’s not big, and it’s not clever to overwork. When I first got started with my business, I thought working hard and ‘grinding’ at all hours of the day was the only way to make things work. It couldn’t be more the opposite. Now don’t get me wrong, balancing everything and running a business is hard work – and does require some level of dedication and longer work time. BUT, that all being said, the balance between that and life should be more equal than we make it. Relaxation and ‘me’ time is an important part of our wellbeing, and trust me helps us to be more productive, more work efficient and a hell of a lot happier in the long run. So make sure you look to include things into your weekly routine that look after your wellbeing, your mindset and make you calmer and less stressed.
Workout In A Way That You Love
Next up, balancing all of the above, with fitness as well. Now, I guess I’m lucky because I really do love fitness. It makes me happy. It makes me feel strong. Not to mention a total badass. So, when it comes to the fitness side of things – that just slots in as my ‘happy time’. However, I know that for many people it can be a challenge. I think that is an important thing to remember, and something I do talk about a lot. It is so so important to do something you love. Do something that sets your fire alight. Ultimately, when we lead busy lives, you’re only going to make time to get fit and active if you’re doing something you love. If you’re working 50+ hour weeks, the last thing you’re going to want to do is head to a spin class if you really hate spin. Find what you enjoy, and do it well. That my friends, is the true key to success.
Eat To Nourish Your Body
Finally, Nutrition. Now it’s all fair and well going to the gym, managing to balance your work life and also having time to do a weekly face mask and pedicure session whilst watching Netflix. But if your nutrition isn’t on point, your health can be at risk. Nutrition is so much more than just how we physically look (although I know that is a big one for most people). It plays an important role in our internal health, our functioning and our wellbeing. So trust me when I say, nutrition is definitely something you need to be thinking about and implementing into your lifestyle. When it comes to balancing nutrition, I know it can be tough. There are so many barriers surrounding nutrition, from food availability to time constraints and even to cooking facilities. Which is why planning is the key.
I know it may sound simple, but by planning you are helping to combat the barriers that may hinder your ability to improve your nutrition. For example, if you know whilst you are at work Monday to Friday you have zero cooking facilities – you would look to plan a healthy, nutrient-rich meal that can be prepared at home and requires zero cooking / reheating for it to taste amazing. Seriously, taking a little time to look at your constraints, along with your needs, likes, and dislikes can make a HUGE difference to your nutrition. Honestly, if I didn’t plan my meals, I’d either forget to eat because I’m so on the go… or I’d end up eating everything I could grab just for convenience. To me, I think this is so important because nutrition plays a huge part in my wellbeing and health. So, if you want to stay on track, and see results – it’s important to work around your lifestyle. Spend some time figuring out when you can have a home cooked meal, or when you need to prepare double to cover lunch the next day. Plan what meals you’re going to eat, and make up a shopping list ready for the big weekly shop. Ultimately, it’s all about thinking ahead, preparing in advance and staying on top. You’ve got this!
I really hope you enjoyed hearing my take on balancing life and fitness, and I hope some of my tips can help you. I’d love to hear if you have any tips and tricks that I didn’t mention that you think could be useful to everyone?