I have been a personal trainer and group exercise instructor for 16 years. I’m pretty used to juggling my family’s busy schedule in our every-day life. Recently, I’ve had to put my juggling abilities to a different kind of test. My family and I are planning our trip to the Golden State and there are plenty of obstacles to overcome that, to my surprise, align with every-day planning.
This is the first time 4 out of 5 of my family members have been to the West Coast – so we know that there is so much to be seen. When we started planning our trip, we all brainstormed the various landmarks we would want to see and all of the activities we would want to do:
Redwoods, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, San Diego Zoo, Napa Valley…
But after a while it was clear, the dream list was becoming too long. We needed to set some parameters that will make this trip doable. After all, we only have 10 days and a limited budget.
While it seems like a huge amount of time for a vacation, it is still not enough to see the entire state of California. We want our trip to be fun, yet, efficient. In order to achieve this, we have to prioritize what will work with our budget, our 10-day window and what is adaptable to our family’s needs.
If we push our trip to the limit, we will end up tired, sick and the kids will be miserable. If we do all children’s activities, we will feel like we will miss out on seeing what we want to see. If we spend more money than we should, we will regret it later!
We started focusing our trip based on the needs of our T.B.G – time, budget and goals. This means figuring out how to get everything done, when to do it and how much do we actually want to do for just about anything we participate in. When I thought more about it, this isn’t just important for our family vacation, but also for every-day life…especially when it comes to staying active and healthy. All you moms out there know exactly what I’m talking about!
People are so busy. Many people are even beyond busy; they are rushed. As moms, we know that sometimes we have to choose between getting up before the children to work out in the early morning, cramming in a work out during the baby’s nap time or going to the gym late at night when we would rather have family time…or sleep. The “when” side of this puzzle is a hard one. Be encouraged by this: some movement is better than no movement, just like on vacation. As long as you’re getting something done, you won’t look back and regret wasted time later.
On days when time is precious, 10 minute bouts of exercise is perfect. Don’t beat yourself up for “not making it to the gym.” If we get in the habit of moving and making exercise a priority, the gym will come to us.
Other days you can drop your kid off in the YMCA’s child watch and take a little time for yourself. Remember, there is always a Y staffer who is happy to help you feel comfortable on the equipment or find a class that works with your schedule.
This one is a big deal. Gym memberships are expensive. What’s worse? Many times we sign up, make the financial sacrifice and then because of our busy schedules and the feeling of intimidation, we never come back to make use of the facility. This can be easily prevented. Talk this out with the Y. There are different membership offerings that might work better for you (including the fact that the Y doesn’t make you sign contracts!). One of the best parts about the Y is the opportunity to make connections with people who will keep you coming back. There are plenty of people here with the same goals who have the same thoughts about busy schedules and financial struggles. Don’t be held back! Just like with vacationing, there is always wiggle room to make space for what truly matters most. In your every-day life, make sure health is a priority.
Maybe you want to lose a targeted amount of weight…or you’re looking for a new social outlet…or to make some changes in your health. Maybe you are looking for a mental break or you have never been in shape before and you want to start. Maybe you want your children to have fun in a safe and healthy environment or maybe you just want some me-time. The Y can help anyone with these kinds of goals.
I am sure you are already doing these things in your personal life, but what I hope for you is that you let the Y come alongside you in your fitness journey to a better you.