Courtesy of Coach Lindsay:
The Trade-off: Priorities = Sacrifices
Discussions about living a fit and healthy lifestyle likely lead to the topic of priorities. I am often asked how I find time to eat healthy and work out 5-6 times per week. My response: “I make it a priority.”
I get a number of reactions:
- Praise – “Good for you for making the time.”
- Inspiration – “I want to make it more of a priority in my life, can you give me some tips?”
- Judgment – “Must be nice to have the time for that.”
Often, it is some sort of mixture. I try not to take it personally because it likely has more to do with a reflection of themselves and/or their circumstances than it has to do with me.
However, I realize that I rarely discuss the trade-off, which is the willingness to sacrifice.
Often sacrifice is discussed in the context of foregoing your own needs to support the needs of others. Being self-less is important and a foundation of the relationships in our lives (spouse, parent, friend). However, if we always skip our own needs, it can get to the point where it not only negatively impacts our well-being, but also the people that we care about.
Let’s talk then about self-care. As a parent, spouse, employee, friend, caregiver, etc. this can be tough as time is limited. Why should we make self-care a priority?
We need to ‘fill our own cup, so we can pour into others’
Otherwise we have nothing left to give. We stop showing up fully and just go through the motions. Our attitudes change. Instead of being happy to help and enjoy the things we do, we start viewing it as “have to” instead of “get to.” We can become bitter, resentful and unfulfilled. This impacts our interactions with our loved ones.
When we do take the time for ourselves
We are more likely to be happy and energetic and this translates to us being present and engaged with the people and world around us.
You are also likely to be the best of yourself. If we give our all to others as a parent, spouse, employee and don’t take the time for our own passions then we can lose who we are. This again not only impacts us, but the people around us don’t get to experience our true, authentic self either.
How I practice self-care
I practice self-care through fitness and nutrition. It’s my passion and it lights me up. It is also my outlet. The way I cope with stress and anxiety. It has helped me build mental toughness, compassion, confidence and resiliency. This energy and these benefits seep into all areas of my life and have positive impacts on my interactions and relationships.
It is not self-centered to practice self-care. You shouldn’t feel guilty taking time to prioritize your work out or meal prep. However, you will likely have to sacrifice.
Something has to give. There is only so much time. This is where it can get challenging. You need to ask yourself “How bad do you want it?” and “What are you willing to give up to get it?”
Make a list. How do you spend your time? Are there some areas that you can cut from? Get creative. Sacrifice is not easy, but it can be worth it. If that is what you want.
What are some of the sacrifices I make to prioritize fitness and nutrition?
- Hair – you might be shocked to hear, but I don’t think I look cute with my hair in a bun/pony, but drying & styling takes time and well, #gymlife #momlife get priority (also dry shampoo is life);
- Make-up, nails, haircuts, skincare fall down the list, unfortunately (my poor eyebrows…one day I’ll get on the microblading train);
- Food – I eat healthy and meal prep, but I have limited time to cook so fancy food is out and relatively boring and basic are the norm;
- My house is messy, like it’s not a complete disaster, but it’s not how I want;
- Home improvements are slower moving (not from lack of effort by my husband who keeps us moving along, thankfully);
- Car – yikes;
- Sleep – early morning (4:45 a.m.) and late evenings (10:30-ish p.m.) are regular life for me.
- I spend less time at home with my family then I potentially could if I didn’t prioritize fitness & nutrition;
- I miss bedtime routine a couple times a week;
- I am totally the #hotmessmom at daycare that forgets PJ day and doesn’t bring Earth day treats to school (This is a thing? Really?!);
- I sometimes forget to return texts. This is a work in progress.
- Shopping – online, rarely do I make it to a mall;
- Netflix – I have it. I hardly watch it. What is G.O.T.?
- I don’t go out with friends often. Maybe once per month;
- I haven’t been to a movie since…
- I am the person that brings the wine & bagged salad to gatherings.
I’ll say it again, sacrifices aren’t easy. You are giving up things that are valuable to you and no one relishes that. Even reflecting and typing out this list made me uncomfortable. I wish I could have it all. Everything perfectly balanced. But…life. So, my mindset: #progressoverperfection.
In this trade-off, our own balance is what is important. You don’t know what someone else’s priorities are, or more so, what they sacrifice.