This year, one of my top 10 goals was to make health a priority. I wanted to get healthy, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized what it actually meant to make health an actual priority. Getting healthy has been a goal for, oh every year since I started making goals, but I never prioritized it. Meaning, I never chose it when it was hard. I never chose it when I was busy.
A switch went off though recently and I finally realized what it would take to make it a priority. So today, I thought I’d share a few tips coming from a mom of a toddler and five month old on how I actually do this. And friends, I know you know this already but you getting healthy is a priority for your whole family. It’s not selfish. Everyone in your house will reap benefits as you prioritize your health.
Before I do that though, I feel like it’s important to talk about WHY we should be making health a priority.
Here’s why I work out and eat healthy…er ; )
-- An energy booster. Working out and good food gives me such an energy boost. And on the other side of the coin. I am realizing how much of my rough days coincide with a terrible diet. It sounds obvious but honestly, I’m just now getting it, sugar and processed foods make my body feel bad. If you don’t believe me, just try giving it up for a few days and see for yourself.
-- A clarity bringer. When I get home from a workout, my mind feels refreshed. I feel like I can hit the ground running and do it with all brain cells in tact instead of stumbling out of bed into a fog of mommy duties.
-- A joy initiator. Endorphins. Seriously, it’s really a thing. I couldn’t tell you all the sciency things about endorphins, but I can tell you how I feel afterward.
-- A stress reliever. When I move my body, I can literally feel the tension release from me.
And these are just the short-term benefits!! Obviously there are TONS of health benefits as we do this for the long haul, but sometimes it’s hard to keep going if you aren’t seeing some results and these everyday results keep me going!
"SPENDING A LITTLE MORE ON SOMETHING YOU WILL ACTUALLY DO IS A LOT MORE COST-EFFECTIVE THAN ANY MEMBERSHIP YOU WON'T USE."
1. Do the workout that you will actually do.
I have tried to cheap out and do workouts at home, but this doesn’t work for me. I never do it. I like being in the gym. I like coming home full of energy for my kids. My husband on the other hand needs accountability and interaction with others so he does CrossFit. Between an Anytime Fitness membership for me and CrossFit for Tyler, it is pricy BUT my goal was the make health a priority. That means in my budget too. If you feel like money is tight and would never want to spend time or money on figuring out what will work longterm for you, this post probably won’t help. I feel silly for waiting so long to make these changes for money reasons. The benefits that I listed about from $50 a month of the gym is worth more than so many of the items on my budget list. And honestly, spending a little more on something you will actually do is a lot more cost-effective than any membership you won’t use.
2. Find some things to do with the kids if you have them.
Tyler showed Vivi some Crossfit moves (i.e. jumping jacks and pushups) and I’ve shown her some yoga positions on the iPad and now she’s always asking to do them. It’s like a tiny little human reminder to get moving. This isn’t where I get my biggest workouts from but it does get me moving on days I’m not at the gym.
3. Mix it up.
Some days on the elliptical, I bring my prayer journal or a book. Getting to exercise my mind at the same time refreshes me so much and makes it easier to prioritize. I know I’m going to spend time praying that day so why not be moving at the same time. Other days I listen to music and those workouts are definitely faster paced and less cerebral.
4. If you are married, I highly recommend getting healthy together.
You might not have a spouse who is interested and thats OK. I started several months before Tyler and didn’t push it with him and he decided on his own and is more motivated than me many days! I was determined to do it on my own, but the accountability has proved helpful! I do spend time praying for the health of our family. Remember me talking about taking a prayer walk around the house? When I’m in the kitchen, this is part of what I pray for and I definitely know it was a factor in changing both our hearts.
5. Psyche yourself up with info to keep you motivated.
I have read Sugar Crush and Whole 30 recently and Eat, Sleep Move is another favorite. They are so motivating and have helped me cut sugar, carbs and dairy, not completely but significantly less. My husband loves watching documentaries. Reminding ourself of WHY this is so good for us is key to staying motivated.
6. Workout before the kids wake up
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Tyler does Crossfit and on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I go to the gym before the girls wake up between 7-8. Having a set time is crucial. Not to say we never miss but knowing the girls are taken care of for me to go helps me to choose to go. On the days I’ve THOUGHT about going IF the stars align in the afternoon, it just never happens. I don’t workout for hours or even one hour normally! I’m in and out and don’t dilly dally so that it’s sustainable.
7. Sleep train.
This seems random, and shows up on lots of my post for how I get anything done. If my babies don’t sleep, there is no way a lot of this would be possible. And sleep is crucial. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you will never be able to wake up early to workout. The first two months with a newborn, I didn’t even attempt a workout.
I’d love to hear some tips from you!! How do you stay motivated and make your health a priority.