Time & Priorities
I'll never forget this moment when I was in college. I was driving my roommate to the grocery store when she turned to me and asked, "Olivia, how do you do it all?"
Not knowing exactly what she meant, I replied, "Do what?"
She went on to explain that I seemed to have time to do it all: study, go to class, eat, workout. I was gone all day, and she was curious as to when I had the time to get everything accomplished that I needed to do.
I took a moment to answer her because hearing her objective perspective of my life was quite enlightening. I had no idea that that was how I appeared to the world. Scheduling and filling up my days to keep them busy was just how I lived my life normally, not something I really consciously thought of on a regular basis.
My answer was this, "I guess I like to fill my days and plan them out. I like to be doing things and keep busy, so it's always just been my norm."
That story often comes back into my mind when I am asked similar questions now. "How do you have time to meal prep?" "How do you make yourself exercise?" "How do you go to bed so early every night?"
The answer is simple: I make all of those things, therefore my health, my top priority.
I have the same amount of time as everyone else during the day. It's how I choose to spend that time that sometimes differs.
It is a priority to be to eat a balanced, nutrient dense diet. Therefore, I take the time each week to meal prep and pack my lunch and snacks each morning for work. I allow enough time in the morning for a sit down, balanced breakfast. Certain foods do not make me feel good for days on end; therefore, I choose not to eat those foods regularly (if ever). Each weekend, I carve out that time to go to the store, prep, and organize the fridge. Is it easy every week? No. Do I still do it? Yes.
It's a priority to exercise during the week. Right now, I'm currently doing 5x per week. I have a regular routine that I make time for on the days I normally workout. My schedule reflects that workout time as well, as I always make sure I have time for my own workout when scheduling clients and appointments.
It's a priority to get quality sleep. My body does not function well without sleep. Therefore, I have a bedtime at 9pm, and I stick to it. Do I make exceptions? Yes, but they are few and far between, especially during the work week.
But these priorities do not come without sacrifice, usually coming from my social life. This is a conscious choice that I've made for most of my adult life. Are there days when I regret that? Yes. Are there days when I love the routine and lifestyle I live? Yes. It's all part of the ebb and flow - the journey towards health, happiness, and balance.
There are weeks when I am so overwhelmed and stressed (like last week), that it becomes even more important than ever to keep these priorities in place for my health and sanity. Again, is it easy? No. It's easy to grab a donut and run out the door, grab fast food for lunch, and skip a workout. It takes conscious effort every. single. day. But in the end for me, it's always worth it.
Now, I'm a single female living alone with one job (although I wear many hats there...). My priorities are different than yours. We all need to sit down individually and think about a) our goals, b) the steps needed to achieve those goals, and c) what we need to make a priority to achieve those goals.
We are all given the same amount of hours each day. Think about what you are making priorities on a regular basis. Are these the things, people, and activities that are going to help you or hinder you on your journey?