In my online health membership site, The Healthy Mama Hive, some ladies were saying that “time” is their biggest enemy when it comes to eating and living healthfully. Well, I want to once and for all put that excuse, (because that’s what it is) to bed. As one of my all-time favourite personal development coaches said: “A lack of attention to important areas of our life is no one else’s fault but our own”. So here are six tips that will help you make more time for healthy living and eating.
- Prioritize. The average person spends four to five hours per day watching TV. I’ll admit, I often fall into this trap. Once the kids are in bed I often plop myself down on the couch and turn on a show just to tune out from my day. But I really shouldn’t be doing this. There are SO many other things I could – and should – be doing with my time than wasting it watching television. Same goes for you. Use this time to meal prep for lunch the following day or to make some healthy muffins (none of this needs to be very time-consuming, the recipes my ladies get inside The Healthy Mama Hive are super quick and easy, nothing takes much longer than 20 mins).
You can also use TV time to stretch or do some weights (even in front of the TV if your favourite show is on), do some yoga, go for a walk around the block, meditate, read, colour, journal, or even meal plan whilst you’re watching your show. All these things are beneficial to a healthy lifestyle.
You need to think about all the time you’re not working. What are you doing when you’re not working? Is it time used effectively and sensibly? Or is it spent watching television, going out drinking with friends, spending money online shopping? It’s no one else’s choice but yours how you spend these hours, so make the most of them and put them to good use if you prioritize healthy living and eating.
- Get some help. Do you do your own laundry, including folding? How long is this taking you each week? Depending on your family size it could be taking you over an hour or two – maybe more! – to get this done every single week. That’s up to six hours plus per month. On laundry! Is folding laundry more important to you than cooking meals from scratch for your family? The answer is simply “yes” if this is what you spend your time doing.
My husband once found us someone who would come and fold our laundry for $20 per hour. That’s a fabulous deal to me when it frees up my time to cook and prep meals for my family’s health and wellbeing. Or to get in a yoga routine or a run. You can also drop your clothes off at a laundromat for them to wash and fold for you.
And what about cleaning? Are you cleaning your house instead of making a batch of muffins, or pre-chopping your veggies for easy steaming, or batch cooking soups and stews? Or getting in a weight training session? Again, if the answer is “yes” then you’re prioritizing the wrong things. Get a cleaner! You spend money on the things you prioritize and if you prioritize your health then spend money on getting some help.
If you say you can’t afford these things then look where you’re spending your money. You’ll probably find you’re prioritizing Starbucks or alcohol or restaurants or clothing or multiple TVs etc more than your healthy living.
You could also ask family members to help you out. Can grandma or grandpa help with things around the house or with the kids? Or get a babysitter in, even to allow you a couple of hours to meal prep for the week ahead or do some excise. Don’t try to do it all! You’re not superwoman and trying to do it all will only serve to burn you out and contribute to ill health.
- Use a grocery delivery service. If, in this day and age, you’re still going to the grocery store to order your food yet you’re still complaining that you “have no time”, then I’m going to have to stop you right there. Almost all the major supermarkets have a delivery service nowadays, so there’s simply no excuse not to do this. And it frees up SO much time.
- Batch cook. Do this for meatloaves, stews, soups, muffins, gummies, you name it. Batch cook your meals and store some in the freezer for a later date. This is a HUGE time saver and takes you almost no extra time to do.
- Get up earlier. I can hear many of you saying now: “But Tara, I’m exhausted, there’s no way I could get up earlier!”. To this I would ask: what time do you go to bed at night? If you’re going to bed past 10pm then you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Sleeping 10pm until 6am is 8 hours. If your kids don’t wake until 7am there’s an extra hour in your day for some exercise or something else that will ease stress in your life and hence contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Or, go to bed at 9pm and get up at 5am. Again, it all depends on what your priorities are. And no, “staying up later” isn’t an option because that’s (quite simply) unhealthy.
- Make things easier on yourself. List out your family’s favourite quick and easy meals and have a list of these on your fridge. Another thing I do is to leave a notebook on the kitchen counter where I write down the meals I’m planning to make for the week, including snacks, and where I keep a running grocery list going so as things run out I quickly add them to the list.
Remember, at the end of the day you make time for what you value, so I hope these tips were useful to you and if you have any other tips please leave them in a comment below, I’d love to hear them.
And if you want to join my online health membership, The Healthy Mama Hive, we’d love to have you! Click here to find out more about this amazing online community.