Are you workouts the first thing to suffer when you’ve got a busy week? Do you resort to take-out or drive-thru meals because you didn’t plan anything for dinner?
It doesn’t have to be that way! And before you say “but Kate, I just don’t have time!”, I’ll just say this: If you want something badly enough, you can make it happen. If you are determined to make healthy changes in your life, then you can make it happen!
It will take a bit of planning and preparation. But if you’re willing to spare a little of your Sunday, it will not only create time for your workouts and healthy meals but you’ll be able to stress just a little bit less.
Ok, so let’s get to it!
1. Review Your Calendar for the Week
What do people who have killer time management skills have in common? They plan, plan, and then plan some more! Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, or work outside your home, or a work-at-home mom, this couldn’t be more important for those of you juggling everything from playdates to business meetings.
Take some time to check out your calendar for the upcoming week. Not only will you save yourself the surprise of that mid-week doctor’s appointment, but you can also look to see where you have some free time to fit in your workouts.** Check to see if you’ve got any early morning or evening commitments where you’ll need to change up your regular schedule.
In my house, we’ve got two adults, two kids in elementary school who are involved in school and extra-curricular activities, a toddler, and a crazy doggy. There’s early morning band practices, evening cub scout meetings, weekend dance classes, toddler gym classes…and that crazy doggy. The best thing for our sanity was to get everyone’s crazy agendas onto one family calendar. I look at the view of the week and see which days I can get to the gym before everyone leaves for work and school. If there are night time activities, I make sure to plan for salads or a quick one-pot meal for dinner instead of ordering a pizza. I also look for the days where I might get to sleep in a little…ha, just kidding!! I’m a mom, there’s no such thing as sleeping in.
**Your workout doesn’t have to be a trip to the gym for an hour long sweat session. It could be anything from a walk in your neighborhood, to a 10 minute circuit in your living room, or yoga in your pajamas!
2. Schedule time for you
So you’ve looked at the calendar, and you’ve seen all the appointments, meetings, and playdates…but is there anywhere that you get to actually have some fun??
As moms, we tend to give all of our time, energy, and focus to those around us. By the end of the day there is nothing left for you. One way to make sure you get to do some of the things that you enjoy is to schedule it.
That 10 minute workout in your living room? Schedule it.
Coffee with a friend? Schedule it.
Even if it doesn’t seem as important as your children’s well visit appointments, or a meeting with your boss, scheduling time for yourself is important to your sanity!
3. Make plans for dinner
This one was huge for me, especially in the first 6 months or so postpartum. I was still trying to figure out my baby’s schedule, and I was basically sleepwalking through most of the days. But there were people who expected dinner when they got home. For longer than I’d like to admit, I was relying on a lot of pre-packaged meals because I was waiting until 5pm to figure out what to make.
It was stressing me out! So I decided to put my Pinterest boards to good use. I think I literally have about 700 recipe ideas pinned, ha. So I started browsing my boards for quick and healthy meals options, looking for those with short ingredient lists and minimal prep time.
I planned a menu for the week, and made my grocery list at the same time to make sure I had the ingredients I needed. I started posting the menu on the fridge to remind me of what I need to take out for prep (especially if it involves meat that needs to be thawed).
I am still sticking with this plan and it not only takes the stress out of making dinner, but it helps ensure that I’m making healthy meals.
Don’t get me wrong, there are nights when I go rogue…things happen! But for the most part I stick to the plan and it has made a world of difference.
Download my FREE meal planning printable!
4. Prepare lunches ahead of time
Meal prepping had been in the spotlight for a reason! This is the step that might seem the most daunting because it takes some time on Sundays. But an hour or so on Sunday can pay dividends during the week.
I’m a stay-at-home mom, so you would think that lunch would be easy! Well, it’s easy if I just grab a pack of peanut butter crackers, or a granola bar while I’m trying to feed my son. But if I want to actually eat something nutritious, I need to plan ahead.
I don’t do meal prep every week, because some weeks I plan dinners that will leave leftovers for lunch. When I do, I pick something that I won’t get sick of eating three, sometimes four days in a row. There’s something really satisfying about seeing those little meal containers ready to go in the fridge. Weird, I know…
I love these super-easy taco salad lunch bowls. They’re great as is, but you can always add some of your favorite ingredients (hello, avocado!!)
If mornings are a whirlwind for you, you can meal prep for breakfast, too! I make these egg muffins all the time and just switch up the ingredients.
Ok, I know…When are you supposed to find time to relax?! Whether you are a brand new mommy, or your kids are older…someone always. wants. something. But remember when we talked about scheduling time for yourself? You need it!
Sunday night is a time when you can recharge your batteries, and set your intentions for the week ahead. Spend some time, even if it’s only 30 minutes, doing something that you enjoy: reading, watching your favorite show, or listening to a podcast. Another option is to shut down early and get some much needed sleep!
Do you have your own tips that help you make time and save time during the week? I would love to hear them! Add them in the comments below.