A chronic habit mothers have is “prioritizing” their health last. The odd thing is, when we’re asked to plan out our “ideal” day, one of the first things we do is block time to exercise because we all know that’s what we should be doing. But too often we find that it’s one of the last things that gets done IF we’re lucky. So a day passes by without any form of purposeful physical training, and then two days, and then welp– an entire week goes by. This pattern becomes a vicious cycle and somehow it becomes a norm for us.
Mamas, let’s just stop right there. This does not have to be the norm. Instead of treating fitness like a chore, let’s treat it like a date you set for yourself and let’s approach fitness a little differently. Here’s how:
- Schedule your date (about an hour) first thing in the morning.
- Now the last thing you want to do is miss your date and make up an excuse that “something came up” or you “slept too late the night before”. Schedule it first thing in the morning before other work starts piling up and the usual afternoon/evening chaos swallows you up.
- Protect this time by scheduling your day AROUND this time. It’s much easier if your date is in the morning so that any other commitment or appointment can be made after that time.
- Pretty yourself up.
- What do you do when you prepare for a date? Probably pick out a cute outfit and some matching shoes the night before, right? Exactly! Lay out your workout clothes and shoes on the floor next to your bed so that the first thing you see when you climb out of bed is a reminder that you have a date that you’re getting ready for. Physically changing into your workout clothes prepares your body and signals your brain to get into the workout mode.
- Give yourself some buffer time.
- Anything can happen that makes you late for your date (like a really bad hair day, a flat tire, or maybe a last minute work meeting). Though you can’t always be prepared for those times, having some buffer time can prevent you from being late at least 9 out of 10 times. Let’s say for example I need to begin my workout at 7:30am at the latest to have enough time to drop off my daughter at daycare and get to work on time. Instead of beginning my workout at the latest possible time, I would begin working out at 7am so that I have that extra 30 minutes as a buffer for when I accidently wake up a few minutes late or something urgent at work comes up that requires me to start my workday earlier.
- Commit to your date.
- Treat working out like you’re being taken out on a date every morning. If you can’t commit to showing up for yourself, how do you commit to showing up for anyone else? If you and your significant other decide to go out on a date this Friday evening, wouldn’t you commit to it? Take yourself seriously and stop ghosting yourself. Not showing up for anyone (including yourself) sends a message that they (you) are not worth showing up for.
- Make your dates fun.
- No one likes to go to the same restaurant and have the same conversation over and over again. Mix it up a bit and make it fun! Instead of running on the treadmill every time, follow a YouTube workout session (my favorites are Blogilates and Madfit), add in a kettlebell session, or better yet, make it a group date and invite some girlfriends to work out with you! Adding variety to your workouts makes you look forward to your next sweat session.
A simple change in approach can change your perspective on what was once a difficult chore to something that you can actually look forward to. Approach fitness like it’s a date with yourself. Impress yourself, show up for yourself, have fun with yourself, and most importantly commit to yourself!