Family responsibilities, a demanding job, keeping up with your studies, raising children, and the list goes on. We are all so very busy. Juggling things around trying not to drop the ball. Even though most of us are very well aware of the importance of having a good work-life balance, many of us still struggle to find this balance. Deep inside we all know what is best for us and for our families. Things, like eating healthy real food, having a good exercise routine, and spending quality time with our beloved ones, should be at the top of our weekly “To-do” list, but the busyness of life almost always gets in the way. How to be emotionally and physically healthier, stronger and fit despite being really busy?
Let us consider 4 ways that can help us achieve optimal health on a tight and demanding schedule.
#1. Be “Busy-Smart”
“make sure of the more important things” – Phil. 1:10
“the way I am running is not aimlessly; the way I am aiming my blows is so as not to be striking the air.” – 1 Cor. 9:26
Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean being effective or efficient. It is believed that 80% of all our good results come from merely 20% of our efforts. This means that 80% of our efforts produce an “insignificant” 20% of our overall results. This principle is called the Pareto principle, best known as the 80/20 Rule. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle
So, it is ok to be busy. We just need to make sure we are busy with the right things. How do we determine what the right things are?
Step 1: Rate the categories below from 1 to 5 on the level of importance for you. Intimate Relationship (marriage), Parenting, Family, Friendships, Education, Career, Recreation (hobbies), Spirituality, Physical health, and Emotional health (helping others). On a scale from 1 to 5 write down how much time, energy, and resources you allocate to each one of these categories. Are you spending most of your time, energy, and resources on your more important things?
Step 2: Write down your values. Based on your values and in the things that are more important to you, try to write your and your family’s mission statement.
Examples of personal mission statement:
“My mission is to give, for giving is what I do best and I can learn to do better. I will seek to learn, for learning is the basis for growth, and growing is the key to living. I will seek first to understand, for understanding is the key to finding value, and value is the basis for respect, decisions, and action. This should be my first act with my wife, my family, and my business. I want to help influence the future development of people and organizations. I want to teach my children and others to love and laugh, to learn and grow beyond their current bounds. I will build personal, business, and relationships by giving, in frequent little ways.”
Example of a family’s mission statement:
“We thank God every day for our blessings, even on days when we are challenged or face hardships. We always share what we have with others, and help out whenever we can to whoever is in need. We praise each other, as we are each blessed by God with unique talents. We always finish what we start, always try even though we may be afraid, and always give the activity of the moment our full attention. ” Short version: “Thank God. Always Share, Say Nice Things. Give Our Best”
Next time you have to choose what to do, use your personal and family mission statement to guide your decisions.
Step 3. Learn to Say NO!
You simply can’t focus your efforts on what is more important, advantageous and profitable if you keep saying YES to every single request, project, activity, assignment, and desire. You have to become an essentialist and decide to spend most of your time and effort on what is essential. Learn to gracefully and friendly, but firmly, say “no” to all the rest.
Even if it means to say “no” to new opportunities, saying “no” to your boss, saying “no” to your friends, colleagues, relatives, and saying “no” to your old self. Say “no” every time the answer is not a resounding and enthusiastic YES!
Note: When you become more efficient by applying the 80/20 rule, the results will show and will be evident. Your boss will notice. So, next time he asks you to work more, explain to him how you manage to be so efficient and respectfully but confidently negotiate with him. And maybe even say “no” to him. Together with your results, your firm position will only increase his respect for you. The same applies to your colleagues.
#2 Put Your Own “Mask” on First
“The second [commandment] is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.'” – Matt. 22:39
Imagine you are in an airplane getting ready to take off. The attendants are giving safety instructions: “Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.” Have you ever thought about the reason why you should put on your mask first before assisting your child for example? In the case of the airplane, oxygen masks are deployed in situations where the oxygen level has dropped dangerously low. Without your oxygen mask, you will quickly lose consciousness. If you don’t make putting on our mask your first priority, you will very likely not be able to help anyone.
The same applies to life. If you don’t make sure you are strong and healthy, emotionally and physically, you could let your loved ones down when they need you the most.
#3 Think BIG. Start Small.
“Let your reasonableness become known to all men.” – Phil. 4:5
You are determined to be the best version of yourself for your family. You want to be your children’s hero. Their protector and provider. But right now you are tired and don’t have the energy to play and spend time with them. You feel overwhelmed, overworked, stressed out, and incapable. You can not change everything overnight, but you can make a meaningful improvement every day. Think big by visualizing what sort of person you want to become. Start small by being reasonable with yourself, breaking down the steps you have to take into atomic pieces and taking them one at a time. Learn how habits work and start making atomic but exponential changes now.
#4 Make a Plan and Find a Partner.
“The plans of the diligent surely lead to success” – Prov. 21:5
“Two are better than one… For if one of them falls, the other can help his partner up.” – Ec. 4: 9, 10
Now, all you need is an action plan to execute your vision for yourself. Regarding your health, I have a simple 4 weeks program to set you up for success on your pursuit for optimal health.
It will be much easier to stick to the program if you do it together with a family member or a friend. Or you can simply tell a friend what are you doing and ask him to follow your progress every week. The accountability of having to show results or prove that you are sticking to the program will give an extra incentive to keep going without giving up.
Check the program out and let me know what you think. http://fortytimesbetter.net/2020/01/01/optimal-health-four-weeks-program/
Be in awe. Be awesome 😉
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not substitute medical advice.