How does this time of year affect your fitness? Are you one to throw in the towel and say, I will start again January 1st or do you stay committed throughout the holidays? I call this time of year maintenance time where I shift from grinding to maintaining the results I have worked so hard for all year long. I believe that being realistic with your goals will deliver RESULTS. If you are not realistic then it can lead to frustration and burn out. There is a season for everything. We see it in nature and we experience it within ourselves. There is a time to bloom and a time to be more dormant. The times to bloom are the seasons where we energetically feel more of a spike in motivation and energy. I am sure you feel this during the Spring & Summer months. As the Fall and Winter months approach, our bodies and mindset shifts. I know you know what I am talking about! If we learn to work with the seasons and not against them, we will find ourselves not only seeing greater changes and feeling less anxious and stressed. If we try to resist the seasons, our bodies will start to resist us. I didn’t say quit or stop but I did say ease back and give yourself permission to not hustle the same way you were when you were during the blooming months of Summer. Consider this time of year Maintenance Season. Shift your ON button to Maintenance Mode and see how that feels.
The Work-life balance can be a quite a juggling act that takes constant attention and refinement. As a mom of 2 little ones that works out of the house, I get it. It is like a fine art that takes quite a bit of practice to perfect. I am constantly learning, growing and refining my flow, trying to find the perfect balance that is going to add the best productivity to my work while upholding harmony with life outside of work. I recently came across an article by James Clear that really made sense. He describes the work-life balance with The Four Burner Theory. He uses 4 burners to symbolize the 4 major areas of our life.
The Theory says, “in order to be successful you have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful you have to cut off two.”
We try to keep all burners on and on high, thinking we are an anomaly and can be efficient and productive without having to reduce the heat from one burner. We try to create workarounds or rather convince ourselves that it is totally doable but this is only because we are not willing to face reality that we can’t do it all.
It takes all of us a different amount of time or situation to realize that we simply have to streamline and turn off certain areas in order to excel in others. Life is full with tradeoffs and compromises. Isn’t this something we learn at a young age but then adulthood convinces us otherwise?
It is not about focusing on one (or two) areas and letting the other areas go but it is trusting that the focus needs to be placed on certain areas, keeping those burners on then they can be reduced to simmer while we spend the same time and attention on other areas.
If we divide your time equally among all four areas, we will not be able to give our all to one particular area. Would you rather spread yourself thin and be half ass in all you do or FOCUS on one area (or 2) and be bad ass in that area?
How do we handle this work-life balance and be bad ass without letting other burners go?
Outsouce the areas that do not need YOU so you can save time and spend it in areas that need your time and attention. Do the best you can to hire out or use your resources so the burner can stay lit without you burning yourself out to keep it lit, when it shouldn’t require your energy.
2. Shift your Mindset.
Rather than thinking you don’t have enough time to do this or that, shift your mindset to these are the hours I am given so I am going to make the most out of those hours. Hence the start of G-Fit Circuits. Time was limited but my goals remained the same. Solution- shift your mindset and maximize your time!
Embrace your limitations. The question to ask yourself is, “based on my current situation and restrictions, how can I be as effective as possible?” For example, If you only have 3 hours a week to exercise, how can you get in the best shape with those 3 hours you do have to exercise?
Solution- you get G-Fit!
I am all about changing your mindset and by finding this solution, you find a way to turn a negative “I never have enough time … ” to “I X time so I am going to get it done and make it happen.” The
3. Roll with the Seasons
Break your life into seasons. I started doing this and I immediately felt so much more of a work-life balance. If you take each season and allow it to have a different focus, it does just that, gives you focus in that one area. Seeing that every season changes and you have to roll with the change not against it, allows things to flow better and keeps you from resisting what is inevitable.
When I was competing, the seasons would come and go with whatever show I was doing… “on season, off season”. As a working mom of 2, my seasons are based on the true seasons of nature. Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Each season takes on a different feel, vibe and energetic pull that I work WITH not against.
Fall- Fall back into my structured program and re-establish my routine with my kids going back to school and getting back into their routine. Energy rises and I feel motivated to pick it up.
Winter- Maintenance mode. The holidays bring about a lot of hustle and bustle, parties and entertainment so it is not the time to turn it up. It is the time to maintain and stay consistent. The abs fade (slightly) during the winter season when it is dark and harder to jump out of bed. Don’t worry, we are preparing ourselves for our New Year’s goals.
Spring- The sun starts shinning and days are getting longer. It is the time to start to get that bikini body ready for the final season… Summer. Spring, I tend to get that extra spring of energy to turn it up another notch and start up the grill and get bikini body ready.
Summer- The heat is on and so are the squats. This season of sun, family vacations, beaches and bbq’s. The kids are out of school so the structure may not be as clear cut as other fall or spring but we do the best we can, we roll with the summer vacation vibe but still find a way to make ourselves non-negotiable. This is the season of my Summer Squat Challenge. It gives us focus while not feeling like we are completely on vacation mode.
Rolling with the seasons gives you the motivation to grind then the permission to simmer a bit, when it’s time to turn down that burner.
The work-life balance doesn’t mean you have to give up on your goals or let them go, you just have to be flexible and adjust the burners as you go. Some go on HIGH while others simmer a bit. When I started to really understand the concept that we are human- not super-human, is when I started getting more understanding of this flow or “burner mindset”. Not all burners or areas in your life can be on high, functioning at 100% all the time. Do your best to tend to all but focus your effort and energy on what needs the most from you during this time in your life.
Will we ever feel completely balanced, maybe not, but least we are aware of the idea that it is okay to turn some burners on high while others are on simmer or even off, for a bit.
No matter where you are in your journey, you are doing awesome. Remember that!