Whether you do the whole “New Years Resolution” thing, or not, you can’t help but be caught up in the freshness of a new year.
You start dreaming about where you’ll be 360+ days from now.
What goals you’ll achieve.
What awesome adventures you’ll get to be a part of.
How healthy, happy, and fulfilled you’ll be on December 31st as you close out a stellar year.
The problem is that it’s easy to dream. It’s not as easy to do the things that lead to that dream becoming a reality. Especially when you’re a busy mom with a demanding career, small kiddos, a partner (and maybe a dog or parakeet to support too!)
You have a lot on your plate.
So how can I possibly even hint at the idea that you can get twice as many workouts in this year as you did last year?
Well it all comes down to this simple (yet fabulous) 3 step process.
The short answer to getting more workouts in over the next few months is that you need to create more time for yourself.
And while you may be thinking, “Between work, the kids, my partner, heading to Costco for bulk toilet paper, and feeding the parakeet, how exactly am I going to find more time?”
But I promise you can magically create more time for yourself.
You just gotta…
Follow the EDA Strategy.
EDA stands for Eliminate, Delegate, Automate. And this little acronym is not only going to help you get more workouts in, it’s going to help create more time for all the things you want to do in your life and make it easier for you to have your healthiest, happiest year yet.
Here’s how to get started…
The first thing I want you to do is create a list of all the things that you have on your plate right now. I highly recommend you actually write this down (either on paper or in a notes app on your phone).
Just dump it all out there. Don’t hold back.
From grocery shopping, to daycare drop-off, to laundry, to dog walking, to exercise, to washing the car, to checking Instagram, to buying wine…
What are all the things that you’re currently doing or want/need to do to make life run smoothly and ensure everyone (including yourself) is happy and fed?
Okay, now take a look at that list.
What things honestly don’t need to get done?
Do you really need to do that thing or is it just something you’ve always done but it really serves no valuable purpose?
What could you say no to but you’re saying yes to it because you feel guilty or obligated?
What do you spend hours doing every week without it giving you a valuable return on investment?
Cross out anything that you realize you don’t need to do (and no one else needs to do either) it’s just become something you do out of habit (or a sense of obligation).
Like saying yes to that baby shower you really don’t want to go to.
Watching the late night news every night because you feel like you need to stay informed (instead of subscribing to something like The Skimm to stay in the know in less than 5 mins a day).
Driving across town to that 5 star baby and me class when there are so many great enough options closer to you (like the classes at the local library down the street).
What can you start saying no to?
What can you let go?
I get that some things may be hard to let go of because you’ve done them for so long, or someone else is involved and you feel guilty, but it’s okay to get really picky with your time.
One of the best parts about becoming a mom is that everyone (at least everyone who’s a decent human being) wouldn’t fault you for saying, “I’m really busy with the baby these days so I don’t have as much time for _________ . Which means – while I love you – I’m just not going to do it anymore.”
I want everything left on your list to be things that actually matter to you or actually need to happen for someone’s happiness, health or safety.
Now what about the things that you personally don’t need to do, but someone should do?
That’s where you…
What to-dos could you ask someone else in the family to tackle?
What are you controlling that you can let go of and allow someone else to take charge (scary, I know! But it’s okay. They’ll do a good enough job 😉)?
What things could you hire someone else to take care of?
This is where you circle the things that you don’t personally need to take care of.
It’s important that you recognize where you’re trying to control things and let that urge go.
Yes, they might not do as great a job as you could do. But they’ll save you 3 hours of your life. I think it’s worth it, don’t you?
So go back over your list and circle all the things that you could possibly delegate or send someone else’s way.
Don’t think about whether it’ll be within your budget, realistic for someone else to do it, or anything like that right now. Just circle anything that could be delegated to someone else.
Grocery shopping and meal planning? Yep!
Feeding Frankie (the parakeet)? You betcha!
House cleaning? Sure thing!
Filing your 2019 tax return? Yes please!
Figuring out how to install that Tetris-like baby gate situation? 100%.
Don’t get caught up in what’s realistic or whether you could actually find someone to do it. Focus on the possibilities. Get creative.
Maybe there’s a college kid in your area who would be happy to walk the dog for $50/week.
Maybe your partner can handle meal planning for 3 days, you handle meal planning for 3 days, and you opt for takeout on the 7th day (while also getting your groceries delivered).
Maybe you can ask for your family and friends to pool their money together and instead of buying you a thing for your (or your partner’s) birthday, they buy you house cleaning services for a couple months.
There are so many options and opportunities here.
Get creative and allow the support and resources to flow in.
I know it can be hard to let go of the need to do everything yourself, but imagine how much time you can save if you let someone else tackle it?
Imagine how much healthier and happier you’ll be at the end of this year if you don’t spend all your free time figuring out and doing everything yourself?
At this point you’ve eliminated all the things that really, honestly don’t make your (or anyone else’s) life any better and they’re not necessary for survival purposes.
You’ve delegated at least a handful of items to your partner, assistant, toddler (hey, start teaching ’em responsibility young, I say!), friends, family, local companies and resources…
Now it’s time to dive into the extra fun part (at least I think it’s fun because by the end of this last step, your day/week/year/life is going to flow so much more smoothly and feel less overwhelming).
Take a look at the activities that are left (including the ones that you could delegate but haven’t yet). What things can you automate?
What systems can you build so you don’t have to tackle that task every single day, week or month?
Order regular delivery of your essentials (like diapers, toilet paper, toothbrushes, contact lens solution…) through something like Amazon Prime’s subscription service? Check!
Buy a programmable coffee maker so you don’t have to deal with it every single morning? Yes please!
Streamline your finances by setting up automated bill payments online? Sounds lovely!
Sign up for a grocery or food delivery service? Yay!
Create filters in your email so certain, non-urgent messages go into specific inboxes that you can check later instead of having to filter through them to get to the important things? Smart idea!
Set up a regular time and place to meet with your mom friends every week so you aren’t constantly spending 20+ minutes texting back and forth to find a time that works for everyone? Excellent!
(It might not always work for everyone. But if it works for most of your friends, most of the time, that’s a win. And you can all start planning around it since you know it’s going to happen every week.)
The point is to think like a Jetson and try to simply your life as much as possible by automating and systematizing things as much as possible.
The more you automate, the less you have to think about your to-dos, and the more time you’ll have for the things you actually want to be doing (like working out while catching up on Succession. I’m fascinated by that imaginary family!!).
So get to work.
EDA your life.
Because if you want to get more workouts in this year, it’s time to wave that magic wand and create more time for yourself.
The more you implement the EDA Strategy into your life, the more time freedom you’ll have.
I get that you might be feeling like you can’t eliminate, delegate and automate everything because you don’t have the money, support, resources…
But let’s focus on what you can do. Not what you can’t do.
What can you eliminate?
What can you delegate?
What can you automate?
Even if it’s just one thing. Start there. That could be an extra hour in your week. One extra hour in your week means you could get an extra workout in every week. Which means you could get in 52 more workouts this year.
Simple, small shifts.
That’s what I love to see.
P.S. Have a friend who doesn’t have as much time as she’d like to workout? Send her this post.