Finding Balance: Where Do I Begin?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
This is the first in a series about how to find the balance between work, family and your own health and fitness goals.

Starting over is hard. You had a regular exercise routine, a healthy diet and were working toward your health and fitness goals. Then life got in the way. Maybe you got off track because you got busy at work, bought a new house or if you're like me, had a new baby. Your own goals took a backseat to other priorities, and some of those old habits started to creep back into your life. Now the new year has you ready to make a fresh start and find the time to put yourself first. But the question becomes: Where do you begin?

If you're like me, you know that taking care of yourself will make you a better wife, mom, daughter, insert your own title here. But somehow, when I'm surrounded by mouths that need to be fed, diapers that need to be changed, and laundry that needs to be folded, I don't take time to think about myself and what I need. With that in mind, I've decided to set some goals for myself, both short term and long term for the coming year. By making a plan for where I want to go and how I'm going to get there, I'm much more likely to follow through.

Running is my passion. It helps me relieve stress and feel strong (both physically and mentally), which is why one of my goals is to run a marathon this fall. This is something I'm doing for myself, but it's also for my kids because I hope they'll become inspired to run with me someday. The marathon is my long-term goal, I'm going to follow a training plan to help me prepare for the race, and I've also set some short-term goals to run a 15K and half marathon in the spring. By setting a long-term goal, creating a detailed plan of how I'm going to reach it and some short term steps along the way, I'm setting a good path for success. I also need to get agreement from the important people in my life that they will support me as I work toward my goals. For example, my husband has agreed to watch the kids while I go out for my long runs (which can be quite lengthy since I'm not a fast runner).

When I told my husband that I was going to start writing this series, he snickered. "What's so funny?" I asked. "Don't you think it's a little ironic that you'll be giving people advice about finding balance when you have such a hard time doing that yourself?" It's true; I'm not good at putting myself first or finding the balance between being a wife, a mom and being me. But I'm working on getting better at it. And for those of you who also struggle with finding the balance, maybe we can work on it together.

Setting my goals and developing a plan is my first step toward finding the balance. Do you struggle to find a balance in your own life? If so, what's your first step going to be?