A few months ago, I shared with you my goal to work out for 15 minutes a day.
Although I would describe myself as a regular exerciser, I have one fatal flaw – I tend to go all or nothing. I either go for a morning walk, do a workout at the kids’ nap time, and then throw in a little yoga to round it all out – or – I do nothing. I don’t like living in extremes, mostly because, well, I tend to gravitate towards them. I wanted to change my approach to be a little more balanced and to keep my workouts more consistent, so I gave myself a challenge: exercise every day for just 15 minutes. I could exercise for more if I had time or the energy/motivation, but the goal was just 15 minutes. It didn’t matter what I did, just that I did something.
(You can read that full post, here.)
This little experiment took place over the summer, and while I wouldn’t say it was easy to work out every day for 35 days, I was able to meet my goal without too much struggle.
15 minutes a day really felt manageable, and I found myself looking for ways to sneak in my 15, rather than mentally dreading how I would find time to work out that day. It was purely mental, but knowing that all I had to do was 15 minutes somehow really helped. In the past, keeping “working out” so opened ended meant that it was easy to not make time for it. But 15 minutes is a concrete, small chuck of time that I found myself actively seeking ways to work in. And, more often than not, once I was over the initial hurdle of just getting started, I would end up working out for more than 15 minutes. But sometimes 15 minutes was all my mind/body/schedule would all for and that was fine too, because that was the goal!
…summer, was over.
I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. Since we’ve started up our homeschooling routine, I feel completely in over my head. How do I get laundry done? I don’t. How do I stay on top of the dishes? I don’t. You guys, I know this is just a season, but WOW, what a season it is. I think that everything is taking longer and feeling harder simply because this is a new thing for all of us. Not to mention the fact that I have two little ones who make homeschooling my bigger one, how shall I say this….ummm lets go with just calling it tricky. I know homeschooling won’t always feel so all consuming and I know someday I’ll get back to doing laundry, but now is not that time. So how do I exercise every day for at least 15 minutes?
The 15 minute goal is still keeping me in the exercise game, though. Not having time to workout, read, do basic housekeeping, or as it feels on hard days – even breath, is something that I am working through. This motherhood gig is not for the faint of heart. We all go through this whether we choose to homeschool or not. Motherhood would be hard right now even if I wasn’t homeschooling, just like motherhood is probably hard for you right now regardless of your schooling choices. It just is.
So now, more than ever, I need the 15 minute goal. I need to be looking for opportunities to sneak in a workout here, a workout there. I need to be mindful about movement. I need to stay present to stay motivate.
Once a week I get out of the house for a yoga class. I wish I could go to 15 yoga classes a week, but that’s not happening. So I’m grateful for the chance to get to go to one. The rest of the week I go on walks after my husband gets home from work. I do a yoga practice in the mornings while my kids are playing. I’ll workout with our free weights while supper is in the oven. Sometimes it’s for 15 minutes. Sometimes is for 60 minutes. Sometimes, sadly, it’s for zero minutes.
15 minutes a day is a really, really good and achievable goal. But there are days when even the simplest of tasks go by the wayside. There are days where a workout would have helped manage stress, alleviate tension, and helped brighten my mood – but I can’t manufacture more time to my day. I can only do the best with what I’ve been give: 24 hours, the same as you.
I don’t get paid to workout. I don’t have a sitter or nanny to watch the kids to help make my fitness goals a reality. But I do have 15 minutes….15 minutes to stretch and breath. 15 minutes to move and feel. 15 minutes to challenge myself and grow stronger.
But sometimes, I’m learning, those 15 minutes need to be spent elsewhere. 15 minutes tending a boo-boo. 15 minutes searching for a lost lovie. 15 minutes texting a friend who has reached out. 15 minutes cleaning up. 15 minutes closing my eyes on the sofa. 15 minutes in front of a good book. 15 minutes sipping coffee with my husband.
15 minutes walking outside to take a deep breath and remind myself that today is a new day, and tomorrow will be one as well.