Who doesn’t want to be fit and healthy? Probably everyone wants this, but most people I talk to feel it is too hard to achieve or something they just don’t have time to do. They think they have to start out exercising five to six days a week for an hour or more and maintain a rigid diet that is hard to plan and prepare. With that perspective, I don’t blame them for feeling it is too much. But isn’t doing something better than doing nothing? Is it an all or nothing discussion? It doesn’t have to be. Let’s consider the shades of grey to having a healthy and fit lifestyle.

It starts by recognizing how being healthy and fit impacts your life. Ask yourself this question; “how would my life be different if I were healthy, fit and at my ideal weight?” or “what would I do in the future if I had my health?” I can tell you that my life is different now that I am fit and at a good weight for me. I have self-confidence and self-esteem I didn’t have before, and this has changed the way I relate to people and the way they relate to me. I no longer harshly criticize myself, so I am easier on myself and others. I can even laugh at myself now, and that is so freeing.

I can also do things physically I couldn’t do before like get my carry on bag into the overhead compartment without straining my shoulders and back. I can dig the holes in the garden and do my own yard work. I never feel winded going up a flight of stairs or tired at the end of the day. I have plenty of energy and stamina, so I can get a lot done and feel great. And I seldom get sick, because my immune system isn’t compromised. I used to always be sick and suffered from chronic fatigue for years. I haven’t had an episode since I started exercising regularly five years ago. What about you? Do you have the energy and strength to do all the things you want to do in your life?

If not, then look for ways you can improve your fitness without compromising all the other things that you want to get done each day. Where can you make adjustments to your schedule that will give you 30-45 minutes three days a week? I recently worked with a woman who had an agreement with her kids to be home at 6pm, and she didn’t feel she could leave them to workout after dinner. She also didn’t see a good way to get exercise time on the weekends. She did have some flexibility about when she needed to stop working, and so we came up with a way for her to quit work at 5:30 to get in some yoga or dancing before getting home by 6:15. Getting home 15 minutes later was something she felt the kids would easily adjust to. She didn’t have to radically change her schedule. Instead she was making room for herself in a way that works for her family.

There are also ways to creatively eat healthier meals without lots of extra time. Grocery stores and specialty shops are stocking pre-prepped foods that are simple to prepare and eat. And in our area there are a number of personal chefs that will cook and deliver meals to your request for less than the cost of eating out. They do a fabulous job of making healthy and delicious foods and can fill your refrigerator and freezer with enough portions for the week. This can make all the difference between healthy and unhealthy eating, and it doesn’t have to compromise your budget, taste or time.

The goal is finding a balance and making priorities that allow for what is most important in life. When people are surveyed about what matters most to them, the results indicate that 80% or more put health and fitness at the top of their lists.

We all have choices; although with the demands of parenting, careers and other obligations it doesn’t always seem that way. How often do you say yes to things that you don’t really want to sign up for, and yet you get them done? Are you one of those that stays late at work, volunteers for a local cause, does the carpooling, runs the events, or bakes for a meeting or class? These are all great things to do. So is taking care of your health and getting fit. How can you make room for both? This week consider some ways you can adjust your schedule and meal planning to change your lifestyle – even if it is just a little bit.

Author's Bio: 

Alice Greene, Lifestyle fitness and inspirations coach, founder of Fit Beyond 40, creator of Help Yourself Today, Living Free Diabetes and radio show host. www.fitbeyond40.com, www.helpyourselftoday.com, www.livingyourpersonalbest.com, www.livingfreediabetes.com