Gold Medal Excuses: Emotional Eating and Success Traps
“I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date.” ~ The March Hare
Here’s a question I am commonly asked: How do I prioritize when I truly have too much to do? When you run a company called Too Much On Her Plate, women email you their to-do lists. Really. And you women are BUSY.
I hear about the businesses you are running and the demanding careers that you have, the aging parents and growing children you are caring for, the relationships and household demands, the health concerns, and the late nights. Many of you see the link clearly between the overwhelming demands of your life and the stress and comfort eating, the weight gain, the lack of energy to exercise, and the difficulty getting where you want to go with your personal goals. And you are feeling frustrated because you don’t know what to do and don’t have the time to think about it or start doing anything differently.
I have news. This problem almost never solves itself. Time will never just show up—and honestly, if it does, you’ll probably find yourself so glad to have it that you just collapse into it and don’t really use it in a way that will benefit you. If you want to get off the hamster wheel, you are going to have to CLAIM some time.
Claiming time means that for now (not forever), you say no to something else in order to claim some time for you. It doesn’t have to be a week. It might be ten minutes. If it is, that’s a great start. Ten minutes devoted just to you and your goal may be more than you gave yourself yesterday. So claim it. Write it in your schedule. Decide in advance what you will do with it. Somebody just emailed me that she purchased my Emotional Eating Toolbox™ 28 Day Program but hasn’t had enough time to do it. Ten minutes a day won’t get it done in 28 days, but it WILL move her forward.
Write this down: Taking ten minutes counts.
Here’s the thing:
Action (even ten minutes) perpetuates action. Getting started—whatever your goal—is a momentous step and just that one act will get you over a hurdle.
Once you learn to carve out ten minutes and really leverage that time you are likely to see what ten minutes can accomplish. Many of us dismiss small actions as “not enough.” When we do that, we stay stuck. I bet you will find ten minute pockets in other places you haven’t been looking—on your commute, before the kids get up, while you are waiting for your computer to start up or your tea to brew. You may also start to see ways you can claim bigger chunks of time (wait until you see what you can do in 20 minutes).
Claiming the time you need for yourself and spending it on activity that is meaningful to you is rejuvenating. People who take regular breaks and who get the self care that they need have more energy. They are more focused and accomplish more in less time. Claiming time will pay you back in ways that may surprise you.
Looking for time to claim will lead you to be more aware of how you spend your time—maybe not the big chunks of activity, but all the small pieces. It’s amazing the amount of time we give away to things that aren’t important, that we don’t really want to do, or to boredom, procrastination, or even difficulty getting started.
Don’t let not having time be an excuse. Set the timer and claim ten minutes. Today.