REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
These chart is extremely simplified. There are definitely more categories that could be added. Also, you may not place the same value on all of these areas. I made this chart to make a point. Hopefully, I’m able to make this point because I think it’s a really big deal. The sooner you accept this message, the sooner you can be happy and truly appreciate your success in all of these areas, and in all other areas that I did not include in this chart.
Here’s my point:
YOU CANNOT BE PERFECT IN EVERY AREA AT THE SAME TIME!!!
I’m going to go through and give examples in each of the categories I’ve included in this chart. You’ll notice that each category both supports and takes away from each other category, at the same time.
Financial vrs Nutrition
I have to have a roof over my head. My husband needs a vehicle with gas in it to get to work. There are certain things that have to get paid each month. I have to have food to eat. My body needs good food to be healthy. My family also needs to feed their bodies healthy. By eating healthy we can save on unnecessary, health-related costs. By getting everything top-of-the-line, organic, grass-fed, etc., the budget gets a little tighter, and sometimes financial commitments cannot be met.. Winner: Financial. I have to be able to pay our mortgage, rent (we’re military, we have both), electric, water, car, insurance, etc… Obviously, we need food, but I will buy Ramen before my family goes homeless. Luckily we’ve never been in that situation, and with good budgeting, we’ve been able to kick up our heels from time to time.
Financial vrs Physical Activity
We’ve established there are certain financial priorities. Physical activity is critical, too. It is amazing for your heart, muscles, and bones. Regular physical activity can save money on unnecessary, health-related costs, just like healthy eating. However financial wins here, too. If you can’t pay your bills due to the costs for your physical activity, something is wrong. You can get physical activity for free. You don’t need a high-end gym membership or a fancy yoga class. You don’t need a trainer. Those are all ways to kick up your heels if you have the money to spare.
Financial vrs Family
This is a tough debate. There are bills that need to be paid, but for most people, family is everything. It’s a real tug of war here. Sometimes someone has to be away a lot to set up a better future for the family, or even just to make ends meet. It happens a lot. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes necessary. However, there are so many ways to enjoy family time when you are together, without spending money. There are parks, including neighborhood, state, and national. A movie together at home is just as good as a movie at the theater. You don’t have to deal with the crowd, and you can watch it in your pajamas. When money is in order, if you want to splurge on an amusement park, bowling, a nice restaurant, or even a trip out of town, go for it!
Financial vrs Rest And Relaxation
I hear people say it’s good to treat yourself from time to time. It’s true, but not at the cost of financial stress. It’s important to rest and relax. The body needs a break so it can repair itself and de-stress. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, stress is so bad for your health emotionally, mentally, and physically. It is so important to rest and relax, but a trip to the spa is a treat when the money for it is there. A warm bubble bath, reading a magazine on the porch, or yoga in the living room also do a great job to take the edge off.
Nutrition vrs Physical Activity
Are you wondering why I’m comparing these two? They seem like they go together. They do. They both support a healthy body. You eat to perform, and some people perform to eat. I suppose it’s less of a tug-of-war. However, sometimes I have to decide between working out and meal prepping, making dinner, or going to the grocery store. Everything takes time. If it comes down to one or the other; I say get your food ready and workout tomorrow. If you are that busy, you’ve earned a rest day!
Nutrition vrs Family
This is a common problem for people. I’ve been there, as well. While the family claims to want to eat healthy, in the moment they want fast, quick, easy, and well, … junk. It’s frustrating to always be the example, to convince everyone to eat healthy, and to prepare meals everyone will love. A lot of times, the healthy-eating advocate gives up and eats something different from the rest of the family. In my house, what I do, is if everyone is cooperative all week long, on Saturday we have a free meal. Sometimes, we go out for our free meal, and sometimes we have it at home. For that free meal, everyone is allowed to have whatever they want to have. It helps a lot. Overall, though, the battle is never-ending. It’s give and take.
Nutrition vrs Rest And Relaxation
Once again, I know this sounds weird, but it comes up. Eating healthy takes a lot more meal prep. Unlike TV dinners, truly wholesome food does not just get thrown in the microwave for a couple of minutes. There is chopping, peeling, mixing, baking, and a whole lot of it. Nutritious foods are whole foods, and that means you start from scratch and you create the meal. This can be a real challenge if you’re exhausted. You need to rest and you need to eat. Your best bet is to do a little of both. Have a quick, go-to meal that you always have everything for on-hand. It could be a smoothie or some type of wrap or an easy salad. Just have something you can easily make when you’re really tired, so you don’t eat junk by default.
Physical Activity vrs Family
I fight this battle from time to time. When everybody’s home, I just want to be with them. I don’t want to go off and workout. I know what you’re thinking, why don’t we workout together. My husband works out with the army, my oldest does gymnastics 3 days/week, and my youngest does karate. The oldest and the middle-child also do P.E. everyday at school. None of them are particularly excited to workout again with me. Working out keeps me sane, level-headed, and helps with my mood and energy. They all support me working out. I try to workout when my husband is at work and my older 2 are at school. My youngest and I walk to the park, while he plays, I workout. I lift weights and do yoga in the evening (not the same evenings), after the boys have gone to bed. At this time, my husband is either out, or he’s playing a game nearby. I try to stay focused and get done fairly quick, so he and I can have our time.
Physical Activity vrs Rest And Relaxation
This can be tough. In our fast paced world it can be a real challenge to keep up and not be too tired for a structured workout. While working out does give you energy, that is based on a person getting adequate sleep. You know you need to workout and you know you need to sleep. If you’re exhausted from a busy day, take a rest day. If you’re tired without reason, perhaps you’re a little out of shape, push through the workout. If your days are so busy that you are constantly exhausted, see if you can’t take something off the schedule. You might have too much on your plate. In some cases it is beyond our control. Do the best you can and don’t over-stress the workouts. Rest and relaxation (not to be confused with laziness) takes priority over working out.
Unfortunately, everything gives, everything takes, and everything is important.
You can’t be perfect at everything. It’s not possible. Your chart doesn’t have to be evenly divided. You have to find the balance that works for you. You’ll know you’re on the right track because you wont feel so overwhelmed trying to get everything right, unsuccessfully. Instead you will enjoy your triumphs and be pleased with the balance you’ve found.