This is how I roll.

Having 4 kids and running my own successful online fitness business has generated a lot of comments and questions from so many people.  I get people who feel the need to give me blessings, (which I appreciate), but I do sense sarcasm in some of these.  I also get people who think I’m crazy (not sure why, I’m not doing anything that weird, like base jumping).  Then I get the people who ask if I’m going to have more kids (um, no), or the people who say having all those kids is what keeps me in shape (um, I wish, but no again on that one). Or that I must be super organized (well,I wasn’t a born organizer, but am working on that), or that I don’t get any down time (hmm, I think I get more downtime than most people :))) )

So, I thought I’d share a little bit of what helps me and what doesn’t.

Okay, for starters, if you don’t know me by now, I’ll get you up to speed.  I’ve been in the fitness industry since 2004.  I started out with 2 boys (11 months apart), teaching 12 classes per week and training private clients 10 times per week.  In 2005, we added another boy to our family.  Then in 2008 we added a little girl.  My husband is helpful with the kids, but he works outside of the home.

So, as I stated earlier, I wasn’t born organized. Its still a work in progress for  me.  But now more than ever I see the importance of staying focused, but being flexible.  When I decided to take my fitness career to a new place (my online business), I definitely saw the need to having a plan in place. In the beginning it was very easy to get lost and put chores off.  Although my house wasn’t horrible, I noticed the dust starting to accumulate, clutter was threatening in the rooms, and when I was forgetting to pick something up from the store or run an errand.

Enter my “TO DO LIST.” Yes, I wrote it in caps because its very important to me.  I can’t live without it.  I used to think lists were for organized people and that I was to unorganized to keep a list.  Oh boy, how warped is that thinking? How do you think people who appear organized stay organized? A LIST!!!

It doesn’t need to be a fancy Daytimer, I just picked up a cute spiral notebook with lots of paper in it.  Every night, I make up my list for the next day.  I include exercise, my time to read 10 minutes of something inspirational, and then I list my daily chores to do, errands to run and if something unexpected pops up, I add that too.  I checkoff each item I complete, and if it was a last minute add, I check it off so I don’t feel bad when something else might not have gotten done.  If it didn’t get done, I move it to the next day.

At the end of the day, at the bottom of my page, I write down at least 5 things I was grateful for on that day.  This way I always end on a positive note.

Now as far as my family goes, we’re pretty simple.  We only enroll our kids in one (max 2) sports per season.  And they usually take the summer and winter off.  I’m lucky because my older boys just like baseball right now.  So this save time and there is less chaos for the entire family. Too many people run their kids around to all sorts of activities, and then there is no downtime for their children.  Kids need downtime!!

Maybe it helps that my husband and I are loners.  We used to have a busy social life, but that gets exhausting. Ever since our last move, our social calendar has slowed down a lot.  But I like it like that.  So instead of going to holiday gatherings every weekend from November until January 1st, we have a lot of weekends where we get to stay home by the fire, watch movies, go on hikes, do projects around the house and just enjoy our family.  I love not having to worry about packing up the kids or finding a sitter every weekend.  I know this sounds mean, but my parents live in FL, so during the holidays we only have to worry about visiting with one set of parents. Yes, I do miss my parents but we go visit them during a less stressful time of year.

Now all of this helps, but I still needed something to keep me on track with keeping the house tidy.  In a perfect world, I’d have the motivation and desire to do this, but housework was never my favorite thing to do.

I don’t have the luxury of doing my cleaning while my little one naps.  She needs me to lay down with her (trust me I love this!).  And I really want to get my daily exercise in too. Well, enter http://www.flylady.net/.

I used to use the Fly Lady when we lived in our last house.  It came in handy when we had Realtors coming daily to show the home.  Everyone who saw my house couldn’t believe how clean it was for having 3 kids (one of which was a baby).  Somehow I got off track when we moved in to our current home and then got pregnant again, but I have rediscovered her system and found that it has really simplified my life.

I know this sounds nuts, but I wake at 5 am every morning to do my exercise (almost always a Beachbody one).  Then while my husband is showering I do a quick “swish and swipe” of the kids’ bathroom. Then I shower, clean our bathroom and get ready to start the day.

The Fly Lady sends you missions that take 15 min to do.  I can’t explain it all, so you need to check her out yourself.

Okay, so my next time saver is menu planning.  I love to cook, but used to just cook by mood.  Not good when you have 4 kids and you might need to run to the store.  I’ve found that the Beachbody Custom Meal Plan Wizard has really been a useful tool in planning the weekly dinner menu.  It also gives you breakfasts, snack and lunches. It’s really helped me save money and have less food waste.

Well, there you have it. Those are some of my secrets to appearing to be organized and in control.  I love my days with my family and they’re a lot less stressful now.

I’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email to fitwithjessica@live.com

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