11025029_10153145990984413_996200309_oPerhaps one of the questions I get asked most is, “How do you do it all, and remain successful in your fitness career?” Sometimes I wonder how I do it all! It didn’t happen overnight, that’s for sure. At times it can get frustrating, and I’ve fallen, but I always dust myself off, get back up, and keep plugging away!

Yes, it’s a lot to juggle, but I try to keep it all in perspective on those days I feel overwhelmed. I remember back in 2009 beginning my fitness journey and sitting with my husband telling him what my goals were, and what I felt I could accomplish if I tried hard enough. I told him how bad I wanted this, I wanted to make an impact on others lives through health and fitness, and I wanted to build my brand as a successful figure competitor and fitness and role model.

This all sounded very exciting when I talked about it with Chris, my family, and loved ones but things can get pretty sticky if you don’t know how to balance your fitness goals with all other aspects in your life. I really had no idea what I was getting into as far as time commitment, in order to build my career.

In the beginning it was a huge adjustment for me and my family, mentally, physically and financially! Like hours now spent at the gym, hiring a trainer/coach, food prep, and countless hours of conversation about all things fitness and, giving up certain things together as a family so I could pursue my dreams. I certainly understand why this was such an adjustment for everyone around me! Some people still don’t get it and that’s totally OK!

As I took on this new challenge it became such a huge part of me. It still is! In the beginning,  I knew in my heart what my goals were, and I’ve always included my family in them. I’ve always been very respectful of the importance of family and ALWAYS consider them in my decisions. This is not just about me, it’s about us! We are a unit.

Sure it’s been a long road, some moments more difficult than others, but the positive results have far outweighed the negatives.

One of the biggest challenges I faced was balancing it all. Up until a few years ago, it was difficult to balance it all. For years I was a procrastinator, and a spur of the moment girl, handling school, jobs, opportunities, family time and fitness time, as they came to me and lots of times waiting until the last minute. I always felt all over the place and like my head was spinning! Somehow I  managed to get it all done, but realized I was also missing out on many opportunities and knowing I could be more productive!

I wanted to share  a few tips that have really helped me keep a health work, life, and fitness balance, so that I can give my best to each area in my life. Sure things get hectic and we get a little stressed over crazy days but remember what your goals are, and what’s important to you.

For example, I knew that I wanted to make a career out of health and fitness, and I knew I wanted to be the best that I could be on the competitive stage. It’s more than a hobby for me; I am passionate about health and fitness and it’s my career! Remember, most of you already have careers, or are going to school and this is a hobby for you. This is where your balance may be different than mine. Do what works for you! Even I have to remind myself from time to time there is more to life than the gym, sparkly bikinis, photo shoots and haddock.

Look around you, don’t forget to experience the fullness of your life, not just a part of it!

How to be a superwoman who can do it all

  1. What are your goals?
    Sure we all want to do a million different things, who doesn’t? Get specific! What’s most important to you? What is truly attainable? What do you believe in your heart you can accomplish? Be honest with yourself here, can you envision it? If not, maybe you should focus more on the things you can envision!
  1. Don’t waste time.
    This used to be a killer for me. Wasted time is time away from your goals. Get off social media if it does not serve your goals; even I fall victim to this. Nevermind what others are doing. What are you doing to get closer to your goals?, and what are you doing to make sure you are able to live a balanced life in the process? Wasting time on meaningless things is not productive.
  1. Have a plan and prioritize your time!
    Sit down and write it out. What is your timeline for your goals? How will you live your daily life?, How will you properly spread out your hours in the day so you can accomplish bits and pieces each day? Write down how much time you will spend each day, on each project and do your best to stick to it. For example, I spend x-amount of time on social media posts, answering emails, training, practicing my faith, etc.  Trust me when I tell you, you will get very overwhelmed if you sit and think about the big picture here. You need to break it down daily; it’s a lot less stressful and you’re more productive.

For example, currently I set aside the first 45 minutes of my morning for my cardio, as I am now in the fasted cardio stage for my prep to WBFF Worlds. The next hour, I will answer a few emails then shower, eat, and head out the door to train clients. After I train clients I train myself, then head home and work for a few more hours, and then spend as much time as I can with my family. Some days are more crazy than others, but I try to stick to this as best I can. When I am scheduled to travel, I make sure I spend as much time as I can with my family before I leave, even if this means blocking off a day. If I know I will have time to work when I am away I will bring my laptop. Currently, I work three jobs, so allotting time to each and planning accordingly is a must! Schedule in your laundry, your shopping; schedule everything.

I was not always like this but now that I am things are a lot less stressful!

  1. Ask for help. I am so bad at this lol! But don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it! As hard as things have been the past 2 years with my husband in and out of the hospital he still offered what he could do and helps with laundry and dishes & phone calls. He also took on the roll of helping get Anthony ready for school and walking him to the bus each morning. The plus side of this is their relationship has gotten stronger and we have taught Anthony this meaning of team work! See…. you even have time to teach life lessons to your children and you didn’t even know it!
  1. Learn to say yes and no. I am a people pleaser! I never want to tell some one I cannot do something – I feel guilty! This is something I have gotten much better at over the past year. As I have learned to better prioritize my time I have had to say no to some things that were not conducive to me reaching my goals. If they were not in someway helping me or my family in the long run I had to rethink them! This is hard to do! I am an extremely hard worker and I think I can do everything lol!

Although I do balance a lot it’s still smart to say no if you truly cannot commit to something and give it 100 percent of your attention. Some one wise once told me, “It’s better to be great at 3 things than to be OK at ten.” Say yes to your success and your happiness!

  1. Family First. No matter what my goals are, no matter what I may or may not want to do, my family has always come first. These past couple of years are a true testament to this! Countless hours spent in doctors offices, hospitals, being a rock for my husband who understandably felt lost and hopeless. Being a rock to my son, who of course worried about Chris more days than not. There were many days I could not commit to full days of work, training, food prep or travel. It was really hard, I myself went through a depression; however, I did everything in my power to be there when my family needed me, even if that meant their needs before mine. Many days I cried, but I tried my hardest to be strong. I may have not given my best but it was what I had to give at that time.

This is what’s most important, everything else is secondary. On the flip side, as hard of a time as my husband went through with his illness he also did his best to support my goals to compete last year and I will be forever grateful for that. It may not been his best support but he was there and he did what he could just like I was there for him in his time of need. Don’t lose site of the importance of your loved ones when you are focusing on yourself. Remember, it can be hard for them to adjust and they may be giving you all the support they no how at that time. Be patient and communicate with them. Nothing good comes of things left unsaid. Ultimately the support should be reciprocated, I’m not suggesting falling victim to always giving and being supportive for nothing in return. That of course is not fair to anyone.

Mistakes, struggles and adjustments are all a normal part of the process in reaching your goals!

I hope you have found my insights helpful! Remember like anything new, it takes patience, practice and adjustments, be patient with yourself. Some days will be better than others; do your best and little by little, and day by day, before you know it you will be on your way!

Until next blog, in health & happiness

xo,

Shannon

CategoryBlog, Latest News
  1. July 22, 2015

    Shannon, that was beautiful. I remember watching you in Vegas in 2011 and saying to myself, “That’s it. That’s me. I want to be like her.” Such a beautiful physique, a gracious personality, and to find out you were a mother too was just icing on the cake. It is very true that balancing all that and staying true to your dreams and ambitions are tough. I’m glad I have been able to watch your journey and be inspired by it. You will always be one of my sheros! xoxo to you and your beautiful family

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