Top ten tips to find time to do the things you LOVE

By Lisa Marshall | Director Wild Women On Top

It’s funny to think that setting a big goal to climb a mountain or trek a long distance trail, is the easy part. 

But, I have found as a young mother , business woman and adventurer, the real work lies in making this a reality. 

The hardest part is getting out the door.

Juggling the house, work and family commitments around training and trip preparation, can sometimes make it feel like it’s not worth it. It can drive you crazy if you don't take stock of it.  

But I'm not complaining. It has to be done. 

It is part of the process of making time for you. Saying ‘yes!’ when you get that heart stopping, butterfly inducing idea to travel and take on a challenge, just for you. 

Here are my strategies, which have helped me each and every time I’ve had that sinking ‘there’s no way I am going to get everything done’ feeling. I hope it works for you too. 

  1. Bring in the reinforcements
    Family and friends are incredible. Don't be afraid to ask for help. I fly my parents over from South Africa to look after my five year old son as my hubby's early morning and late working hours mean there has to be someone else at home. It’s my only option but one I am truly lucky to have. Having my parents move in to look after their grandson means there's least disruption to my hubby's work life and someone to love and look after the boys whilst I am gone! It's a win win situation, they all get quality family time together and I don't have to worry about their nutrition and laundry! My girlfriend is always listed as a back up in case of emergencies or if the family have enough of each other!
  2. Make lists
    I use a desk calendar in the kitchen and a summary email to write down the school and activity schedule, listing the gear needed, location, times and a local contact to call if everything goes pear shaped.
  3. Sort out the essentials 
    Stock up the freezer with home made soups, arrange a cleaner to come in once or twice, stock up the household staples like loo paper and washing up liquid. Alternatively, don’t. The world’s not going to end. 
  4. In case of emergency…
    Give your family the number of the tour company and your itinerary; ask them only to contact you in an emergency. Tell them your mobile phone will be out of range for most of the time. 
  5. Build your web
    Let the school and other important people know that you will be away and give them contacts for the family/friends who will be looking after your kids.
  6. Nourish yourself
    Get enough rest and eat clean. Don't run yourself ragged trying to have everything perfect when you walk out that door. It won't be! The number of times I have had to leave with a child who has just caught a cold, or fallen at school with a big bump on his head, or other delightful happenings at home… but it was all ok in the end. 
  7. Leave your worries at home
    When you get on the plane turn off your mobile phone and emails, and leave your worries at home. You won't get the most out of being in the mountains if you aren't really there in mind and spirit. I get on the plane and I don't worry about the "what if's". I leave them be. There's nothing I can do about them from far away. And it’s good for the family to work through things at home without you!
  8. Stay positive
    If you fall apart, get cranky and wired up, your family won't be supportive of your drive to reach this goal, nor will the want you to every take on an adventure again if you turn into Mumzilla!
  9. Ditch the Mothers Guilt 
    This takes practice but it is so important! Try to just enjoy time for yourself, on a mountain, where a team of wonderful people will look after you, share their culture and traditions and immerse yourself in the wilderness.
  10. Don't "pfaff" (as we say in South Africa!)
    This means don't pack and unpack your gear, don't keep re-arranging the house and adding to the lists. If you forget something I guarantee you your tent mate will have it. Stay calm, accept that things might have been left off that list that slipped your mind, but it’s not life threatening and your family will survive without you! 

Remember, you have made a remarkable decision, choosing to take on a life-changing adventure. Through this choice, you have changed not only your life, but the lives of your family and friends. You ARE an inspiration. 

So, don’t let the clutter cloud your excitement. Don’t lose sight of the reality. You won’t forget anything that is more than slightly inconvenient. Your family will not only survive, but thrive, as they learn new things without you around. You will have a life-changing adventure. 

‘Worrying won’t stop bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good’. 

Now, just get out the door!

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