I hear so often from my community the reason so many of you can’t commit to something or the reason you haven’t developed a maintainable healthy lifestyle is because you don’t have the time or energy.

But here’s the thing —

There will never be a magical, perfect time where you have no other obligations, no stress, and plenty of free time to dedicate to your wellbeing. 

That’s why it’s so important (and effective) to personalize your healthy habits to your life, just as it is right now. 

One of my clients had this block. 

Can you relate to this? 

This client really didn’t like anything about meal prepping. When I asked her why, she said it would take so much time away from fun weekend activities with her family and friends because she needed 4 hours to do all of the prepping on Sunday. 

She would take the time to find three or four recipes she was going to make that week, list out all of the ingredients she needed, go food shopping, and spend hours in the kitchen on Sunday afternoon cooking and cleaning up. 

The meal prep that was supposed to be supporting her health was causing her stress, leaving her feeling drained, and forcing her to miss out on life’s enjoyable moments (which are equally as important for your wellbeing). 

So she decided she wasn’t going to do meal prepping any longer and instead resorted to quick-make freezer meals for the week that weren’t very nutritious. 

But after talking through this with her, it became clear that meal prepping wasn’t the issue. The issue was that she felt like she had to prep an entire week’s worth of dinners.

She had this idea that if she wasn’t doing it perfectly, she shouldn’t bother at all. 

This all-or-nothing mentality stems from diet culture. Diets and plans expect you to go all in and follow all of the guidelines perfectly. 

Even when you’re not even trying to follow a plan, those mindsets appear in these ways where we feel if we’re not doing it perfectly, there’s no point. 

It’s so important to focus on things that are personalized to you — rather than trying to live a “perfect” healthy lifestyle. 

That means if you don’t have time in your schedule to cook dinner every night or meal prep on the weekends, that’s okay! Find what works for you. 

When I asked her which meal would make the biggest impact in her life if she had it prepped, she said having dinner prepped for the couple nights a week when she has to stay late or she’s too drained to cook. 

So instead of prepping seven meals, she prepped one recipe, enough for two or three meals, which not only fit her life but also made the biggest difference in her week. This took her just 30 minutes on the weekend to do — something that was completely manageable for her. 

She felt so much better because she knew she had something nutritious and tasty prepped for the nights she didn’t have time or energy to cook, and she also didn’t have to feel like she was stuck in the kitchen for half a day. 

You don’t need a lot of time to create a new habit. You simply have to embrace your life as it is and find the health habits that can truly work in your day-to-day schedule. 

(Now, of course if you find yourself not having time because you’re bingeing a new series on Netflix, then I’ll recommend you reprioritize some of that time towards supporting your wellbeing.)

As you’re deciding creating your own healthy lifestyle, ask yourself: “how much time am I willing and able to commit to this?” 

Then give yourself permission to create that practice in a way that’s perfect for you — not perfect by any other standards. 

When you start approaching your habits in this way, you’re going to experience a sense of ease and these small changes will make caring for yourself much more enjoyable.