How To Stay In Control – And Get It All Done – Without Losing Yourself

Ever feel out of control as a mom? Like you want to “do it all” but…?

Like – it’s not about the desire to do better – you want to – it’s just that life feels out of your control?

Like you just don’t seem to have time? Or maybe you don’t feel like you’re enough? Or you feel pressured that you’re not doing this wonderful thing or that wonderful thing?

That’s where Lei Ann found herself as the mother of 6 and no time to think, much less to go to the gym. And so, she began her study of fitness, nutrition and psychology to find the answers.

So we interviewed her to hear her answers. Here are the three questions she gets asked the most.

  1. How do you get it all done – without losing yourself along the way?
  2. How do you get a workout in – even on a crazy day?
  3. How do you stay motivated?

1. How do you get it all done – without losing yourself along the way?

One of the most effective ways that she gives herself some grace is by adopting mantras.

Mantras like: Perfection is not possible but excellence is.

That one comes from the quote:

“I do not expect perfection, but I do expect excellence. Perfection is not possible, but excellence is.”

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by the thought of having to achieve perfection. Excellence, however, is attainable. Then become more and more excellent at something and achieve greatness in that thing.

In wanting control of our life, it’s very easy to try to control others by way of manipulation. Especially as moms. Or to try to achieve control by striving to control the outcome of something (that, my friends, is OCD).

As humans, with human brains, we have a drive to feel control. Especially to feel in control of our own lives. This is where faith comes in.

So let’s talk about control vs faith. Faith is an action word. It’s something that we can DO to demonstrate. In psychology, we learn that the human drive for control can only be filled by these 5 actions.

  1. Controlling how much activity we get in a day. (Getting a workout is a great way to do this.)
  2. Controlling what we put in our mouth. (The human body is a machine and there’s a formula for it’s best function, growth and performance.)
  3. Controlling how much water we drink. (We’re 70-something % water. We need lots of it.)
  4. Controlling how much sleep we get. (As a mom, this one can be tough. We just do our best keeping in mind that the optimum amount for the human brain is 7-8 hours a night consistently.)
  5. Controlling for NEW. New things to learn, or try or see, or discuss, etc.

2. How do you get a great workout in even on a crazy day?

One of the ways to get a great workout in is to schedule it. Decide what time, where, and what you’re going to do.

  • Is it go for a walk?
  • Lift weights listening to some music?
  • Go for a run?
  • Kickbox?
  • Do some walking lunges around the kitchen while dinner cooks?
  • Count to 20 holding plank position – for 4 times?

One effective way to get a great workout in – in a short amount of time – is to follow the Tabata pattern.

The Tabata pattern takes 4 minutes. It goes like this…

20 seconds full out in great form

10 seconds active rest (walk it out)

20 seconds full out in great form

10 seconds active rest (walk it out)

Keep following that pattern for 8 times with a 10 second rest in between.

You can pick any move and put it into a Tabata pattern.

Professional Tip: Include one of the three largest muscle groups for the most benefit from your muscles. The three largest muscle groups are: Back, Chest and Legs.

3. How do you stay motivated?

The greatest motivation is:  getting results. We get results by measuring progress. Measure your actions regularly. Whether it’s daily, or weekly or monthly – make it regularly.

Keep in mind, “If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing.” -Dr John Berardi

Here are five motivational factors that can help you keep on track: 

1. Keep a journal.

Journaling is a way of measuring. You can journal about meals, workouts, activities – how you felt before, during and after. Notice attitude, energy and overall sense of well-being. And record it. You could even give it a scale of 1 to 10.

2. Set goals or reevaluate your current goals.

Put them into bite size portions. Make your goals realistic and measurable. Be able to answer the question: How do I know when I’ve met my goal?

3. Celebrate your small success.

Who do we spend the most time with? Ourselves. Inside our own head. So talk yourself thru it. Encourage yourself. Maybe it’s cheesy but it’s very effective to complement yourself on what you’ve accomplished in stepping forward on the road to reaching your goals.

Be your own coach. Coach yourself like you’re coaching a winning team.

4. Focus on the feeling of strength.

As you talk to yourself, focus on how strong you feel. Whatever positive thing you say to yourself will be repeated in behavior. (Same goes for negative so focus on the positive.)

5. Count your blessings.

Think about how blessed you are to be able to work this hard! Imagine if you couldn’t, if you were injured or side-lined. And count your blessings.

As you take care of yourself, you’ll find that you’re better able to care for your loved ones.

We can only give what we have to give. If we don’t have it, we can’t give it. Our families deserve the best we have to offer.

The best within us can become more and more excellent as we understand and take care of ourselves.

If you’d like more content like this, you may want to check out Lei Ann’s blog at

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