Every Sunday do you tell yourself you will be "healthier" this week? That you will eat better? Exercise more? Go to bed on time? Stress less?
Good intentions only last so long without a plan.
One of the biggest obstacles I see with my clients is a failure to plan. Without thinking ahead to how your week is going to look or how you WANT it to look, it leaves too much room for anything to happen (or not happen). If you normally wing it and it works for you and you are right where you want to be, then great! But if you need a little help in getting your health on track, read the tips below to get started planning ahead! With time, it becomes autonomous and you won't even have to put that much thought, time or effort into doing it - it will just become part of who you are.
1. Think about what you have going on during the week ahead. What does your schedule look like? Take your work hours, commute and any other activities into account. Do you HAVE to do ALL of those other activities? What is flexible? What is fixed? Plan around the things you can't really change. Prioritize self-care.
2. Pick 1-2 specific goals. Choose goals that you believe you can do and will help you the most during the week. Do you want to exercise 3 times and make dinner 4 times this week? Pick one or two things to focus on so you don't get too overwhelmed. Don't try to do it ALL. Especially during super busy weeks, maintenance is okay too. Start small but commit! Decide what it is exactly you want to do and what days and times work best according to your schedule and pencil it in. Treat it like you would any other appointment and don't cancel!
3. Figure out what needs to be done to make it work. Do you need to assign duties to others in your household and recruit help? Cut out a TV show or two? Go to bed earlier? Wake up earlier? Find easy recipes and go to the grocery store? Prep any food ahead of time? Wash your workout clothes and lay them out the night before? Think of what will make the biggest impact to make sure you reach your goals for the week and then do them!
4. Come up with back-up plans for emergencies, unexpected events or plan changes. Life is rarely ever neat and orderly. Things come up, plans change and excuses creep in. It is how you handle those things that matter. It is not IF something comes up, it is WHEN, WHAT and HOW. If you were planning on working out in the morning but the electricity went out and your alarm didn't go off - you can workout at lunch, after work, or maybe even the next day. If you wanted to make dinner but you forgot to defrost the chicken and you need to hurry to make an appointment, maybe you make a grilled cheese with a salad and a piece of fruit instead. Don't feel defeated, work around what life throws at you.
5. Don't give up. There will always be ups and downs. Be happy with the positive changes you made this week. If things didn't happen as you wanted them to, learn from that and use it to your advantage so you know how to do better next week. Never give up and think that you can't do it. If you spill some water on the ground, you don't just say "oh, I already made a mess, I might as well pour the entire glass on the floor". You wipe it up and move on. Nobody is perfect, don't expect to be.
I'm going to give you an example of what planning ahead for a healthy week looks like for me.
Sunday morning I usually look at my work schedule and plans for the next week. Using this week as an example I knew my week would look something like this:
Monday: 9-5 Work
Tuesday: 9-5 Work
Wednesday: 8-5 Work + 6:30-7:30 Work
Thursday: 9-1 Appointment 1-5 Work
Friday: 8-1 Bike Meeting 1-5 Work
My goals for the week are to run 3x and do yoga/strength 2x plus make dinner 2x (to eat twice each). I decided to run Monday/Tuesday/Thursday since I had a little more time in the mornings and I know running in this heat has been taking a lot out of me so I move a little slower getting ready after. I am doing yoga/strength on Wednesday and Friday because I can get it done a little quicker since I don't have to leave my house to do it and I need to be ready a little earlier those days. I made dinner Monday to eat again on Tuesday and recruited the help of my husband to make dinner Wednesday while I am training my client later in the evening and we will eat the same dinner again on Thursday.
To make sure I get up early enough to do my morning workouts, I aim to be in bed 8 hours before my alarm goes off so I get enough sleep and have energy to do my workouts and make it through the day. On Sunday, I also decided on a few recipes that looked good and simple for the week (pulled pork tacos with rice using the pork we had leftover in the freezer and salmon with potatoes and asparagus). Since I am used to doing this and it isn't overwhelming for me (normally), I also planned my breakfast and lunches out like I usually do so I could grab what I needed from the store. I try to keep it easy. Smoothies or oatmeal for breakfast, chicken sandwiches with crackers and fruit for lunch, granola bars and popcorn for snacks and chocolate chips and chamomile tea for a sweet after dinner treat.
The food helps fuel my body for activity and planning it ahead of time keeps it super simple so I don't have to think about it during the week - I just have to eat it! This weekend is a little different than others because it is going to be our "staycation weekend". That is why I didn't plan anything out for Friday-Sunday as I normally would. Instead, we are planning fun food and activities once we are out of work Friday...again - planning.
So stop trying to do it ALL. A positive change is a positive change no matter how big or small. They key is just to plan ahead! If you still need help with this part of your health journey - please contact me today!
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I am a food loving, activity seeking health coach who resides in Franklin, TN with my husband and two sweet dogs (Lola & Penny).
I believe everyone should eat balanced and not cut food groups if you don't medically need to. All foods can fit in a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I have to avoid gluten and also limit myself with dairy, so my goal is to provide healthy, gluten-free/dairy-free recipes so EVERYONE can enjoy all foods, even if you do have to cut out certain food groups. My recipes are encouraged for everyone to eat, not just for those with sensitivities/allergies! Most of my recipes can be easily converted by using real dairy and whole-wheat in place of my allergy-free substitutes.
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