Most of us are the same. We are constantly busy juggling our work/life balance whilst trying to maintain our health and the rest of life. Most of us are in fact, probably goal-oriented people. However, sometimes managing everything at once can get tricky and time can very easily slip away. What started out as great intentions for the New Year or for the start of summer can become afterthoughts if we don’t have a laser-focused approach to reaching our goals.
Time management, however, is one of the best tools for setting yourself up for success. Below are some useful tips on how to get back on track with your goals and manage your time more efficiently. Being a lover of all things to do with organisation, layouts and stationary, this is a perfect excuse for me to share my fave goal-setting tools:
HAVE A GOAL.
It can be far too easy to lose track of time and direction if you don’t actually have an end goal in mind so it is important to get pretty clear on what exactly your goals are. Whether you want to drop fat and get lean, fit into your dream wedding dress, increase muscle, change your eating habits or even just manage your stress or your work/life balance a bit better, deciding what your goals are is an important step to managing your time effectively and being successful.
Your Perfect Day:
Start by writing down a day in the life of your perfect day. Don't think 'how' right now, just write it all down! This could include your perfect morning routine, a perfect day at work, where you are in your career, how much time you spend with your friends and family etc. Don't hold back during this stage, its really important that you get it all out - this is YOUR Life and YOUR dreams.
Your 5 Top Goals:
Next, take the important parts from your perfect day and write down your 5 TOP GOALS. If you are anything like me, make these goals visually pleasing - spend a bit of time on writing them out (great excuse to get the highlighters, pens and pretty post-it notes out!) then place them somewhere where you can see them every day (fridge, mirror, door). These will serve as a reminder when life gets hectic. You are here to get results so remind yourself of this, daily!
CREATE A TIMELINE.
Once you have determined what your goals are, you'll need to create a timeline. I like to start from the finish line and work backwards. For example, let’s say your goal is to lose 7lbs, start at the end and figure out how much time you will need to reach your goal.
If you think 1lbs per week is achievable then give yourself 7 weeks to reach your goal. The trick here is to be over generous with your time - there is nothing worse than falling behind and feeling like a failure before you have even started. If you reach your goal sooner then that is an achievement in itself!
SCHEDULE YOUR WORKOUTS, trips to the shops, bed times and other healthy “to-dos” in your calendar just as you would your work meetings or doctor’s appointments.
SET REMINDERS on your calendar to help you stay on track.
ARRANGE TO TRAIN WITH A FRIEND,which will increase your commitment and keep you accountable.
PLAN YOUR SHOPPING TRIPS.
Make it a point to schedule in time each week to go food shopping. Create a list and, if possible, keep it on your phone. By making it a point of going to shops and taking a list with you every week, you will save yourself time, money and guess work, and reduce the temptation to fall off track with your eating habits.
Make time to prepare your meals. This can be done a few times a week (say Sundays and Wednesdays) or every morning for the day. Whatever your timeframe may be for preparing your food, it is important to build it into your day to make it easier to stay on track and work toward your goals. If you end up eating out often, spend some time reviewing the menus ahead of time so you have an idea of the healthy options available.
I have made a useful Meal Prepping Blog here.
We all fall victim to this as some point. We have something important to do; an email, a call, an assignment but somehow end up doing everything in our power to avoid doing it, no matter how important it is! Working from home can sometimes make this even harder - I usually find myself cleaning the whole house, rearranging my cupboards, doing the washing, scrolling through Instagram, anything but the task in hand! Below are some tips that I have found really helped me to just focus and get the job done:
This is a big one for me. I just cannot work in a messy space, it clutters up my mind and my focus is then all over the place. I like to simplify my area down to the bare minimum:
Cup of tea
Close your Tabs.
To clear my head even further, I close down all the tabs on my laptop until I just have the ones I need which is usually Google docs to write my coaching programmes or blogs. Having my email tab on or the Mail tab makes it far too tempting to switch over.
Listening to the right music makes such a huge difference to my day! I generally find that calming, instrumental music has the biggest impact on my productivity. I have recently discovered Majestic Casual (thanks to Mikey) and absolutely love all their tunes so definitely worth a listen if you haven't already!
Switch your phone off for 2 hours every day.
I do this when I don't have any calls to avoid alerts, whatsapps and Facebook messages which can all wait until I have completed my task.
Daily To-do List.
How annoying is it when you are lying in bed making to do lists in your head and just end up feeling wired, anxious, and stressed? I've found that the best way to free my mind at night time is to just write it all down before I go to bed. Brain dumping (as our Project Happiness blogger, Sarah Miller calls it) has really helped me to empty my thoughts at the end of the day and get a much better night sleep.
I have a dedicated bedside notebook for to dos, ideas, thoughts, anything that is stopping me from sleeping!
LOG YOUR WORKOUTS.
It's easy to forget how far you have come in the gym, especially when you are on a roll.
However, there will come a time when you reach a plateau and need some motivation to get back up again. Logging your workouts will not only allow you to use yourself as your own pick me up but will also help you to set new goals, up your weights and push yourself more!
There are lots of great exercise log books on Amazon. I use the 12 WEEK FITBOOK TRACKER - its the perfect size for my gym bag and the layout is super simple. Being a week-by-week tracker also encourages me to get on top of it and log daily!
When you have an extra few minutes at home, in the office or on the weekends, take advantage of this time. What tasks have you been putting off? Use this time to get them done. If you are at work, take a walk. If you have no meetings, get in a workout. While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and feel like you just “don’t have the time,” the reality is we can create the time if we make our goals a priority.
CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF WEEKLY.
Once a week, take the time to evaluate your progress, your time and the plans for the upcoming week. Do things need to shift a bit? What were your barriers? This step is important as it will help keep you balanced and present. It allows you to shift things around and refocus for the next week.
Planning is everything. Below is an example of how I plan out my months and weeks. I have recently started Bullet journalling as it allows me to completely customising my months however, that is definitely for another post! The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley also have gorgeous Goal setting diaries if you are looking for a bit more structure.
To get you started, I have created a simple 3 Month Goal Setting Template for you to download for FREE today and start designing your perfect life! Click on the link below to access the FREE Template:
If you are looking to kick start your Health and Fitness, try out our
+ Daily Workout Plans
+ Bloat beating, fat blasting meal plans
+ Simple, delicious recipes
Hope you enjoy my tips, feel free to like or comment below, I'd love to hear from you :)