Planning Hacks for the Procrastinator
By procrastinator, I mean yours truly. Yup, your girl is TERRIBLE at planning. Who’s with me? Then read on!
We all know that life can get in the way of your goals even when we have our own best interests in mind. Let me know if you can relate: the end of your weekend rolls around and you visualize your entire week and how you’d love for it to go… You think about meal prep, workouts, errands, or anything else that you’d like to accomplish in order to thrive.
You have the best of intentions to kill the health game this week and you even give yourself a pep talk. This is how that usually goes down in my head…
“I’m going to workout three times this week before work, prep all my food for the week on Sunday, do a blog post on Wednesday, do my clients plans for the whole month, even have my coffee in the coffee pot the night before I have early clients so it’s brewing and ready to rev me up before I wake! GO ME!”
But alas, chances are…unless you’re a Type A personality and you have your calendar and time slots perfectly plotted each day, you simply stop at the visualization and don’t actually take the time to map out your week. That’s me! Guilty as charged.
You can imagine that this is not conducive to someone with two jobs, in-person and online clients, meetings, dogs, friends, hobbies, lalala. It’s a lot to keep track of and I know many of you can relate to feeling like a tornado of plans is constantly spinning in your head.
I’ve always envied the people that meticulously plan their time out and get things done way before they need to happen. Little did I know, I could strive to be one of those people.
So, what changed? Well, I’ve been remotely coaching a friend for a while that is one of these magical people. I’ve always heard other coaches discuss how often times their clients end up being the ones that inspire THEM-which seems backwards but it’s a lovely perk to the job.
It’s nice to know that we have a symbiotic relationship and both of us can help one another in different ways. This particular client plans out her food for the week, knows exactly what time she’s going to tackle her workouts everyday, and does it without seeming anxious, frazzled, or under pressure. She’s inspired me to plan ahead and develop hacks that allow me to do this. This is specifically pertaining to health and fitness habits; however, you can use these ideas for all areas of life.
1) Get a real planner. YES I mean an old school paper planner. This doesn’t mean you can’t use your calendar on your phone as well, but something about writing everything down and mapping out your week on paper makes all the difference. This was a game changer for me. It greatly lessened my anxiety around the thought of a tornado of tasks and allowed me to break it up into mini-tasks and daily goals.
2) Write out a plan for the week and have a SPECIFIC time of day that you have an appointment with yourself. Yes, even Sunday night meal prep. PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR. When I say specific, I mean get super specific. If you have time to get a workout in from 8:15 to 8:45…WRITE IT IN. This is an appointment you made with yourself. You wouldn’t break an appointment with a friend unless you really had to, so don’t break appointments with yourself!
3) Be realistic with yourself when it comes to workouts. I know it’s tempting to be EXTREME. On or off the wagon. Good or bad. When you’re planning things out, you want to write in things you will actually be able to do so that you develop trust with yourself.
This is coming from a fitness professional; I’m here to tell you that you don’t HAVE to workout 5-6 days a week in order to be a "fit" human. Not even close. If you're truly struggling, start with 1 day a week. See what happens.
If the thought of adding in a bunch of workouts to your schedule is what’s preventing you from actually taking action, start with the absolute minimum.
In fact, coming hot out the gates is actually doing more harm than good because there’s a good chance you’ll over train and wear yourself out.
4) Identify priorities and schedule accordingly. If health and fitness is a priority for you, prove it to yourself. Now, just because you write things out doesn’t mean that things will always fall perfectly into place, but if you think ahead and you can visualize what a successful week looks like for you – when you get thrown curve balls, it’s so much easier to roll with the punches. Having a concrete plan limits decision fatigue and it allows you to schedule AROUND your priorities.
5) While you’re at it, schedule to journal your food everyday. I don't mean writing down every last morsel of food you ate to the exact teaspoon... But a general overview of what you ate and how you felt before and after. You’ll want it to be a habit that’s tied to something you already do. Do you like to enjoy a morning cup of joe? Accompany this ritual with journaling. You can even set your alarm five minutes early so you have the time.
This is different from just counting calories. If counting calories helps you, that’s great! However, in my experience, it can be so helpful to develop mindfulness around your eating habits. Talk about what you ate, how it made you feel, and how you felt emotionally. I don’t care what kind of journal you have – on your phone, a google doc, pen and paper, ANYTHING. This will be key to developing awareness around your food habits.
Now go take control of your life! You’re welcome!
Do YOU have any planning hacks for procrastinators? What’s helped you be more organized and get shit done? Let me know in the comments! <3