Have you ever said, “I know what I need to do to be healthy, but I can’t ever seem to implement it?” You’re not alone. A common barrier to behavior change is TIME (or lack thereof). Even when we know WHAT to do, it can be difficult to find the TIME to do it. This post highlights time management tips to help you meet your health goals.
Get Crystal Clear on Your Health Goals
Let’s start with becoming crystal clear on your health goals. There’s a difference between “I will be healthier” and “I will increase my cardiovascular stamina to walk a 5k.” The latter is clear and specific.
Use the following prompts to get clear and specific about your health goals.
- What do you envision for your health 3 months from now?
- What action steps are necessary to meet that vision?
- Of those action steps, which ones are you currently doing? Which ones do you need to add?
During the initial consultation with my 1:1 private coaching clients, I help them establish their wellness vision. From there, we reverse engineer the activities that ladder up to their vision.
If you feel overwhelmed trying to map out your health goals on your own, schedule a free discovery call for support in this process. You’ll get a taste of 1:1 nutrition coaching!
Time Management Tips to Meet Your Health Goals
Once you’ve defined your health goals and activities, the next step is implementation. This is where time management comes in. Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities.
1- Set Your Priorities
One health goal may encompass several activities. It’s overwhelming to try to implement all these activities at once. Instead, prioritize 1-2 activities at a time.
For example, let’s look at the goal of walking a 5k. This goal may include the following sample activities:
- Purchase supportive walking shoes
- Sign up for a local 5 k
- Find a local walking route
- Build walking mileage by .5 miles per week
- Walk 3x per week
- Stretch 2x per week
With prioritization the worry “How am I going to find the time to do these 6 activities?” becomes “How am I going to find the time to start the top 2 activities?” You can handle 1-2 activities at a time! This is how prioritization helps prevent overwhelm and burnout.
2- Do a Time Audit
There are only 24 hours in a day. Between juggling work, relationships, kids, social outings, and self-care — you might look back at your day and think where did my time go!?
Complete a time audit to see exactly where you are spending your time. A time audit looks something like this:
- 7 am: wake up, make bed, brush teeth
- 7:15 am: walk the dog
- 7:45 am: make breakfast, eat breakfast
- 8 am: scroll social media, news headlines
- 8:15 am: start work
…you get the idea! For one day, carry a journal or use the notes app on your phone to write down everything you do. It might sound tedious, but it will help you see 10, 20, or even 30-minute pockets of time that you can better maximize to align with your priorities!
Maybe you notice that the intended 30 minute Netflix episode turned into a 1.5-hour viewing party. Could you trade 30 minutes of Netflix for 30 minutes dedicated to one of the actions aligned with your health goals?
3- Batch Your Days
Batching refers to assigning certain tasks to days of the week. It takes the guesswork out of when you’ll do that task each week.
For example, I use batching for my work week and it looks like this: Wednesday = client calls, Friday = blog content, Sunday = Instagram content. This helps me structure and plan out my week.
Applied to your health goals, batching could look something like this:
- Sunday = meal planning and grocery
- Monday/Wednesday = biking
- Tuesday/Thursday = walking
Imagine the confidence and mental clarity you’d gain by batching your week in advance!
4- Set a Timer
Here’s the deal. We’re human and lose track of time. You THINK you’re going to exercise at 5:30 pm but it’s 5:25 pm, and you’re in the middle of a work task. Does that resonate with you?
A simple solution to implementing time boundaries is setting a timer. If you want to exercise at 5:30 pm set a timer on your phone for 5:15 pm. This will give you enough buffer time to switch from one activity to the next.
Better yet, schedule the desired activity on your calendar. You’ll get the calendar reminder 15 minutes before AND ensure that you don’t over-schedule yourself.
5- Allow for Wiggle Room
Last but certainly not least, allow for wiggle room. Life happens! Your week doesn’t go as planned. An unexpected meeting popped up or your kid got sick.
One of my favorite strategies to allow for flexibility with my goals, while also staying accountable is the “if/then” strategy. The if/then strategy comes from Atomic Habits by James Clear.
If (insert desired activity) does NOT happen, then I will (insert new commitment).
I use this strategy on a weekly basis when it comes to exercise. If I don’t hit my desired exercise goals for the week, then I re-evaluate my exercise routine on Sunday. It looks like this:
If I don’t bike 3x this week, then I will schedule 3 workouts on my calendar for next week.
Reflecting on this list, what is one time management tip you can implement to meet your health goals?
As always, connect with @everglownutrition on Instagram for more daily nutrition and wellness tips! Send us a DM with your time management takeaways!