reFORM Studios

What would you guess is the number one obstacle we see, as fitness professionals, why people cannot reach their health and fitness goals? Would you think its problems eating and not knowing what to do? The truth is the number one challenge we see with our clients every day is time. It all comes down to time management. Proper time management skills can make you more efficient and make your day smoother. But it's tougher to accomplish that it may seem. We live in a very hectic world and there's always things coming out of left field that we feel we absolutely need to handle. Combine that with years of bad habits and we have the recipe for disaster. We also are not making consistent, intentional efforts to fit in exercise, to plan healthy eating and turn healthy habits into a healthy lifestyle so that it’s not just hit and miss or on occasion. So how do we fix it? From what I've seen in my years of coaching, the absolute key to success when it comes to truly making a change is very specific planning. This means making planning part of your weekly and daily habits. The people who I've seen have the most success, do some of the following things.

1) They meal plan on the weekends. This means planning an entire week of menus, grocery shopping and cooking ahead and packaging what they need so that they don't have to worry if they're on the go or running around or running a little bit late. I've already got everything ready by Sunday night. While this may sound like a lot of work, the more often you do it the smarter and more adept you'll get at it, eventually only cooking two to three meals just with extra portions depending on what size family you have. If you have a large family, you may be able to divvy up cooking responsibilities with other members of the family to take some of the pressure off you. There's a lot of ways to do it but the bottom line is if you can have your entire week planned before the week begins, you're much more likely to succeed and actually eat the foods that you intend to eat.

2) Another area of planning that I see great success with clients is those who actually write out and schedule in their workouts just like an appointment at the doctor. If you think to yourself, “I'm going to work out today,” but you never get specific then chances are it's never going to happen. The way to make sure you fit it in is to make it an appointment with yourself or with a coach or a workout buddy so that you absolutely know exactly when and exactly what you're going to do. Even with our clients I find that they're committed to showing up to the appointment they make with us, but tend to be less successful with the workouts on their own because they don't treat it in the same manner as an appointment. Instead, what if you knew exactly what time you were going to do a work out and where that fit in your day? You can then plan travel, you can plan clothing, you can plan everything you need around that work out just as if it were a business appointment or an appointment with yourself for personal care. I enjoy using a daily planner because it comes at half hour increments and I can block out every errand, every business meeting and every work out, that way I know it's going to happen and I see it in the books just like it's as important or even more important than the other items that I have on my to do list. You can do this on a weekly or daily basis. I recommend weekly for starters but I have it broken down daily to know exactly when and where and what you're going to do for a workout. Again a coach can help you balance it out if you don't already have somebody giving you guidance.

3) Another challenge I see with those who do attempt to plan, is they set it and forget it attempt. Sometimes you go through the great effort of making that list or making that plan, and you never look at it again. I know because I've done this. I think the key here is to using methods that are going to work for you and your lifestyle. Whether this is electronic and you run by an electronic calendar, electronic organizer or whether you're a pen and paper kind of girl and you need that daily planner that you carry with you everywhere. Either way you have to be realistic with yourself and figure out what you will actually use and then start using it. Even the best laid plans don't mean much if you never follow them.


4) I really think you have to understand that while a plan may be perfect, real life never will be. You’re going to need to give yourself a little bit of flexibility because, well, life happens. That's not to say you throw in the towel whenever a curve-ball comes your way, but I think it’s okay to have a backup plan ready or to cut yourself some slack if some things get a little crazy. If you couldn't make it to the gym for your 45 minute cardio session or that class you want to take, you can still fit in a 10 or 20-minute body-weight workout when you get home at night. I think it's never about throwing in the towel or completely giving up if you're perfect plan doesn’t go according to plan. There will from time to time be a need to be flexible with yourself and go with the flow a bit. Always know that there is something you can do that would get you closer to your goals. You'll never regret putting in a small amount of effort even if it's not the full effort that you were hoping for.

5) Finally I have one more note on time management. And it’s that we always find time for things that we believe are important. We will find a way to squeeze them in and move other things down the priority list. When it comes to health and fitness we just need to make sure we're very clear on why our goals are important and making them a priority. If it’s not important to you, you're never going to find the time. And that's just fact. That's human nature so I want to encourage you to be really clear and have a very strong “why” for what you're doing. If that's the case it becomes a priority and you will easily find ways to squeeze it in even when life gets a little hectic.

Still having challenges reaching your goals? I recommend finding a coach to help you make the plan and hold you accountable. Click the link below for a consultation. --->

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