Health goals can be hard to stick to. We’ve all tried and failed at achieving them, but many things can help; one thing you have available right now: your calendar.
I know it sounds crazy, by using a calendar as part of your daily routine can boost your chances of sticking to your health goals.
As a health and stress management coach, I see people struggle with their health goals all the time. So I decided to write this post to help you use your calendar to support your health goals.
Keep reading below.
Table of Contents:
Why Should You Use a Calendar To Support Your Health Goals?
It forces you to take action.
Using a calendar can force you to take action and be a good reminder when you get busy, which is the first step in achieving any goal. Once you decide to open your calendar, whether it is physical or on your device, you will then make a plan.
This can be as simple as blocking off 15 minutes on your calendar for wellbeing. This initial step will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to take the next one. You’ve put a plan into motion!
Physically write or type your health goals.
When you write your health goals, you will be more likely to achieve them. The words become a permanent reminder of what you're working toward. Write down your health goals on paper and ensure you see them daily.
If possible, write down additional reasons why achieving this goal is important for you and list what progress looks like for each of your goals (i.e., "Starting today, I will lose 10 pounds by November 1 ").
It allows you to plan ahead.
By using a calendar, you can stay organized, prioritize your goals and focus on what matters most. Having an awareness of the amount of time you have available can influence how you spend your time.
For instance, if your health goal is to get more exercise, then using a calendar can help keep track of when (and how much) exercise you did during the week.
You will also see how much time you waste on non-essential tasks, which can help you decide if those activities are worth your time and effort. Ask me about a time study in the comments if you haven’t done one before!
It allows you to do more.
With a calendar, you can see how much time there really is in a day. You may be amazed that you have more time than expected when it is laid out in front of you. It's always easier to get things done if you plan your schedule out before diving into activities.
Your calendar will give you time freedom. You can plan your life around what works best for you and your family. You don't have to rush around all the time, trying to fit everything in.
You can allocate time for each activity and see how long it takes to do them. This will help you decide what's worth doing and what you should leave off your schedule.
What can your calendar do for you?
Remind you, so you don't forget.
Start with a brain dumb of all the healthy habits you want to build into your daily routine. This will help you avoid the trap of making excuses and skipping them altogether. If you know what you're supposed to do, it's easier to get it done.
Then narrow your focus which habits do you want to add that are not already in your daily routine.
Set your reminders, this helps ensure you won't forget. If you're trying to build in regular exercise, set a calendar reminder on your phone to start your workout. Once you get used to doing these activities regularly, it'll be easier to keep up with them without relying on your calendar.
Sets your goals.
You know your health goals, but how do you get there?
Make a list of all the steps that need to happen in order for you to get from point A (where you are now) to point B (the place where your health goals become a reality). From there, break down each task into smaller pieces and set a deadline for when each step needs to be completed.
If you want to lose weight this month, write down the number of pounds you want to shed each week and start tracking your progress towards it. Once you've reached your goal weight, set another one and repeat the process. Setting goals will help maintain your focus and your
calendar is the best tool for this.
It's okay to skip some days and take breaks from your goals. It's important to remember that your success isn't going to happen overnight; it takes time and dedication. This can be difficult if you want results immediately. By scheduling breaks into your calendar, you'll be able to relax and enjoy life without feeling guilty about it.
You will learn a lot about yourself whenever you review your goals. It is helpful to take some time each day or week to reflect on what you've accomplished and how it makes you feel. You can use this as a learning experience to identify areas of opportunity and brainstorm ways to overcome challenges.
You can ask these questions to yourself when reflecting on your calendar:
What's working well?
Where are there opportunities for improvement?
What are my priorities right now?
Celebrate your progress.
By acknowledging your progress, you're more likely to keep up the good work.
If you got up during the work day and walked for 10 minutes when you usually sit, that's an accomplishment. If you have consistently gone to the gym even when it was raining outside, then that's also something worth celebrating.
Celebrating your small wins will motivate you to work towards other health-related goals.
Remind you of your why.
When you're feeling discouraged, your calendar can help remind you of why you set your goal in the first place. It will remind you of why you wanted to lose weight, why you wanted to focus on your nutrition and eat plant-based 1 day per week, or why you wanted to start including exercise in your weekly routine.
*PRO tip create a recurring calendar appointment and put your why in the notes section to refer back to
When you feel like giving up, the calendar will remind you that there is a reason why you started this journey. And it will encourage you to continue pushing forward.
What to do if it is not working?
Why not try another method if your calendar is not working as an accountability buddy? You can ask a friend or a family to be your accountability buddy or find a coach who will help you. A coach will be with you every step of the way, celebrate your achievements, and help you get from point A to point B.
I currently have two great opportunities available to support you in finding your energy (think 10-year-old after a cupcake without the crash!), kicking your chronic stress to the crib (building your toolbox to manage your stress and thrive), and finding your confidence again (strutting your stuff and glowing from the inside out!).
Check out my 1:1 health coaching programs or my new and improved ACE Your Stress group program. You can find more details here and here, or set up a quick clarity call with me to discuss the best option for your health goals!
About the Author
Co-Author: Irish Doton
Alexa Hanshaw is a health and stress management coach who helps women be the CEO of their stress. She empowers her clients to push past the confusion of the health and wellness industry to create lifestyle habits that bring them energy and work with their bodies instead of against it.
Join her free Facebook group, Be the CEO of Your Stress and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube for quick, easy & healthy tips on stress, health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and how to stay mindful!