I am a fairly regimented person. I cope best when I have a plan and I enjoy sticking to it. Planning makes you accountable. The three F’s are the fundamental parts of my schedule – Fitness, food and family time.
I plan my exercise schedule rigorously, because I know that if I don’t plan it, something will come up or I will be too tired. If I have taught a number of Booty Barre or Pilates classes in a row, I make sure I allocate time for stretching, rolling out my muscles or a nice, warm Epsom salt bath to help my body recover.
I’ve never been a real foodie, so if I don’t plan my meals for the week I’ll end up living on cans of tuna and eggs all week. By planning my breakfast, lunch and dinner I make sure I have a well rounded diet with plenty of protein, low GI carbs and healthy fats to nourish my body and keep me going. I work some pretty long hours between the office and the Pilates studio, and being on the road visiting clients, so it’s vital that I organise healthy snacks to re-fuel on the go.
Family is the most important. I love spending time with my family and I always make sure that I have plenty of this valuable time every week.
Then there are things such as self-development – meditation, goal setting and affirmations etc. These are all important parts of my weekly routine but without allocating time for this, it just wouldn’t happen.
Don’t forget the fourth ‘F’ – Fun! There needs to be time dedicated to just relaxing and enjoying your friends. Neglecting the fourth ‘F’ is guaranteed to lead to burn out and eventually resentment towards everything that’s got in the way.
I certainly understand that life doesn’t always go according to plan. Those that know me well or if you’ve read some of my previous posts, you will know that I’ve experienced my own turmoil in recent times. My routine flew out the window for a while, but I already had the structure in place. So when the time came that I felt like I could cope with getting back into life, I just had to pick up where I left off. And it helped.
I don’t expect everyone to be as regimented as I am. You need to find what works for you. The busier you are though, the more important planning becomes. In saying that, routine is incredibly important to keep you motivated so if your schedule is not jam packed and you have plenty of time up your sleeve (you may be between jobs) implementing some structure will certainly improve your efficiency and help you to maintain balance in your life.
I like to sit down on Sunday with my partner Adam and plan our meals for the week. We go to the shops, butcher and farmers markets to pick up our fresh veggies, meat and everything else we need. I get home late three nights a week so we plan light meals that he is comfortable cooking on those nights. Our relationship is very balanced in that we share responsibilities and support each other fully. I completely appreciate how lucky I am that I have a man in my life that supports my goals and is there to help me to maintain balance. For those of you that are single or have partners with schedules more hectic than yours, planning seriously is key. Look at your schedules, identify what you are realistically capable of achieving in a week and work towards achieving that.
As I said earlier, I schedule time for exercise throughout the week, and I like to map out my goals and deadlines and allocate time to achieve these each week. My week ahead always looks jam packed when I’m done, and it could easily seem overwhelming. So long as there is a healthy balance between commitments and passions, with all areas working in harmony, I approach Monday with a sense of direction and clarity and genuinely try to feel excited about the week ahead.
This week I want you to have a think about your priorities – your non-negotiables, the things that are most important to you in your daily life. How do you manage these things each week? Do you have a plan of attack or do you just let life happen and hope it all falls into place? Now think about your passions, those things that feed your soul. Do you make sure that there is a healthy mix of this stuff in your weekly routine or are the non-negotiables taking over at the expense of your passions, self-development and creative outlets?
Like I said last week in my post on ‘Time‘ how much we achieve is all dependent on how we choose to use our time, and how well we plan this time determines the extent of our efficiency.
Happy planning and please feel free to send through any of your routine tips, I’d love to hear them.