First off, I’d like to start with a disclaimer of sorts. Because of the fact I tend to be organized, people have a habit of thinking I am naturally this way. I am not. Point finale. Naturally I am a procrastinator, I always want to lean towards « winging it », and I love watching YouTube videos. Non of these « qualities » condone a very organized life. Trust me.
All this to say basically ‘If I can do it, you can do it.’
Through my journey to a healthier lifestyle so far, the one thing that has made the biggest difference is, organization.
Yes eating healthy is a must, and working out has to happen, but before either of those things where to become easily part of my life, I had to get my sh!t together. Literally.
After much trial and error with reminder lists, calendar entries, Post-Its, binders you name it, I think I have finally found the system that works for me. It may not work for you, but I am hoping I can at least take some of the trial and error I had to do out of the equation for you. 🙂
Step 1: Set my goals. Find a piece of paper and pen, and jot down what you would like to achieve. Don’t write things like « Have six pack abs » you need to write down your goals in the form of a « How » statement.
If you want to get in shape, don’t write « Get shredded! » instead write « Workout 5 to 6 days a week » and/or « Eat healthy, in proper portions » because you know those two things will lead to the ultimate goal of getting in shape. This form of goal setting is necessary when trying to achieve anything, because it shows you what you need to do, not just what you want out of it.
Step 2: Figured out my weaknesses. If you tell yourself you will eat every 2 hours on the dot, will you? Or will it last a couple days and you will fall off track? Find out which aspects of a « healthy lifestyle » (whatever that means to you) will you have trouble sticking to, then you will know what you need to focus your energy on.
If you already eat good foods in the proper portions, then chances are you don’t need to track your foods. But if you have trouble drinking more then 16oz of water in a day, then you should probably focus on improving that.
Step 3: Made a plan. At different stages this will mean different things, but in general it just means figure out how you are going to stick to the « How » goals you set earlier. For me this meant…
- Making a workout schedule
- Finding an eating plan (21DF or 21DFX)
- Making a meal prep plan.
- Figuring out how much water I needed to drink
Step 4: Found the tools needed. This could mean just about anything, for me it mean…
- Apple Reminders app: Prioritizes my daily tasks so I can fit everything in, including my workout
- Apple Calendar app: Scheduled workout for everyday, if something comes up I have to reschedule it just like I would anything else. I also have my Sunday meal prep scheduled.
- Apple Pages app: Meal prep plan, along with eating schedule and portions
- Alarm Clock app: Used to wake me up, but also was used to train myself to eat every 2 hours. Only took about a week, then I did not need the alarm anymore
- Binders (1 for lists, charts etc and 1 for recipes)
- Note pad and pen: I make drafts of all my plans and schedule before adding them to the more tech versions.
- FitBit: Probably one of the best investments I made for my fitness, being able to track my workouts, and daily activity, plus my sleep allowed me to really get a handle on everything.
When I first started I had less tech tools, and just the binders and note pads, which works fine, but I function better if there is an actual reminder that will ring on time – and, well note pads don’t to that. 😉
The biggest thing that helped me turn my life around was starting to think more definitively. It’s not a matter of IF I workout, it’s WHEN. When I started thinking like this, it was a whole new ball game, things that where hard to maintain became just part of my daily schedule.
Of course that doesn’t mean I don’t have days that I want to stay in my pyjamas and eat chocolate cake all day, because I do! But those days are fewer and further between now then they ever have been. I have so much more energy to do the things I love, and because my whole life is more organized I have more time to enjoy my days then I ever did before.
That brings us to my bonus step…
Step 5: I got my sh!t together!. Pardon my french, but it is true. When I organized my environment, and made a plan to keep it that way easily with the least amount of effort, everything fell into place.
Keeping clutter and junk at a minimum (trust me my house still gets messy, a lot!) and being able to find what you need, when you need it makes everything – and I mean everything – easier!
My biggest accomplishment for this was coming up with a system for getting – and keeping – my fridge and cupboard organized. (do you think I said organized enough in this post yet. No? Organized, organized. Hows’s that? 😋) I just put labels, and enacted the law of « put it back where it goes ». Simple. It comes off the spice shelf, it goes back on the spice shelf. No more buying more garlic powder, then realizing you still had 2 half used packages of the stuff!
So if you made it this far in this post, you are either a supportive family member, or you really want to get organized (Ha! you didn’t think I could say it again, but I did!) Either way thanks for reading, and good luck!