Making time for things like going to the gym, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, going to work, spending time with the family, having a social life, and getting a good night’s sleep sounds absolutely impossible. We are all in the same boat! We are unable to make time to get ourselves back in shape and get fit. It’s almost overwhelming to think about how we can fit this into our busy lives.
There are plenty of solutions to resolve the common problem of having too much to do and not enough time to get it all accomplished. We have to create a map that will get us from point A to point B, so that we have a direct path to get us to our destination. First, we must begin with meeting ourselves where we are at. Once we can recognize where we are starting from, we can begin to draw our map.
Let’s use candy bars as an example of meeting yourself where you are at. For example, if we are eating 6 candy bars a day, and we decide that we want to lose weight, we will need to make a change in how many candy bars we are eating in a day. Rather than completely taking away our candy bars, slowly start to limit how many we are having in a day. Begin with one week of having just 5 candy bars, and once that becomes easy, you can start to bring that number down. Meeting yourself where you are at begins by starting with small changes.
Now, let’s dive deeper into how we can make time for weight loss!
Time analysis sheet (start where you are)
You need to get an idea of where you are starting before you can make a map to your destination. Typically, doing a three to five-day time analysis will allow for you to get the most specific and most accurate map.
6:00 am wake up, check Facebook and Instagram 6:00-6:15 am, go to bathroom and get ready 6:15-7:15 am, make & eat breakfast 7:15-7:45 am, go to work 7:45-7:55 am, work 8:00 am-12 pm, lunch 12-1 pm, work 12-4:30 pm, get ready and drive to the gym 4:30-5:00 pm, gym 5-6 pm, go home 6-6:10 pm, make supper 6:15-6:45 pm, eat supper 6:45-7:10 pm, watch Netflix 7:10-10 pm, get ready for bed 10-10:15 pm, scroll on Facebook and Instagram 10:15-11:00 pm, go to bed 11:00 pm.
Spend the next few days writing down, either on paper or on your phone, what you are doing throughout the day. This means paying close attention to the things you do throughout the day. If you can’t do this first, your map will be harder to create.
This is an example of a sheet you can create to track your time.
See where you are wasting time (shorten your miles)
Now that you have an idea of where your time is going, you need to be able to save some miles on this trip to your destination. In order for you to get to point B, you need to cut some time out of the scenic route.
We are spending an hour on social media, on top of almost three hours on Netflix. Though there is nothing wrong with enjoying these things, let’s see if we can take a half hour out of this time to add towards something else. If our goal is to make time for meal prepping, then we can take a half hour of Netflix time to accomplish meal prepping.
See where you can cut or reduce time. Find things that you can negotiate with yourself and change up your map to get you closer to point B.
Using Google Calendar is a great way to plan your day and set reminders for your goals.
Draw your map
If you are not using a scheduler or a planner, we HIGHLY suggest investing in one. Using a scheduler like Google Calendar, show us what our day looks like. Using a planner like Panda Planner, guides us through our day, by including the goals & habits we are working on this week/day. Google calendar is what guides us to our destination. Panda Planner is the line of landmarks that show us how close we are getting to our destination. Here you can get your own Panda Planner.
Begin by putting in the biggest time blocks in your week. This could be work, sleep, mealtimes, meetings, kids sporting events, family time, etc. These are not negotiable, meaning that you cannot change your times for these things.
Next, begin to look at your negotiable agendas. This could be Netflix, spending time on your phone, social media, emails, going to the gym, running errands, etc. These are the time blocks that we can move around and adjust our times.
Using a planner or scheduler, begin to enter in your schedule. It is also beneficial to have things color coordinated.
Enter in your schedule somewhere you can keep track of it. Give each of your agendas a different color. This will help you determine what is non-negotiable and what is negotiable.
Here is how you can use Panda Planner.
Set course (set your goals and start them)
Point B is getting closer and closer, but first, let’s determine what Point B is. Let’s say we are wanting to lose weight; well how do we plan on losing weight? By eating better. How do we eat better? By making healthy meals. How do we make time for making healthy meals? By rearranging our schedule to allow us the extra time to make them.
Use your schedule to your advantage and make time, either once a week or many times throughout the week, to begin making your meals. They don’t have to be perfect. You just need to get started making those meals at home. Once that gets easier, you can begin to start making bigger changes into your nutrition, such as eating healthier, eating fewer calories, having a menu to follow throughout the week, etc.
Find out what your point B is, then begin to break it down, step by step, to the smallest change you can make from where you are starting.
Plan for heavy waves (you might get off course and that’s okay)
We all know that things will not always go according to plan, and that is okay. Just because we drew our map and set sail, doesn’t mean we won’t come across a few storms along the way. We must be able to navigate ourselves through the storm. If something sporadically comes up when we had set a time for our goal, we can allow for that to happen. We are not a slave to our schedule; remind yourself that it’s just a map that is helping us along the way.
You forgot that your kid had an appointment at 5pm, the same time you were going to go to the gym. No one else can give them a ride and it’s out town. You know that training is very important to you and you don’t want to give that up. You can just change the time in your schedule instead. If you were going to watch Netflix at 7pm, do a home workout instead. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes, it will still get you closer to point B.
Create an action plan that will help you out on your worst day ever. Think about what that day would look like, and what you would do to keep yourself on track to point B. There will be times when it is completely out of our control. On those days, just go with the flow and start up again tomorrow.
Always check the map (be sure to check in daily to see how you’re doing with goals)
Daily journaling will help you keep checking your map to see where you’re at and how close you are to point B. Using a journal like Panda Planner helps you keep track of your progress every day by having tasks, priorities, and scheduling all in one place. Check in once a day, with whichever method of tracking you use, to keep you on task to achieve your goals.
Getting up 5 minutes earlier each day to set your goals and review them is a great way to set intent for your day and how you can get closer to point B.
Use an app or get a journal that you can write in everyday to help you track your progress and see what you are working on for that day.
It takes time (Know that this won’t happen overnight; make mistakes and try new ways)
Getting from point A to point B is a very long journey. You need to be able to set small landmarks to check in with your progress. This will keep you afloat and allow for you to see how far you have come. Just know that this is a lot of work, but only for the first few weeks. Once this becomes more routine, you will see how you can make time to your day to help get you to your goals.