“If it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t happen.”
“It will happen if it’s on my schedule.”
“I feel a sense of calm when I have a schedule.”
“If it’s set in stone, I’ll stick to it.”
These are all answers I heard from clients when I asked what has helped them keep healthy habits in the past. We know if we plan and schedule, we are more likely to be successful in reaching our goals, but we don’t always do it. Why?
Often it’s the thought that you’ll remember; you know your gym has a yoga class at 6pm on Tuesday so you don’t need to put that on the calendar. Or, you have all weekend to pick which recipes you want to make next week and get to the grocery, so you don’t need to plan for that. Then it’s 5:30pm on Tuesday and you didn’t bring yoga attire to work. Oh, well, you can go next week, right? You figure you can look at recipes after you get back from your daughter’s soccer practice, but as Saturday’s go, one thing leads to the next and you don’t think about it again until Sunday evening.
A quote that really stuck with me is, “What may be done at anytime, is often done at no time.” You can logistically get to a gym class nearly every night of the week, so why schedule it in? You can sort through your cookbooks and Pinterest for healthy recipes anytime, so you don’t need to set aside time, right? Not so fast! Scheduling the actions that will help you reach your goals is a huge factor in your success.Scheduling the actions that will help you reach your goals is a huge factor in your success. Click To Tweet
You’re Making an Appointment with Yourself
Mentally planning on going to the 6pm Body Pump class at the gym, and writing it in your calendar are two different things; seeing it on your calendar makes it real. You’re less likely to flake on yourself when it’s saved on your calendar, or plan something else for that timeframe. You wouldn’t blow off a team meeting concerning an important project, you’d put it on your calendar and get your butt to the meeting.
Your wellness goals – whether it’s consistent strength training, fat loss, or eating at home more often – are your personal project, and the only way to get there is to make them a priority. When we put things on our calendars, we’re protecting that time, confirming to ourselves that it is important to us.
You’re Holding Yourself Accountable
When you write something on your calendar, you’ve given yourself a deadline. This especially comes in handy for those things you feel don’t need a deadline. Here’s a recent example from my own life: I had a meeting with a business mentor a few weeks ago, and it was really productive. I had a page of notes for changes to make to my site, and a list of small project ideas I was excited to start in motion. Instead of leaving with my notes and high motivation, expecting to get things rolling on all fronts, I made my next appointment then and there. I left with our next meeting on my calendar. At this point in my planning, no one is affected by me following or not following through on my intentions, so I could take 3 weeks to complete my personal projects or 3 months. But, knowing I had a meeting on a certain day gave me a deadline and specific goal.
For some of us, writing something on a to-do list or scheduling it on our calendar is enough to keep us on task, but others may need outside accountability. If you’re of the latter variety, share your calendar with your partner, a parent, or a friend (Google calendar is great for this). Knowing someone else can see your deadlines and appointments creates a sense of expectation to follow through, even if they don’t say anything!Knowing someone else can see your deadlines creates a sense of expectation to follow through. Click To Tweet
Of course, writing something down is only a tool to get you to your goals, you still have to do the things you schedule. In my experience, and for many of my clients, the simple act of consciously scheduling time for your “should’s” by putting them on your calendar, is the difference between following through and making excuses.
Is scheduling a struggle for you? Whether you can’t find the space in your calendar or don’t know what takes priority when you do, my Health Coaching Program can give you the clarity you desire. I’d love to help you get a practical plan in motion. shoot me an email at Samantha@simplywellcoaching.com and let’s get a session on the calendar!