Another round of the Whole Life Challenge is around the corner and I am EXCITED! I feel like I’ve been on a process of self-discovery (re-discovery?) over the past year and it has definitely set me up with a great mindset as we approach this challenge … and I can’t wait to share that positivity and energy with my team members!
If you’ve done this challenge in the past, you know that the time goes by in a flash, and trying to do the WLC without a good plan can make it very, very difficult.
So today’s post is all about planning.
I love planning. I love it so much that many a time I have found myself so engrossed in planning that what needs to get done doesn’t actually get accomplished — counterproductive, right? The trick is to find a balance between setting up a plan and implementing it with specific action steps.
While this post is written with the Whole Life Challenge in mind, the steps can be applied to any task you want to complete.
Set your goals.
In the past I have made the mistake of hoping for too much in too little time. Although I may have a desire to reach my goals by a certain time/date, I often set myself unrealistic targets – and that is not how you want to start off.
The WLC is set within a 6-week timeframe. The good thing about having specific parameters is you know exactly how much time you have to work with. You can set realistic goals according to that timeframe – always keeping in mind that the work towards improvement and progress never stops. Therefore, think about your ultimate goal(s) and then think about how you can effectively work towards it within the 6-week period. For example, if weight loss is one of your goals, then instead of anchoring yourself to a number, think about what you can do within the 6 weeks to help yourself progress towards the target. Would that involve modifying your current diet? Joining a gym? Finding a workout buddy? Implementing an exercise plan? If you’re implementing an exercise plan, think about your weekly schedule – when do you have the most time and energy? What things might you have to modify in your routine to allow you to exercise?
Healthy habits build on top of one another. Start with focusing on establishing a firm foundation and build from there. Keep consistency and sustainability in mind. Long-term results stem from long-term commitment. Commit to yourself.
For the past month I have solely been focused on setting a vision of my life for myself. In previous years I always set my goals because they were things that I wanted to do, tinged slightly by the idea that they were also things that I should do. I should lose weight. I should write more. I should de-clutter. By setting my goals with the idea that these are things I want to do, my whole attitude has shifted. It no longer feels like a burden. Rather, I am setting about on these tasks because they are things that both mean something to me and will help me ultimately live the life I want to live.
So when you sit down to think about your goals, don’t just think about what you want to do, think about how you want to feel as you are taking action/once it is done. How is your goal going to contribute to the overall picture of your life? For me, stepping back to ask myself the deep questions – what kind of life do I want to live and how can my actions help realize that vision? – has helped me restructure my goals so that they are ones that I am eager to work towards.
Identify support and pitfalls.
Once you’ve identified your goals (and written them down), think about your surroundings. By surroundings I am including everything and everyone around you. From your family to your friends to how you spend your time each day. Think about the space and resources you have. Identify all the things that are working for you and what things may be potential obstacles.
Start with people in your immediate circle. Talk to them about your goals and why they are important to you. Ask them to support you in whatever way you need. If there are conflicts (such as households with different eating choices), then try to figure out how to compromise.
Don’t stop there. Look at your surroundings – how can you make them work for you? Is there a park nearby where you can go for a walk after work? Are there compliant food shortcuts at your local market – chopped vegetables, readymade healthy meals – that you can rely on to help save time? Check websites such as groupon that may have special offers of meal prep services or gym classes that you can try.
Awareness is key. Take the time to see what resources you can use to help you and identify potential pitfalls so that you can work towards eliminating them or at least navigating around them.
It’s easy to wake up each day and start off feeling overwhelmed with all the things on your long to-do list for the day. It’s not a fun way to start the day. Prioritizing can help relieve this burden.
Before going to bed, or first thing in the morning, streamline your to do list by writing down only what you absolutely must do that day. After that, write down a few things (not more than 5) that you would like to do that day. Breaking down your to-do list is an efficient way to work. When you’re efficient, you save time. When you save time, you can feel more relaxed – and who doesn’t want to feel more relaxed?
Prioritizing allows you to give value to your day as well as help you achieve a better work/life balance as you end up doing things that mean the most to you first rather than getting caught up in tedious, time-consuming tasks. Streamlining your list helps you stay focused and productive – which are great ways to both end your day and set you up for another great one.
Learn to be flexible.
It took me quite a bit of time to both understand and accept this concept. I would often place too much importance on my daily plan so when one thing would go astray, my whole day would crumble. The all-or-nothing attitude and mindset was not helpful at all.
Allowing yourself to be flexible with the way things go and more accommodating can take off a lot of pressure, pressure that can often squash motivation or the desire to keep on trying.
For example, you may have planned to go to the supermarket to do your weekly shop, but an emergency at work pulls you away. No problem. Tackle what needs to get done first (remember, prioritize) and then do the best you can. It’s just one day. Do not let one obstacle become the reason why you give up or quit. Order in. Delegate the responsibility. Do a smaller shop later in the day. Sure it may be inconvenient, but it does not have to derail you.
Travel is something that often throws people off their usual routine and can be very interruptive in the path towards your goal(s). However, once again, travel is usually just a temporary situation. See what you can do while you’re traveling – use hotel gyms, go for a walk, watch your portions, give yourself a chance to rest and de-stress. There are so many options. Don’t focus on what is going wrong – focus on what you can do to keep things going right.
If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing or not excited about what you’re setting out to do, the task you have ahead of you is going to feel like a drag. Enjoy the process. Yes, it may take time and effort – but know that you are committing to something important and worthwhile.
The WLC is a great way to help you focus on living a healthy life, but mindset matters too. Actions are great but you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it to make it stick. Hopefully these action steps can help you set up a plan for a successful round of the WLC and for any other goals you set to achieve.
I’ve been running the Worldwide Warriors team for several years now. The WLC is something that I am incredibly passionate about and truly believe in. If you’re looking for a super supportive team with a captain who is eager to cheer you on and give you the encouragement and support you need, then this is the team for you! If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. To join our team, click here.