When building a business, we know willpower alone won’t ensure success. The cumulation of different skills, or adding team members, filled the gaps and supported the vision. Our journey through fitness mirrors the same process. We must develop critical skills to consistently execute the behaviours required for a fit and healthy lifestyle. As the first entry in our series, we’ll explore the foundational skills of time management and goal setting. Apply the tip that best helps you move forward and create a change.

1. Utilize Calendars and Management Tools

The first step to mastering time management is adopting a system to track your activities. Consider a physical calendar or a comprehensive digital management tool. Google Calendar, works well for me. Schedule your workouts and other activities that benefit your health; making a grocery list, packing your gym bag, etc. Now you’re making time instead of finding time; the later usually resulting in no time being found and never actually doing the things you want. Externalizing these details also frees up mental space, making remembering and managing your schedule easier.

2. Regularly Check Your Calendar

It’s not enough to record activities. You also need to check your calendar or management tool frequently. This practice lets you stay on top of your commitments and plan accordingly. Checking my weekly schedule each Sunday, and reviewing my daily calendar the night before helps me plan for obstacles and manage my time. Implement your own calendar check-in strategy.

3. Prioritize According to Your Goals and Values

Once you’ve chosen a system to capture and review your activities, identify what matters most. Understanding your fitness goals and how they align with your core values would be best. This understanding will guide you in organizing your time and keeping what’s important at the forefront of your schedule. Write your current goal in post it somewhere you see daily (a room door, a white board). This will make it easier to filter what tasks to schedule first.

4. Regularly Review and Update Your Goals

Our priorities can shift over time due to changes in circumstances or insights. Regularly reviewing and updating your goals ensures that they remain relevant and motivating. Adapting to changes is an essential part of maintaining progress. Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual check-ins are breakdowns that suit different goals. Assess your progress at the check-in stage of your choice, noting the wins, down falls, and revise your goal as necessary.

5. Create and Review Task Lists

Alongside a calendar or management tool, task lists are vital for staying organized. They allow you to break down your goals into manageable tasks and monitor your progress. Regularly reviewing these lists keeps your objectives clear and helps you focus on what’s next.

6. Follow Through on Your Tasks

Completing tasks is an integral part of effective time management and goal setting. It’s satisfying to tick off completed tasks, reinforcing your commitment to your goals.

7. Anticipate Upcoming Deadlines

Effective time management also involves forward thinking. You can prepare in advance by anticipating upcoming deadlines, reducing stress and ensuring you meet your obligations on time.

8. Set Realistic Timelines

Understanding how long tasks typically take you is vital to setting realistic timelines. Overestimating your speed can lead to missed deadlines, frustration, and burnout. With experience, you’ll better gauge the time you need for each task.

9. Schedule Tasks Based on Your Energy Levels

Lastly, consider your rhythm. We all have times of day when we’re more energized and focused. Try to schedule your most challenging tasks, especially workouts, during these periods.

This approach to time management and goal setting is about making conscious choices rather than just “finding time” for fitness. Developing these skills sets a strong foundation for your fitness journey.

The following article builds on this foundation with more advanced strategies. Stay tuned.