Celebrate the Small Wins

I get it, you are working towards big goals but those goals lie in the distant future. And amidst the daily grind, it’s easy to get discouraged and feel like you’ll never get there!

I would encourage you to start taking note of the small wins you experience daily. It could be a small improvement you noticed, like you are getting really good at making tasty salads for your lunches, or generally small good things that happen throughout the day, like a nice stranger holding the door for you, or getting to sit in your favourite spot at your go-to coffee shop.

Not only should you take mental note of those small wins, but I would suggest you also write them down. Keeping a journal dedicated to your daily wins (among other writing exercises you might want to undertake - more on that another day) is an awesome stress management practice! A few years ago, I started noting the highlight of my day and daily wins on small pieces of paper, which I would then fold up and store in this great big glass vase on a shelf. A few months into it, I was left with a jar of memories and tidbits that gave me the warm fuzzies every time I reached for one.

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Reward Yourself For Your Achievements

In my opinion, setting SMARTER goals is a great way to ensure you are being intentional about who you are becoming, but let’s not forget to treat ourselves! Rewards that are commensurate to the size of the achievement will keep you motivated to keep striving.

Embrace the process

You know that feeling once you hit a PR in the gym? Sure, you celebrate for a minute, but the next thing you know, you’ve already set another goal for yourself, so that satisfaction is temporary. I think of it as a treadmill: there is always another goal to strive for.

To avoid burnout, why not learn to embrace the process rather than focusing on the outcome? If you learn to love the tasks associated with achieving your goal, you are much more likely to not only stick with it, but actually enjoy yourself in the process!

Create white space

Do you ever get the feeling that you are so busy your brain is actually spinning in circles, and threatening to melt out of your ears, and you can barely string an intelligible sentence together? Yeah, been there too.

One way I like to combat that feeling is by creating white space throughout my day: I will look at my time audit and carve out small (5-10min, sometimes even less) pockets of peace where I can just be still, breathe, and calm my brain down a touch. This can mean pulling into the driveway and not exiting your vehicle immediately, but rather taking a few deep breaths, or hiding in the bathroom for a few minutes (I know of a few introverts with chatty extroverted partners that have been known to use this tactic when coming home from work, so they can recharge their batteries without upsetting their partner), or going for a walk around the block.

What techniques do YOU use? Or what do you struggle with when it comes to feeling overwhelmed and getting it all done?

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Health & Fitness

Having your fingers in a lot of pies doesn’t have to mean you let your nutrition and fitness fall off the way side (foodie pun intended). Here is how I manage to keep up with my healthy eating habits and fitness routine while keeping all the other balls in the air simultaneously:

Batch cook

I normally thoroughly enjoy cooking, so I am not always the biggest bulk meal-prepper, since I like cooking up a nice meal for myself when I have the time. However, when my week is looking packed, I have no problem resorting to batch cooking healthy meals ahead of time. I typically prep things “family style”, meaning I take my fridge into a giant buffet. I just make sure everything is as close to its ready-to-eat state as possible, so I can mix and match things onto a plate come mealtime. I also make sure I utilize as many cooking methods at a time, so that I can be more efficient (though this may take a bit of practice).

For example, I may have some brown rice cooking in the Instant Pot, some chicken + a pan of root vegetables in the oven, and some green beans steaming on the stove, while I am also shredding some cabbage to add to salads throughout the week. Once you have a system, 1hr in the kitchen could be all you need to have your meals squared away for the next few days!

Food Shortcuts

Pre-cut veggies and pre-cooked chicken may be a bit pricier, but they are vastly healthier than take-out. The same goes with meal prep companies!

Make Time for Movement

When you get busy, it’s easy for your training regimen to get put on the backburner. Still, you will feel more energized and sleep better (more on that later on) if you find ways to incorporate some movement into your busy day. It doesn’t have to mean 2hrs in the gym or a super intense interval training class (or run)! When stress is high, you don’t necessarily want to add more stress in the form of hard physical exercise on top of it. Try booking yourself in for a yoga class or going for a walk at lunch!

Pencil It In

The main tip I have if you feel like you don’t have time to cook or move is to put it on the calendar! Eating well and moving your body are acts of self-care, and they need to be honoured like any other commitment. In the next section we are going to talk about planning ahead, and this applies to nutrition and movement, too.

Next section - Productivity

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