Sabotage-Proof Your Weekend
There is something about Friday that makes us go a little nutty about our health and well-being priorities. Those two little days of the weekend are like a taste of freedom from the usual grind, and after a busy week, it’s not at all unexpected to want to let loose and relax the rules a little. It’s all fun and games until you arrive at Sunday evening, promising to do better next time and get back on track Monday morning, isn’t it? I’ve been there more times than I want to admit. Over time, I’ve learned how to change my course and steer clear of weekend sabotage.
1. Stay connected to your motivator.
The weekend is only two days, but it can seem like our motivations are ancient history. Take a moment on Friday to reflect on and record your accomplishments for the week. Recognize the progress you have made – and worked hard for – and pat yourself on the back for that! Then, write down a goal for the weekend, and put that paper in your pocket. Keep it with you all weekend as a physical and tangible reminder of the commitment you made to yourself. Or, choose a significant piece of jewelry or clothing to wear that will be a visible reminder of your goals. I like a bright yellow rubber bracelet that says, “I exercise, eat healthy, and have fun!” I picked it up at a health fair once, and now seeing it on my wrist reminds me that I am working on something bigger than the weekend.
2. Know your must-have habit, and do that.
When we look back at our epic failures and successes with healthy living, there is almost always a common denominator that pushed it in either direction. For some, it is exercising every day, no matter what. For me, advance food preparation is my must-have habit. I can get by for a few days without a regular exercise routine, but if I don’t have ready access to healthy food when I need it, everything breaks down. Having wallowed in the aftermath of a poorly-planned week enough times, I now make sure that I have breakfast, snacks and lunches planned, or at least available. Even when I don’t want to. Even on the weekend. When you don’t want to do what you know will make you successful, ask whether the consequence is worth the momentary reprieve from being awesome.
3. Press “pause” on perfect.
The weekends are like their own little island sometimes, where what happens on the weekend stays on the weekend. It is OK to pause some habits so others can have room to flex. Figure out how to choose which ones have priority, how you want to feel on Sunday night, and what habits need to be in place now for that to happen. Fast-forward to Sunday and complete the sentence, “I am so glad I (fill in the blank).” The answer to that question is a hint to what your priority habit may be. Imagine if this was the weekend when you kept that promise to yourself. Put the framework in place for realistic and achievable goals now, and greet Monday morning with habits that stand the test of reality.