How to Stay on Track With Fitness Goals During Back-to-School Time
Hey and welcome to another episode of the Messy Mom Podcast. It’s just us today. We’ve got a short and sweet episode for you today because, at least over here, it’s full-blown back-to-school season. We’ve got the kids’ teachers’ names, there are things to do and we’re wrapping up summer. Plus, getting back into the school routine itself is hard to stay on track with anything.
But there are ways that you can stay on track and actually meet your goals. We don’t want you to use the back-to-school season as a reason to hit pause on your goals. We understand that living a healthy lifestyle is a continuous journey and we want you to understand that navigating the hectic moments, whether it’s a vacation or back to school is possible. So join us as we cover our 5 tips on how to stay on track with fitness goals (and reset expectations) during the busy scenes of life, especially back to school.
Tip 1: Revisit Your Goals and Schedule
Cari starts us off with the first tip (that she also personally does), which is to revisit your goals and schedule.
In summer, she gets into a really good rhythm where she doesn’t have the bus drop off, pick up times, or lunches to exactly pack, it’s more of a free for all, which in itself is its own challenge, but it’s not so tight. When school’s in session, she pretty much gets up and tries to get her workouts in before the kids leave for the day because who knows how the day is going to unravel.
So, she likes to revisit all of that again. But for Cari, this isn’t a last-minute Monday morning school is starting revisit. Instead, it’s over the next week or two, she will sit down and figure out what’s going to be the “perfect” time to work out. We are using quotes around perfect because things still come up, so find a time that is going to work most consistently for you.
Bailey adds the power of planning. If you’re someone who plans out your week from Saturday to Sunday, include your workout plan too.
Cari seconds this, make sure to think about, what workout, when, and which days sync with your schedule. It’s less thinking and it’s already there for you. Just like you would put a doctor’s appointment in your calendar, put your workout in your calendar. Even if you only have 10 or 15 minutes, as we’ve always said, some movement is always going to be better than no movement. It can help boost your mood, reduce stress, and so many different things. The more that you have a plan set in stone, the more likely you are going to get it done.
Tip 2: Have A Workout Plan
That leads Cari right to the next tip which is to have a plan.
If she schedules it into her calendar, she knows exactly what workout she is doing. As she explains, “If it is Thursday, I know on Friday, what am I doing? Am I doing a home workout? What body part am I working out or what muscle group am I doing? Cardio? Am I doing strength? Am I going to go take a class? I already have that in. Cause if I don’t, you spend like 30 minutes of your next morning, like, what workout am I doing today? And there goes your whole workout, you could have had it done by the time you planned it.”
Additionally, Bailey points out, if you aren’t a morning person and you think you want to get up and exercise in the morning. Knowing good and well that more than likely you’re not going to get it done because you’re not a morning person. Then plan it when it’s right for you. That could be during the day, lunchtime, or even at night when the kids go to bed. Make it realistic for you.
However, it’s worth noting if you do have a goal in mind where you want to do it in the morning, try it out, but don’t feel like you have to do it at a time that doesn’t work for you.
Cari is right there with her. We ask that question all the time, “What is the best time to work out for your goals?” and the answer is when you will be doing it.
Tip 3: Find a Done-for-You Program
Moving on to our next tip, we suggest finding a done-for-you program. Yes, we do offer our own, but that doesn’t mean it’s your program or right for you.
The reason we suggest this is because there are a million different free YouTube workout videos every day, however, the problem is there’s no plan. So if you don’t have a structured plan, you’re just working out to work out.
Now, we aren’t saying that’s a bad idea, but if you have a program that’s done for you and tells you what to focus on then instead of wondering, “What workout am I doing tomorrow? Have I trained that muscle group today? How much cardio should I be doing?” Someone has already done the groundwork for you. So, find a program that basically says if you’re going to work out five days a week, here are the five workouts you’re doing this week, then press a button and go.
It takes out that excuse in the planning. And Cari honestly thinks even if you go out and do classes, that you still need a home-based program because if you have children of any age and in any stage of life, there’s going to be a lot of days of the month where you have that thought of, “I don’t have time to make it to a class, but if I had a 30-minute workout, I could just do it right now.” So having the option to do both and intermingle, she thinks works best for her.
Bailey agrees and adds not only that but if you have a specific goal that you’re working towards, then having a program that’s already done and written out for you to help you meet that goal yourself.
For example, we have a prenatal program and the whole point is to help prepare you for fewer aches and pains during pregnancy, of course. But also to train you for labor delivery and then postpartum recovery on top of that. We’ve designed a plan and a workout program that’s going to help you get there progressively. So, it’s better than just going, like we said, online or on YouTube and typing ‘prenatal workout’. Yes, some movement is always going to be better than no movement at all. But if your goal is to have an easier labor and delivery experience (obviously, there are things that we can’t control) then the more prepared for that you can be, typically the better overall experience you’re going to have.
The same thing applies to postpartum recovery. Instead of piecing together random exercises, do a progressive program that adds tension safely and effectively. And when you’re trying to build strength, there is also a method to that as well. So, yes we love that there are free resources out there for movement because just being active is super important. But if you have a specific goal, having a plan that meets that goal is going to help you get there faster.
Tip 4: Start A Routine Before the First Week of School
The next tip is to start your routine before the first week of school. As Cari mentioned earlier, the first weeks of school are already crazy. Between getting the kids’ schedules, gathering the school supplies, and all the other things that get the school year started. That’s why starting your routine before then is going to set you up for success.
If you can do it a week or two prior, then it’s just going to help you get into a routine a little bit better, especially during those times that are a little bit more chaotic.
This approach allows you to work out some of the details and kinks in the planning that you think are going to be perfect. For example, you think, “Well it’s a bus stop and they’re going to be gone” but that’s a hard set time where there’s no room for air or you’re driving your kids to school. This is not a big deal for Cari, but it’s a big deal for someone else who has to get to work. So you got to work out these things that you haven’t been used to for the last three months.
Tip 5: Create Non-Negotiables
Then our final tip is to create what your non-negotiables are. And ones that actually make sense to you. So if you have this idea in your head of, “I’m going to work out five days a week” that’s great, Cari would highly recommend it and would love for everyone to get there.
But if that’s not what you’re doing right now and you haven’t been doing it, then that’s probably a really bad goal for week one of school. You’re setting yourself up to feel like a failure and that’s not what you want to do.
Instead, we want SMART goals that motivate us. You’ve got to start slow. Just get in a rhythm of those small little habits that you build upon. Maybe it’s three workouts a week or to cook dinners a couple times a week. We wouldn’t want to go with five, especially the first week of school. Find those quick and easy things that feel like a success, like, “Hey, I actually cooked dinner for the family. It doesn’t matter if everyone ate it and it’s not every night, but we did it.”
So create what your non-negotiables are and they can look completely different than everyone else’s. Are you going to try to get up twice a week early and work out regardless of what the day brings? Are you going to cook dinner two days a week? It doesn’t have to be a lot of these small non-negotiable goals for yourself. Just so you can check it off and get in the momentum of, “I can do this.” You have to get in that rhythm of this is doable, you can do this before you really build on to that next step.
And in case you don’t know, a SMART goal is…
- Time-bound (or time-based)
So if you think about that, that’s going to help you make a goal more realistic for you that you can actually achieve.
Now, this is just a quick overview of some tips to try to get back into a routine or start a routine during this crazy time of year with school and getting everything prepared as summer ends.
We hope this was helpful to you. If you are looking to start a program that we talked about that is already done for you, then we highly recommend that you try our $10 28-day challenge that begins here in August. You get the first month for $10 regardless, but we’re going to start as a group Monday, August 7th, 2023.
It doesn’t matter what stage of motherhood you are in, you can choose between any of our programs (prenatal, postpartum, or our FM30) for 28 days and that also includes nutrition.
Thanks for joining us and happy start to school! This is only the beginning of our conversation on how to stay on track with fitness goals during back-to-school time. Listen to the full episode wherever you listen to your podcasts.