Extra work dropped on you at the office? A couple extra errands this week? Someone needs your help?
It doesn’t have to be an emergency, but just a perfect storm of little things that pile up that can wreck your schedule for a week.
Life happens when we’re busy making plans, right? We’ve all been there.
Here are 10 tips to help you stick with your program when your weekly plans go sideways!
Make a general plan for a crazy week before it happens.
You know it’s coming. You’re normally busy, but then everything seems to hit at the same time. The temptation is to skip self-care. And then it becomes too easy to quit – but not if you have a plan and are ready for it.
Related: How to Set SMART Fitness Goals
Enter food in tracker night before.
This little hack has saved me many times. I’d open up my online tracker and enter tomorrow’s food. When in a hurry, I’d just use the “copy previous day” features. Then the next day, I would just open the app on my phone and follow what was already in entered instead of logging each meal as it happened. (Or not logging at all.)
Cook double and freeze extra portions.
Batch cooking and freezing protein can make life a lot easier during a busy week.
I use my Instant Pot or slow cooker to batch cook chicken breasts. I freeze cooked chicken in quart sized freezer bags because that is about the amount I need in one week. I just need to thaw it and I’m ready to go.
Stock up on bags of mixed frozen vegggies.
Frozen mixed veggies used to be boring, but the new combinations available have a lot of variety. The quality and nutritional value of frozen vegetables are good. And the variety provides a range of micronutrients without the time and waste of buying and chopping a ton of different vegetables.
Shop for food that is already cooked.
Some stores have cooked meats available. Or drop by the deli and pick up cooked food there. Or opt for bagged salads and fruit. Not a long-term solution because if you don’t cook it, you don’t know for sure what’s in it. But for this crazy busy week, it works better than fast food if you choose wisely.
Use a meal prep service for some meals.
If you have one of these services in your area, this might be a good option when in a pinch.
Create an “emergency workout” plan.
Make it efficient by focusing on compound movements using the large muscle groups – legs, back, and chest. The smaller muscle groups will be used during compound movements.
Related: How to Start Lifting
If you can’t keep your regular schedule, do 2 whole body workouts this week.
If you can get to the gym, do 2-3 sets of legs, back, and chest. Get in, get out. The goal this week is to do something. It’s not optimal, but it will help keep the habit and might help you handle the extra stress.
Can’t get to the gym at all? Do bodyweight workouts at home.
We have our “quarantine” plans handy. (Ugh. I know.) Busy moms might be spending a little time at a park or at a kid’s athletic practice if that’s on the “to-do” list. Since you’re making the plan ahead of time, be creative and think outside the box.
Adopt mindset of progress, not perfection.
You don’t need to run a perfect program to get results. I did what I did as a busy teacher working 50-60 hours a week – while going through menopause. My results are not typical, but they are also not unique. Many people have been successful by establishing healthy habits and a plan for how to deal with these crazy busy weeks.
The secret sauce is CONSISTENCY.
You’re a busy adult and crazy busy weeks will happen.
Plan for it, implement the plan, and don’t quit.
Hi! I’m Tammy! I was a busy, stressed, and unhealthy teacher until I decided to take control of my health. I did not become an athlete until I was in my 50’s.
I earned personal training and fitness nutrition certifications, then retired from teaching to dedicate my work life to fitness education for other busy women over 40.
My results are obviously not typical because most people don’t train to compete as a bodybuilder.
But I believe everyone can make positive changes with healthy habits! Each of us has a unique combination of strengths and challenges that need to be considered to customize a program that will work for us. Science-based principles, flexibility, and consistency make all the difference.