“Back to school” equals routine and, often, stress. When adapting to a new schedule and accruing responsibilities, you may need to let certain things slide and celebrate small victories.
One thing at a time; one goal at a time.
At the start of a new school year, it’s normal that you want everything to run smoothly, but this doesn’t mean that you should neglect yourself. Don’t forget to take some time to consider your own priorities.
Here’s a list of goals that are popular at this time of year:
- More nutritionally balanced and/or perfect lunches
- More active lifestyle for the whole family
- Better stress management for the beginning of school year
- Integrate a new September routine
- More time spent reading (or doing homework)
- Better sleep routine
- Muscle gain or weight loss
- Decrease screen time
Does this “aiming for perfection list” look all too familiar? Don’t be too hard on yourself! We have some tips that’ll help you achieve your goals without being excessive.
THE PERFECT PLAN TO MOVE FORWARD WHILE STAYING POSITIVE.
Step 1: Prioritize.Which goal is THE most important to you? It’s important to focus on one goal at a time, if not, you’ll likely give up quickly. Remember: success consists of small victories; patience, patience, patience!
Step 2: Make a realistic plan.Set quantifiable, verifiable, but above all, achievable goals. Also, consider jotting down your objectives or a few words of encouragement on a piece of paper; it’s proven that this helps to stay motivated!
Step 3: Let go of expectations.At times, you may want to give it all up and go back to your old ways. Don’t feel bad, this is perfectly normal! And, from what we hear, accepting this as normal, can help you get back on track.
Let’s look at a concrete example:
Step 1: My priority: To have a more balanced diet.This will help me sleep and lose weight! This is where I want to start!
Step 2: My realistic plan: To gradually reduce the frequency of dining out and eating prepared meals. To evaluate my progress, I will write down what I eat when I indulge in these types of meals.
Step 3: I will know when to give myself some slack. Chances are, some days, I will be less than perfect… and this is OK! I’ll simply refocus on my goals and start again!
Rely on this rule of 3, and don’t get discouraged:
Rule of 3
To truly acquire a new habit, it takes…
3 days to convince yourself to adopt the new habit
3 weeks to create the new habit
3 months to truly make the habit a consistent part of your life
3 years before this positive resolution may be forgotten, if it’s not a priority…
What to remember: During this time of significant adjustments to the family’s routine, it is key that you know when to let go and when to keep pushing. Never lose sight of what is truly important to you, take decisions based on this and move along one step at a time!