On Monday, I kicked off the week with the master of all “To Do Lists” to help set yourself up for a week of healthy and happy success with my “How to have a healthy week checklist.” I hope you found it to be of value! It was designed to help you take control of your life by taking control of your schedule and planning for success. I do believe that failing to plan is planning to fail. As a fairly structured and disciplined person Monday – Friday, that list was pretty easy for me to put that together.
Now, as a fairly spontaneous and overly social person, living the textbook-healthy weekend has been something I’ve struggled with for years. In fact, I’m still working on it now. And while I’m far from perfect, recently I have found myself enjoying more balanced and honestly “healthy and happy” weekends than ever before. I hope that puts me in a position to create this healthy weekend checklist to not only help myself replicate this recent success, but also to support any other folks out there who ever fall victim to losing control on the weekends…
1. Begin with the end in mind
- I love this advice for almost everything in life. On Friday afternoon, when you physically or mentally check out of work, think about how you want to feel on Sunday night when you go to bed. Spend a few minutes really thinking about it. Do you want to feel rested, accomplished, fit, in control, satisfied, socialized, ready for another great week?
- Teresa’s Tip: Having this simple vision in mind will help you move through your healthy weekend with intentional purpose.
2. Remember what you CAN do this weekend
- If you’re on a mission to find greater health and more happiness, then focusing on the positive will be your key to success. If you’ve decided that you want to feel accomplished on Sunday night because you got in a long run on Saturday morning, you might have to miss a Friday night fiesta. And boo hoo, right? It always bites to miss a party. But you know what? It feels worse not achieve your goals and to miss an opportunity to become an even more awesome version of yourself. So remember that while it may be easy to focus on what you’re missing, shift your focus to what you’re gaining to find the most happiness.
- Teresa’s Tip: I use this example because I’ve missed many-a-party for long marathon training runs over the years. I’ve also missed long training runs because I couldn’t miss the party. Trust me, the later can feel much worse.
3. Plan your social events
- Just like you do midweek, start with the stuff you can’t change. Special events, sports games, brunches, dinners, etc. If you have the choice, make sure you point all your social events in the healthy direction. Instead of Sunday brunch, can you organize a walk to catch up with friends? Instead of sitting at a restaurant for dinner, can you play mini-golf or go bowling? You can burn up to 30% more calories by simply standing over sitting.
- Teresa’s Tip: I see the weekend as 7 day parts: Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon, and Sunday night. I try to make sure I don’t book more than 3 day parts total so I have blocks of time I can reinvest in myself. Yes, I am a little bit selfish with my time, but I would be (and I am) a wreck if I overextend myself socially.
4. Plan your workouts
- The weekend is a great time to make sure you rest up and recover, but it’s also a great time to get in some really good workouts! If you know you’re going to have a social event in one of your day parts that may lend you some extra calories, make sure you have a morning stacked with cardio to burn off extra calories. If you’re week was tough and left you frazzled, schedule some yoga. Give your body what it needs. You can double down social hours with workouts and that is a great way to stay connected without wasting calories or cash. A total win-win. Fit friends are the best!
- Teresa’s Tip: Plan harder workouts on the morning after you’re PM day part was empty so you have a better chance of being well rested and in good condition to push yourself. And a workout with a friend is one you’re less likely to miss!
5. Plan your meals
- People can go haywire on the weekends! It’s the lack of 9-5 that can leave people grazing the kitchen, snacking their way through the day and overdoing it at social events. While all of that is fun in moderation, it can (and will) catch up with you over time. So make sure you have your healthy breakfasts planned, snacks in store for long days and so on. You never want to be caught at the mercy of the drive through or a mini-mart.
- Teresa’s Tip: If you filled out your 5 min menu plan worksheet for the week, this should already be done for you! And don’t forget that my Clean and Colorful Nutrition Program is packed with healthy, easy recipes that are great for entertaining and brining to parties.
6. Plan your rest
- One of the worst things that can happen on a weekend is that you work too hard, burn the candle from both ends and wake up Monday exhausted. It sounds silly, but planning rest will ensure you maintain control of your schedule and your sanity along with it. My good friend Kate actually schedules her weekend naps so that she does not end up exhausted at night or cranky.
- Teresa’s Tip: I try to make sure I get to sleep in at least one morning or have zero plans one night so I can go to bed super early and have no alarm for the morning. Sleeping until you’re ready to wake up once a week can be a real treat.
7. Plan your reward
- If you’re going to take the time to make a plan, you may as well take the time to make sure you follow it! Stack the deck in your favor and come up with a nice reward for yourself if you achieve your goal. Remember the vision you set on Friday afternoon for how you wanted to feel Sunday night? Well if you feel that way Sunday night, I say you deserve a reward! A hot bath, good book, quite time, heck, maybe even a glass of wine. A small treat to end the weekend happy will leave you in good spirits for the week ahead.
- Teresa’s Tip: Make sure it’s something you’re really looking forward to and don’t forget to do it! We get so caught up in doing the “to-dos,” that we often forget about the things that have already been done.
What else is on your healthy weekend checklist?
Subscribe to Blog via Email