How a Good Planner Keeps me on Track, in Weight Loss and in Life

This year, for our anniversary, my husband got me a really nice day planner. It had all the features I wanted, with plenty of tabs, spaces for notes, and daily, weekly, and monthly calendars to use.

When our family saw that this was my husband’s supposedly “romantic” gift, they laughed – but it shows that my husband knows me well. I love my planner because it is so helpful, not only in general for keeping me sane but also for helping me with my health and weight loss goals. Here are 5 ways that having a good planner (and keeping it updated) improves my life:

1. Goals Don’t Get Lost

My planner doesn’t let me forget my goals: This planner I have has “project” pages and “goal” pages, where I can document goals like how many pounds I want to lose, how many gym visits I want to get in, or diet challenges like Whole30 that I want to try. When I am constantly checking my planner to see what’s on today’s schedule, I also see these big-picture pages, and it keeps me on track.

2. Time to Prep for Pressure

My planner helps me get a feel for how thin I’m stretched: This planner gives me monthly views, not just weekly, and seeing where in the month I’m going to have a lot of out-of-the-house activities can help me plan ahead. It’s easier to meal prep, make healthy choices, and fit in trips to the gym when I know the crunch points in the month.

3. Lists, Lists, and More Lists!

My planner holds all the lists I need in one place: Grocery lists, to-do lists, exercise regimens… all of them fit in the planner. My pro tip is that if you have a day in your weekly spreads that you don’t write anything, designate that space for a future list. I didn’t have any big plans on January 2nd, for instance, so that space has now been given over to a list of potential dishes to try before I finish Whole30.

4. Thinking Big

My planner gives me space to dream big: In the back of my planner, I’ve plotted out a week-by-week schedule of how much I need to run to train myself for a half-marathon in May – me, a girl who has run 6 miles at once ever, is going to try to accomplish 13 miles! Without my planner to show me that there’s lots of time to gradually get where I want to go, it’d be harder to envision myself achieving big goals.

5. One Day at a Time

My planner helps me see each day at a time without getting overwhelmed. At the same time that I can enjoy goal-setting, I also get anxious when too much is going on. Then, the daily view in my planner is perfect; it shows me 3 big priorities for today and maybe a note to self, and I realize that all I have to do is what’s here for me today. It’s great to feel a sense of accomplishment when today’s tasks are done.

Make it WayBetter

Maybe it’s not a paper planner that makes your DietBet and StepBet goals a reality; maybe it’s an online calendar, or a notebook you carry with you everywhere. Regardless, see how your own best tool can make daily, weekly, and monthly goals more achievable and concrete.