And so the first week of the year has come and gone and for a lot or should I say most of us, that means back to work, university and school. Once we get back into the routine, we tend to get back into the rut of old bad habits, so how do we break this cycle?
To get round it and to make sure that I stay on track with the goals that I am working towards I have embraced planning in advance and made preparation my friend. Initially getting into a new habit might takes some time (it takes on average 21 days to adopt a new habit) and effort, but after a while it becomes second nature and you wonder how you ever survived without it.
Here are some of my tricks on not only getting back to work, but also staying on track and making the most of your day not just today, but everyday.
What’s for dinner?
My husband and I have been health conscious for a couple years now in terms of healthy eating and exercising, but this was kicked into overdrive mode a couple of months ago when had to re-evaluate our lifestyle. After seeing a dietician we had to adjust our eating habits as well as how we were preparing meals. We went from the usual three meals to six meals, which meant that apart from just preparing and packing lunch, we now had to pack snacks as well.
Initially you would think that being healthy equals expensive, but on the contrary. By planning meals and snacks for the week, and only buying what was needed for the week, we were spending the same amount of money or sometimes even less on groceries than before. Win win all around.
Here are my top three tips for meal prepping:
Plan all meals for the week
Include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, this way you only have to worry about what to cook once for the entire week and not once every day.
Including a common ingredient in the various meals will make cooking easier.
Write down a grocery list for the ingredients required
Remember, you might include rice in your meals but won’t need to buy this every week.
Buying snacks like nuts and biltong will add variety to lunch boxes and can be bought in bulk as it can last longer.
Cook as much as you can in advance
Cooking and packing lunch bags and even dinner on a Sunday can save you a lot of time during the week.
Alternatively, prepare the night before. Although I try and prepare as much as possible on a Sunday, it doesn’t always last the whole week, when this happens, I prepare the night before for the next day. While having dinner, watching tv or helming out with the kids, you can always put something in the oven, embrace multitasking.
What to wear
Oh the dreaded question we all ask ourselves every morning as we stare into our closet, ‘What do I wear?’. Even for those of us that love fashion and dressing up, some days can be challenging and take longer than we would like to.Sometimes having to get the rest of the household ready for the day takes up time as well which leaves even less time for yourself to get ready.
To start off with, I am not a morning person, and most mornings end up rushing trying to get ready and when you experience a wardrobe malfunction, cause you don’t have anything to wear can add unnecessary pressure to the day.
One day of my friends mentioned that she plans her outfit the night before, I decided to give it a try and works like a charm. It doesn’t necessarily have to be putting a whole outfit together physically, but sometimes just putting an outfit together in your mind already helps and reducing the stress the next morning.
Here are my top three tips for outfit planning
Know what in your wardrobe works well together and what works for you
If you know what outfits you feel comfortable and look great in mix and match to have outfits together. An outfit can be updated by simply adding a few accessories.
Build outfits around key pieces
An item like a black pencil skirt is so versatile and can be worn in so many ways, staple classic outfits can come in handy when unsure on what to wear.
What is my day looking like tomorrow?
When I have a busy day ahead and I know that I am going to on my feet the whole day, heels are the last thing I want to wear, no matter how great it looks.
Make sure that your outfit is appropriate for the kind of day that you have planned, as well as the environment and company that you find yourself in.
Also see my post on Dressing for work for some inspiration, which includes Six ways to wear a pencil skirt.
At the office
We all have some of those days, that no matter how much we plan, it does not go that way and before we know it is three o’clock and we haven’t even had anything to eat. That is why I have some life saving items in my drawer at the office for just such days.
Make sure that these snacks are healthy, sealed and with a longer than usual shelf life, there is nothing worse than trying to get a rotten smell out of the drawer or cupboard. Apart from these items, I also make sure that a bottle of water is on my desk in my line of sight, that way I am sure to stay hydrated during the day. If your goal is to drink 1,5L a day, have a container on your desk and aim to finish it by the end of the day.
Things you will find in my drawer
Packets of nuts and biltong
Chocolate (for those days that I need a pick me up)
Coffee and hot chocolate sachets
Small boxes of long life milk
With the urge to regularly check in on social media, I have broken it into small chunks like checking Instagram when walking from the parking lot to the my desk and when walking from my desk to a meeting. That way I get a quick break from work and with a clear mind I can focus on the next task at hand.
Hope these tips help you to the make most of your day. Do you have any quick wins or tips that you would like to share? Feel free to leave them or any other comments in the comment section below.