Since being back at school, I’ve had quite a few people reach out to me asking how I keep on track with my gym schedule, while also managing school and my social life. I’m going to be honest with you, my class schedule this year isn’t crazy at all. It gives me a lot of free time, for which I’m very grateful! However, even if I didn’t have this type of schedule, I would still be managing my life in a similar way, it would really just include more time sitting in classes, instead of sitting at my kitchen table, or the library doing work.
The first thing that helps me really plan out my life, is my agenda. I honestly love it. I know some people don’t like keeping an agenda or find it tedious, but for me it helps A LOT to have a physical place where I can write out my plans and to-do’s. If you don’t want to go out and buy a planner, or you’ve found in the past it hasn’t worked for you, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. There are plenty of other options that also can help keep you organized in the same way. Try using the calendar on your phone to schedule in tasks, class and appointments; use a calendar on your laptop; download an app that lets you schedule your week in an electronic format. These days, we’re all more likely to use our phone or laptop, so putting your schedule on one of these devices is a great way to make sure you keep up to date with things. You can even schedule alerts and reminders this way, which are always helpful nudges to actually do what you had planned.
Every night I look at my agenda and see what my next day looks like. From there, I schedule my gym time around my other obligations; for example, if I have class from 11:30-1:30, then I’ll go to the gym after that. Again, I’m lucky because I don’t have to fit the gym in-between classes ever, but I know sometimes that is the case for people. So, let’s say I had class again at 3:30, I would plan to go to the gym between 1:30 and 3:30, making sure I was productive during my break. I find it really helpful to plan when I’m going to go to the gym the night before, because it gets rid of the question of “when am I going to have time to go to the gym today?” When I wake up, I already know when I’m going to go, and when it’s scheduled into my agenda just like a class, then why would I miss it?
If it’s motivation your lacking, then try to find a friend who also wants to go to the gym and plan to go together. Having someone else to keep you accountable is always helpful! There’s no doubt that some days you won’t want to go, but they’ll be able to encourage you and vice versa. Even if your schedule’s don’t match up, try asking a friend to text you a reminder to go to the gym each day you want to go. I did this for a friend in the summer and it seemed to really help her! It’s always a good idea to have other people around you who encourage you to be your best self.
In terms of maintaining a social life too, it’s doesn’t have to be that hard! Now that I’m in fourth year, I’ve realized that having a social life doesn’t mean you have to go out 6 of 7 nights a week. You can be just as social only going out 2 times a week. We’ve all heard it before, but it really is all about balance. Yes, some nights I go out and drink more tequila shots than I probably should, but that doesn’t discredit the fact that I go to the gym 5-7 days a week, or the fact that I’m a relatively healthy eater. Going out and having fun is a part of living your life. As great as it feels to be fit and on top of your game, you don’t want that to take away from other aspects of your life. You can be fit and on top of your game and go out for a night on the town! You don’t need to go out every single night to be fun, but you also don’t have to never ever go out to be fit and on top of your schooling. Find ways to manage your time that work for you, keep you priorities straight and make balance your mantra. If you do that, you can do all of these things at once: be social, do well academically, and live a healthy lifestyle. You are more than capable, just trust in yourself and your passion for life.