7 Steps to Set Yourself Up for Success: A Midlife Coach’s Guide

Jun 19, 2024

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Hello friends and welcome to our journey towards a healthier, more balanced life! Today, I'm excited to share with you how I set myself up for success each day, week, and even month. As a busy midlife mama, juggling multiple roles as a business owner, mom, wife, sister, daughter, and friend, I know firsthand how overwhelming it can be to manage everything while trying to maintain healthy habits and lose weight.


When I first started this journey, my brain resisted the idea of planning and pre-deciding my days. It seemed like a lot of work, and I didn't want to think through everything I needed to do. But I've learned that taking time on the front end is the key to success. When I follow my planning routine, I feel more in control and less frantic. When I don't, chaos ensues.


With nine kids, four still at home, and two homeschooling, plus recently graduating my 17-year-old (yay!), life is busy. My goal is to practice healthy habits mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It's taken a long time to dial in these habits and create routines that help me get set up for success.


In this blog post, I'll share the steps I've learned to make this Trim Healthy journey smoother and more effective for you. Whether you're just starting out or looking for new strategies, these tips will help you balance your responsibilities and stay on track with your health goals. Let's dive in!

Step 1: Pre-Plan Your Day, Week, and Month

Setting yourself up for success starts with a plan. Pre-deciding and planning ahead can make a world of difference in managing your busy midlife. It might feel like a lot of work initially, but trust me, it pays off.


The Benefits of Pre-Deciding and Planning Ahead

When you plan ahead, you reduce the chances of feeling overwhelmed. Having a clear roadmap for your day, week, and month allows you to focus on what matters most without constantly reacting to what comes your way. It gives you the clarity and peace of mind to handle multiple responsibilities more efficiently.


Time Blocking: Your Secret Weapon

One of my favorite techniques is time blocking. This means allocating specific times for different activities in your day. For example, I play pickleball two or three times a week, hit the gym twice a week, manage family activities like baseball games and get-togethers, and still find time for work meetings and fun events. By plotting all these activities on my calendar, I ensure they fit into my schedule without overwhelming me.


Overcoming Initial Resistance to Planning

Now, I know that the thought of sitting down to plan can be daunting. Our brains tend to resist tasks that seem hard or require a lot of thinking ahead. But here's the trick: start small. Begin by planning just one day or one week at a time. As you get used to it, extend your planning to a month and eventually a quarter. 


Remember, you don’t have to fill every minute. Give yourself buffer time to breathe, relax, and handle unexpected events. This flexibility ensures that you’re not just reacting to life but responding thoughtfully and effectively.


Tips for Successful Planning

  1. Start with a Weekly Overview: Every Saturday or Sunday, sit down and look at the week ahead. What are the key activities and commitments? Plot these out first.
  2. Prioritize Important Tasks: Identify the non-negotiable tasks that align with your goals and well-being, such as exercise, meal prep, and family time.
  3. Include Fun and Leisure: Don’t forget to schedule in time for activities you enjoy. This keeps you motivated and prevents burnout.
  4. Use Buffer Time: Don’t pack your schedule back-to-back. Leave gaps between tasks to allow for breaks and unexpected changes.
  5. Stay Flexible: While it’s great to have a plan, be prepared to adjust as needed. Life happens, and flexibility is key to maintaining balance.


By pre-planning and using time blocking, you’ll find it easier to manage your responsibilities and carve out time for yourself. It’s all about creating a structure that supports your goals and helps you lead a more peaceful, productive life.

Step 2: Establish a Morning Routine

Starting your day with a positive mindset can set the tone for success. Here's how to create a morning routine that supports your mental and emotional health.


Importance of Starting the Day with a Positive Mindset

How you start your morning can significantly impact the rest of your day. Kicking off with positivity helps you manage stress and face challenges with a clearer mind and a better attitude. For many of us in midlife, especially as we juggle multiple roles and responsibilities, beginning the day on the right foot is crucial.


Steps for Creating a Morning Routine

  1. Quiet Time: My day usually starts around 7 or 7:30 AM. Sometimes, if I haven't slept well, I let myself sleep in a bit. The first thing I do when I wake up is to have quiet time. I avoid looking at my phone or computer to keep my mind clear. This quiet time is essential for my peace of mind.
  2. Journaling: During this quiet time, I spend a few moments journaling. This helps me clear my head and manage my thoughts. I often use a technique called "the model" from the Life Coaching School to manage my mindset. This helps me get rid of negative thoughts and decide how I want to think for the day.
  3. Setting Intentions: I set my intentions for the day by deciding what I want to focus on and what my goals are. I love what Dr. Amen says about telling your brain what to think about. Our brains naturally gravitate towards negativity, but by actively directing my thoughts, I can set a positive tone for the day.
  4. Scripture and Devotion: I also spend time reading scripture and doing a daily devotion. This not only encourages me but also sets a foundation for encouraging others throughout the day. Shifting my focus from myself to helping others has been a game-changer.


How a Consistent Morning Routine Can Improve Mental and Emotional Health

Having a consistent morning routine helps me manage my stress and anxiety better. By starting my day with positive thoughts and setting clear intentions, I feel more in control and less reactive to life's challenges. This routine has been vital for my mental well-being and sets me up for a successful and productive day.


Step 3: Delegate Tasks for Efficiency

Delegating tasks can be a lifesaver, especially when you're balancing work, family, and personal goals. Here's how to make it work for you.


Benefits of Delegating Tasks Within the Family

Delegating not only frees up your time but also teaches your family members responsibility and teamwork. It allows you to focus on your zone of genius while giving others the opportunity to contribute.


Tips for Teaching Children to Take on Responsibilities

  1. Start Small: Begin with simple tasks that are age-appropriate. This could be helping with dinner prep or tidying up their own rooms.
  2. Show and Teach: Demonstrate how to do the task properly and explain why it's important. Be patient as they learn.
  3. Encourage and Appreciate: Praise their efforts and show appreciation for their help. This builds their confidence and willingness to take on more.


How Delegating Can Free Up Time for More Important Tasks

By delegating, I can focus on more critical tasks that require my attention. For instance, I have my kids help with dinner prep. It might not always be perfect, but it helps me immensely. This allows me to invest my time in activities that align with my goals and areas where I can make the most impact.


Step 4: Tackle Difficult Tasks First

Tackling your most challenging tasks early in the day can boost productivity and reduce procrastination.


Introduction to the “Eat the Frog” Method

The “eat the frog” method, inspired by Mark Twain’s quote, suggests that if you start your day by tackling your hardest task first, the rest of the day will be easier by comparison.


Benefits of Completing Challenging Tasks Early in the Day

By getting the difficult tasks out of the way first, you free up mental space and reduce anxiety. This approach helps you feel more accomplished and less stressed as the day progresses.


Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination

  1. Just Start: Begin working on the task, even if it feels daunting. Often, starting is the hardest part.
  2. Break It Down: Divide the task into smaller, more manageable steps.
  3. Set a Timer: Use a timer to work on the task for a set period. This creates a sense of urgency and helps maintain focus.


Step 5: Incorporate Flexibility and Buffer Time

Having buffer time in your schedule helps maintain balance and allows for adjustments when unexpected events occur.


The Importance of Buffer Time in Maintaining a Balanced Schedule

Buffer time acts as a cushion in your schedule, giving you the flexibility to handle unexpected interruptions without feeling overwhelmed. It helps ensure a smoother flow to your day and prevents back-to-back stress.


Tips for Adjusting Plans When Unexpected Events Occur

  1. Stay Flexible: Be open to changing your plans if something unexpected comes up.
  2. Prioritize: Determine what tasks can be rescheduled or delegated.
  3. Take Deep Breaths: Pause and take deep breaths to manage any immediate stress.


Ensuring a Balance Between Work, Family, and Self-Care

By incorporating buffer time, you can maintain a healthier balance between work, family responsibilities, and self-care. It allows you to respond to life's demands thoughtfully rather than reactively, keeping you in control of your schedule.

Step 6: Manage Your Mindset

Techniques for Setting Intentions and Maintaining a Positive Outlook

One of the most powerful steps you can take on your weight loss journey is to manage your mindset. Setting daily intentions can be a game-changer. Every morning, take a moment to decide what you want to achieve that day. This isn’t just about your to-do list; it’s about how you want to feel and how you want to show up for yourself and others. When you set your intentions, you’re telling your brain what to focus on, and this can help steer you towards a more positive and productive day.


The Role of Journaling and Reflection in Managing Stress and Anxiety

Journaling is another crucial tool in managing your mindset. Start your day with some quiet time where you can journal your thoughts and feelings. This helps clear your mind of any negativity or anxiety that might be lingering. Reflect on what’s going well and what you’re grateful for. Journaling can be a great way to process emotions and set a positive tone for your day. It also serves as a record of your journey, allowing you to see how far you’ve come and recognize patterns that might need changing.


Importance of Focusing on Positive Thoughts and Goals

Focusing on positive thoughts and goals is essential for maintaining a healthy mindset. Our brains naturally gravitate towards negativity, especially when we’re stressed or overwhelmed. It’s important to consciously redirect your thoughts towards the positive aspects of your life and your progress. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small, and remind yourself of your goals. Visualize achieving them and let that vision motivate you.


Managing your mindset also involves deep breathing and mindfulness. When you feel overwhelmed, take a few minutes to breathe deeply and reset. This can help shift your focus from a state of panic or frustration to one of calm and control. Remember, you are not at the mercy of life’s events. By setting boundaries and maintaining a positive outlook, you can take charge of your day and your journey.


I’ve found that when I don’t manage my mind, I end up reacting to life rather than leading it. By starting your day with intention setting, journaling, and positive thinking, you can approach your day with a clear and focused mind. This not only helps you stay on track with your weight loss goals but also improves your overall well-being.

Step 7: Maintain Physical and Emotional Health

Maintaining both physical and emotional health is crucial for overall well-being, especially during midlife. Let's explore some effective strategies.


Importance of Regular Exercise and Physical Activity

Regular exercise is vital for keeping our bodies strong and resilient. It helps with weight management, improves mood, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. For us in midlife, staying active also means better mobility and flexibility, which are key to aging gracefully.


Strategies for Incorporating Movement into Your Daily Routine

  1. Daily Walks: I schedule a daily walk, sometimes two. Walking not only helps with physical fitness but also provides a mental break and a chance to enjoy nature.
  2. Exercise Snack Breaks: Throughout the day, I incorporate short exercise breaks. Whether it's stretching, mobility exercises, or a quick workout, these breaks keep me active and energized. As I mentioned before, these little breaks are so important, especially in menopause, for keeping our bodies moving well and feeling good.
  3. Pickleball and Gym Sessions: I play pickleball a few times a week and go to the gym twice a week. These sessions are fun and keep me motivated to stay active. Plus, having a regular schedule helps make exercise a consistent part of my routine.


Tips for Maintaining Emotional Well-Being Through Self-Care Practices

Morning Quiet Time: Starting the day with quiet time, journaling, and setting intentions helps me manage my mind and stay positive. As I shared earlier, this routine is essential for my mental peace and sets the tone for the day.

Mindset Management: Using techniques like journaling and intentional thinking, I actively manage my mindset. This helps me stay focused on positive thoughts and goals, reducing stress and anxiety.

Family and Social Connections: Spending quality time with family and friends, delegating tasks, and teaching children responsibilities all contribute to a supportive and balanced home environment. These connections are vital for emotional health.



Recap of Key Points

We've covered several steps to help you set yourself up for success: 

  1. Pre-Plan Your Day, Week, and Month: Time blocking and planning ahead reduce stress and increase productivity.
  2. Establish a Morning Routine: Starting your day with a positive mindset and setting intentions is crucial for mental and emotional health.
  3. Delegate Tasks for Efficiency: Sharing responsibilities within the family frees up time for more important tasks.
  4. Tackle Difficult Tasks First: The “eat the frog” method helps you overcome procrastination and boosts productivity.
  5. Incorporate Flexibility and Buffer Time: Buffer time allows for adjustments and maintains balance in your schedule.
  6. Manage Your Mindset: Techniques like journaling and positive thinking help maintain a healthy mental state.
  7. Maintain Physical and Emotional Health: Regular exercise and self-care practices are essential for overall well-being.



I encourage you to try these strategies in your own life. Remember, setting yourself up for success takes time and practice, but the benefits are well worth the effort. By incorporating these steps, you can create a balanced, productive, and fulfilling life.

"Pre-decide as much as you can ahead of time... This is really the key to success."

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Dr. Amen

Full Focus Planner

Life Coach School 


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