Last week, I realized that we only have 90 days left in the year, and for some reason that really made an impact on me. Nothing drastic changes once we stop writing the year as 2019 and start writing it as 2020, but there is some symbolism in the passing of another calendar year.
I thought it would be fun to veer off course today and chat about this last quarter. What does it mean? What could we do differently? What are some things I’m personally working on? How can you make the most of the last three months yourself? Here we go …
How we can make the most of the last 90 days of 2019
October, November and December mean fall, cooler weather (hopefully), changing leaves, shorter days, earlier nights, Halloween, Thanksgiving, travel, holidays, the start of winter, (my birthday), Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It all starts to fly by once we enter this time of year, right?
While it seems like the last 90 days are a throw-away season, this portion of time makes up 25 percent of the year. And 25 percent of the year is a good opportunity to do things. 🙂
What I’m focusing on for the last 90 days of the year
I actually have a little more space just for me during the last quarter of the year, because now that Brady’s in preschool two mornings a week, I will have six hours free each week, which I haven’t had since he was born (outside of a few mornings of summer camp over the summer). I don’t plan to use that time for the gym, which means most of my workouts will be in the afternoon now, which isn’t my top choice for timing, but is when I teach classes three days a week anyhow and what fits in best right now. However, I will probably sub BODYPUMP on Wednesday mornings here and there when Brady is at preschool, because I like that class slot, and the instructor always asks me first when he needs someone. I’m actually subbing this Wednesday, which will take up most of my Brady-free time that day, but that will only be a sporadic occurrence.
With my extra free time in the morning, I plan to get ahead on my freelance fitness writing (I have one big client, and I write several articles with social media copy for them a month and usually end up cramming it in right before the deadline), I want to continue to grow my Beautycounter business, I plan to keep up with my twice weekly posts on A Lady Goes West, and I also plan to work on the new addition of a bi-weekly A Lady Goes West newsletter (the second edition goes out this Wednesday, and here’s how to sign up for it). It’s my hope that I can get more done during the daytimes and naps now so that I don’t have to work on the computer every single night after dinner, which I have been doing for the last two years.
However, it remains to be seen if I can get away without working at night, because along with keeping up with what I’ve got going on, I’m adding a couple of things starting this quarter. Originally, I didn’t plan to add anything and just get ahead and coast a little, but what can I say — I’m being pulled to branch out and I love to learn new things — also, whenever I think I’m about to have a comfortable handle on everything, I always decide to add on and get a tidbit uncomfortable again. And this is all my choice, so I won’t be complaining about it, I promise … 🙂
Here’s what I’m up to …
- A new group fitness program: I’m going to go through the certification process to teach another group fitness program in early November. Can you guess which one? It’s NOT Les Mills. It’s a mat-based program set to great music, and it’s pre-choreographed.
- A nutrition certification: I’m also going to go through the process of getting a nutrition certification, which is something I’ve wanted to do for years and years. I’m going through Precision Nutrition’s Level 1 Certification, and I’m going to talk more about that later. Precision Nutrition is super high quality, and I’m sooooo eager to get a better understanding of diet and behavior change around it too — I heard the founder talk at IDEA Fitness Convention this summer, and that was all I needed to sign up. It will take me several months to complete the program, and I’ll keep you posted along the way with what I’m learning.
Personally, I know that this quarter will be a little challenging in the parenting department, with an adorably active crazy toddler. You guys know that Dave has a very busy job and is gone some nights and weekends for games and events, and we’re about to get into the heart of that soon — well, we’ve pretty much started that already actually. Dave does a great job of being home as much as he can, and he usually makes it home just in time to give Brady his dinner and bath at night on weeknights if he doesn’t have events. But when he has events, it means I’m in charge, and by the end of the day, I’m really ready for a break. I love that Dave has a great job that he loves, but it would be nice to have him home more. This is not a sob story at all, it’s just the truth, and yes, I do realize it could be a lot worse. But we’re just being open here and getting it all out there.
I already completed a few of my goals for 2019 — woohoo (one of them was to start a meditation practice, and I’ve been going strong on that for almost six months). However, I do have some goals that I hoped to accomplish this year that I haven’t achieved yet. One of them was to grow my Instagram account, because it’s something that seems to be more and more important these days in the blogger/influencer world — however, every day I set out to spend more time engaging and being active on Instagram, and I end up running out of time and falling short.
Fitness wise, I also hoped to be able to knock out a ton of unassisted pull-ups, and well … I’m not there yet either, and quite frankly haven’t even been working on it. I spend most of my time at the gym teaching group fitness classes or practicing for them, and while that improves my overall fitness levels, it doesn’t improve my performance in specific skills. If you want to do something, you have to work at it.
That being said, it’s TOTALLY up to me to address these goals, and I really need to refocus on them. Perhaps writing them down and sharing them with you will help? Wish me luck!
Now let’s talk about you …
What are some things you can do to make the most of the last quarter of the year
I’m not going to sit here and tell you to start dieting and hit the gym to slim down for the holiday parties. Not my style at all. But what I will tell you is that if there’s something you’ve been wanting to do, you may as well get that thing going now, rather than wait until January 1, as some random point in time in the future when you’ll make changes.
Get started now, don’t wait
Because just deciding to do something is often the hardest part, so jump in. For instance …
- Are you ready to start a side hustle? Today’s a great day to get that going. Take the first step. You never know where it will take you. That’s how I got started in group fitness.
- It is time to ditch some negativity in your life? Goodbye to all that this very minute. Unfollow. Delete. Cancel. Unfriend. Whatever. Life is too precious to be around negative people. (And if you work with them and can’t get away, try your best to let all of their negativity roll right off you and be armed with positive thoughts during your interactions.)
- Do you want to try a new workout program? How about now? Download, enroll, book a class and get moving. Take it from me, the gym starts to get a little less crowded this time of year too, so it’s a great time to join if that’s the route you’re planning to take. But home workouts work too.
- Are you in need of some inspiration and a change of pace in your day-to-day life? Start a new hobby. Put yourself out there. Pick up a musical instrument, etc.
- Are you getting the itch to switch jobs? Dust off your resume and apply. You’ll never know what’s out there until you try.
The point is: There’s no sense in waiting until the start of a new year when everyone else is trying to start things up too. Just get started now! That way, you’ll be a lot further along at the beginning of 2020 then you would be if you wait.
Take extra good care of yourself
And while you’re trying new things, I’d recommend taking EXTRA good care of yourself throughout the last quarter. Because with the stress of the holidays, the cooler weather and the booked calendar, it’s often that we skimp on sleep, skip workouts and rely on more convenience food than normal, and all of that leaves us feeling lethargic and unwell. That’s why I think now is a great time to focus on FEELING good.
Here’s how to make yourself feel good, focusing on the basics …
- Drink a lot of water. A lot of it. Every single day. Maybe even your bodyweight in ounces (a 150-pound person would drink 150 ounces) as a goal. Also, start your day with a huge glass of room temperature water before you drink anything else to rehydrate and flush out the toxins that built up in your system overnight. Speaking of which, I’ve been slacking in this department lately and need to change that, because I use to kill it here.
- Eat a lot of veggies. Have you ever wondered why veggies are so good for you? They are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so they actually support your system. They give you energy, build up your immunity and even help you avoid chronic disease. You can’t beat that. Eating veggies really does make you feel good.
- Get at least 7 hours of quality sleep a night. Sleep is everything. Life is better when you are well rested. And I know this because I went from having amazing sleep before Brady was born to terrible sleep during about the first 10 to 11 months of Brady’s life, and it affected every part of my life. I’m not a perfect sleeper now, but I do my best to turn off technology about 30 minutes before bed, wear a slumber mask, apply my topical magnesium and shoot for at least seven solid hours a night. Being well rested makes for a much better day overall. And fun fact: When times get busy, get to bed earlier. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s a great choice.
- Practice self-care. Maybe it’s a daily meditation practice, painting your nails, getting regular massages, taking quiet walks in nature or even getting acupuncture. Try to make time for some small things that make you feel cared for, even when you’re feeling busy. It’ll fill you up.
- Move more. While you don’t have to exercise every single day, you should be moving every single day. If you have a desk-based job, then make sure you are getting up to walk and stretch at least once an hour, and try to be active before and after work as well. If you need a little motivation, try booking your workouts in advance or blocking them in your calendar a week ahead of time to keep you honest. Organic movement works too, so hikes, bike rides and playing outdoors also count.
If you’re physically taking care of yourself, you’re in a much better place to attack some new projects or revisit old goals too. And feeling good … well, it just feels good, so it’s worth the effort now and throughout the year.
Get some help and consider outsourcing
Even though the last three months of the year seem to fly by faster than the others, we can’t forget that this season actually makes up 25 percent of the year. That’s a good chunk. How can you make the most of the time?
I’d say you do that by focusing on what you’re good at and freeing up your time from things that you’re not good at. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but earlier this year, we decided to invest in a housecleaning service once a month, and they do all the deep cleaning. While I’m a neat freak, I’m NOT into cleaning and scrubbing, and it’s not something I want to spend time doing. So I don’t. I hired it out, and it saves me time and annoyance.
This is just one example, but there are a lot of other things you can outsource if you need to, and maybe if you gave yourself the gift of taking something off your plate, you’d be more open and ready to start something you really want to do. Think about it. Life is short, so if you’re sitting around waiting for the exact right time … well, you may be waiting forever.
Closing thoughts on the last 90 days
Once again, the world will not end at the end of 2019. But sometimes we all need a little kick in the pants to turn off cruise control and take actual control of the wheel, and it seems like the last quarter of the year is as good of a time as any to do just that. I wish you all the luck, my friends. Let’s do it together!
P.S. I really enjoyed writing this post. It literally flowed from my fingertips. I hope you like it.
Questions of the day
What’s something you want to focus on for the last quarter of 2019?
How was your weekend?
What’s one way you are going to try to feel your very best the rest of the year?