How To Set Weekly Anchor Points To Keep Your Goals On Track
Anchors are the weekly appointments you set with yourself that ensure you don't go an entire week without doing what brings you joy, keeps you sane, or makes you better.
A weekly religious service is a great example; if you go every week, it's a built-in routine for you, without much anxiety, stress, or effort. You probably aren't forcing yourself to go to morning mass every day, but a once-a-week appointment creates a simple balance with expectation.
With health and wellness, we tend to overpromise and underdeliver, and we're either in the routine or out of it. Anchor appointments help to make sure you never fully fall out of a routine.
How to get started.
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To develop your anchor points, start with what healthy activities you'd like to prioritize in your life. A few examples might be eating more fiber and greens, working out, and prioritizing sleep.
Then place a specific "anchor" on the calendar to achieve those priorities. Anchor appointments can't be canceled, and there's never more than one of them booked in a day, so the maximum number you'll ever have on the calendar is seven. I suggest starting slow, with just a few anchor appointments at a time. The objective is to build these behaviors into effortless habits that enrich your life without adding anxiety.
3 specific anchor points that work for me:
- Monday morning: My Monday morning Fab Four smoothie is always a super-green, hydrating, and fiber-rich recipe. It sets the tone for my week and helps me get back in the habit if I had a traditional weekend breakfast.
- Saturday morning: I always attend my 9:30 a.m. yoga class. This me-time is a negotiated weekend hour to myself in which my husband, Chris, watches our son Bash. As an entrepreneur, I need help to unwind, and this sets the tone for my weekend keeping me moving and ensuring that work obligations never get in the way.
- Sunday night: I set a 9 p.m. no-screens bedtime for Sunday night. This helps me start the week fresh rather than staying up late streaming the next binge-worthy show. This "in-bed' anchor is paramount for my ability to eat clean, work out with intensity, and efficiently complete work tasks.
Don't be afraid to ask for help! It's better to get started with support than not to start at all, so if your goal is to get active, find an accountability partner, schedule your classes in advance, or hire a trainer for the first few weeks to help ensure your commitment to the weekly anchor point.