The 22 Do’s and Don’ts of Running For Beginners

The 22 Do’s and Don’ts of Running For Beginners

I would say 9 out of every 10 people who start running fail to form a running habit long-term.

It’s not because they don’t go in with the best intentions for success.

It’s simply because they don’t know right from wrong.

There is a huge amount of ways you can unnecessarily fail to form a running habit.

While the sport offers benefits that can’t be matched, it also presents some obstacles that, if not properly prepared for, can cause you to fail.

Luckily for you, I’m going to fill you in on the super-secret knowledge I wish I had starting out. 😊

Here, I’ll uncover the 22 do’s and don’ts to forming a successful running habit.

By following this advice, you’ll be leagues ahead of other beginners who attempt the sport.

This way, your path to running success will be clear of any unnecessary obstacles.

Before we get into the details, enter your email below to join my free 7-day training where I’ll teach you the exact framework you need to form a running habit long-term. It’s different than any other training out there.

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In this free course, I'll teach you the tools + resources you need to establish a running habit for life. You'll also get info on the right mindset strategies, learn mistakes you should avoid, and receive a training plan!

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    11 Running Don’ts For Beginners

    These are the common mistakes to avoid when you embark on your running journey.

    I made all these mistakes, and more, in the beginning.

    So, go easy on yourself if you’re committing one (or all 11) of these rookie no-nos. 😉

    1) Winging It

    This is, without exception, the most common mistake I witness in running.

    If you start running with no strategy or plan, you’re basically screwing yourself from the beginning.

    For some, even when I recommend following a training plan, they’ll say, “Well, I’m just not the planning-type.”

    Needless to say, I knew how that was going to turn out.

    Don’t be like those people.

    Be smart. Have a strategy going in. If your original strategy doesn’t work out perfectly, that’s okay!

    At least you now have a foundation to build upon.

    2) Running For Speed

    Many who start running let their ego take over and start sprinting from the get-go.

    This is a super common rookie mistake.

    The reason for this is that running on the surface seems super simple, right?

    All we do is run for a certain amount of time to achieve results.

    We’ll think…”What’s so hard about that?”

    Because of this way of thinking, many starting out think they should be able to run at a much faster pace than they’re actually capable of.

    This lack of respect for the difficulty of the sport is how newbie runners end up dry-heaving on the grass wondering why “they’re not cut out for it.”

    It’s one of the most foolproof forms of self-sabotage when it comes to running.

    3) Comparing Yourself to Others

    It’s always upsetting to see a new runner compare themselves to others.

    Mostly because they’re missing the true beauty of the sport.

    I’m non-competitive by nature, so running ended up being perfect for me.

    Your only competition is with the runner you were yesterday.

    Which is why running can transform you so immensely from the inside out.

    It’s a fast-track to insane personal growth!

    So, take no time paying attention to other runner’s stats or progress.

    It’ll do nothing for you and will severely slow your progress.

    4) Running Intuitively

    What I mean by running intuitively is not running with any tracking device and only basing the length and pace of the run by how you feel.

    While at one point in time I thought this was beneficial as a newbie runner, I now know better.

    Every time I attempted this approach, I would end up overshooting my pace or quitting before I hit my distance goal.

    My running progress suffered.

    When I had no concept of pace, I thought I could maintain a faster running speed which caused me to quit early.

    Having no concept of distance left me thinking I’d already run 2 miles when I’d only completed 0.2 miles.

    In the beginning, having an awareness of your running stats throughout the run is necessary to pace yourself both physically and mentally.

    Gain more running experience before you ditch the watch and run intuitively.

    And for full disclosure, running intuitively may work for some! If you really feel you’d be better off not knowing your distance or pace, then do you.

    Just know that this can be a slippery slope when starting out.

    5) Skipping Rest Days

    Overexcited beginners (like my previous self) tend to do too much, too quickly.

    Once they see themselves start to progress, they’ll think it’s beneficial to run as much as possible – in other words, they’ll start skipping rest days.

    Take it from me.

    This is the quickest and easiest way to put you out of running commission.

    It’s by this approach that I developed a running injury within my first few months of running.

    Which then put me out of running for two solid months.

    Meaning I had to start my running progress over when I was healed.

    Some of you may be thinking, “A rest day? Sure! What’s so hard about that?”

    Trust me, once you start seeing the killer benefits you get from forming a running habit, you’ll understand why taking a rest day can become difficult.

    6) Signing Up For a Half-Marathon Right Away

    If this sounds a tad insane, you’d be surprised.

    Many decide to start running BECAUSE they sign up for a half-marathon.

    Before even starting a running habit.

    What’s crazy is this happens ridiculously often.

    I know a few personally who have done this with full marathons!

    The reason for this is these people often see half-marathons as a bucket-list item they only complete once and that’s it. Which is their prerogative.

    However, even if that’s the intention, they’re still at risk for a myriad of injuries by not having a running background beforehand.

    They’ll have no concept of how long it takes to build a running base, the pace they should train at, what running style feels natural to them, their racing strategy, etc.

    Take it from my running journey.

    Running may seem simple, but there are a number of lessons you only learn through experience.

    And many of these lessons should be learned before running your first half.

    If you have goals as a beginner to run a half or full marathon in the future, more power to you!

    Just don’t forget to plan those shorter distance races first. Have patience!

    7) Neglecting Proper Recovery

    Newbie runners often forget (or think they can live without) proper recovery techniques.

    These include post-run stretching, foam rolling, yoga, etc.

    Anything that promotes blood circulation and flexibility to the muscles after running.

    I was one of those beginners who thought I could get away with never recovering properly.

    I always saw it as an “extra precaution”.

    Don’t be like me. 😉

    Be a responsible runner from the start and take care of your body!

    8) Getting Frustrated

    Many quit before they even glimpse their full running potential due to frustration.

    This usually stems from us wanting instant gratification…because let’s face it…we live in a quick-fix society!

    What’s amazing and humbling about running is it reaffirms that we need to work hard to achieve greatness.

    It gives you serious lessons in commitment, hard work, and dedication.

    Many decide to skip these lessons and quit.

    When it doesn’t feel easy as a beginner, don’t get frustrated.

    Instead focus on the fact that these are the most crucial, character-building running lessons you’ll learn as a beginner.

    9) Not Managing Your Time

    One of the many reasons I hear from people failing to start running is that they “don’t have the time.”

    Most of the time this is a cop-out.

    When I offer ways they could fit running into their schedule, they make up another excuse.

    This is yet another form of self-sabotage.

    If you want to form a running habit and gain the benefits it offers, you make the time.

    That’s it.

    10) Taking  Failure Personally

    If you stop taking failure personally, not only will you be able to form a running habit, but you’ll be able to accomplish any goal you set for yourself in life.

    It’s insanely powerful.

    Stop seeing your running setbacks as failures and start seeing them as opportunities to improve.

    I like to think of my “failures” as a challenge or game.

    My goal is to always be better than I was yesterday.

    Hence why I’m such a fan of personal development and running. 😉

    There’s nothing scary about failure.

    Failures are just the series of lessons we need to make us better.

    What you really fear is the way failure makes you feel.

    And you don’t have to make it mean anything.

    11) Ignoring Mindset Work

    Now, I know my take on running is a bit unique.

    And that personal development and running aren’t routinely mixed in the fitness community.

    But this is why what I teach WORKS.

    You need to have a plan for your mindset when running gets hard.

    Without the mindset for success, you’ll never stick with running when the doubts kick in.

    I teach my students the mindset tactics needed to maintain a running habit in my program Run Your Life – and it works wonders.

    This is because running at its heart is completely mental.

    Trust me, you’ll understand this around Mile 1 when you want to throw in the towel.

    So, pay attention to your thoughts when it comes to running.

    Train your mind alongside your body when it comes to this sport.

    11 Running Do’s For Beginners

    Now, let’s get to the key elements that will lead you to successfully form a running habit!

    If you commit to these little actions, you’ll get there much faster than I did. 😊

    1) Start Slow

    If you’re doing it right in the beginning, you’ll be going so slow that it feels like turtle-speed.

    Ultimately, your running speed should pass the talk-test within the first couple weeks to ensure you’re acclimating your body to the movements of running.

    This gives your body time to adjust, while also allowing you to mentally work your way up to a faster pace.

    So, have patience and slow down!

    You’ll be going faster in no time – or if you want to stay slow that’s okay too. 😊

    2) Follow a Plan

    Be sure to have some type of plan before you hit the road.

    Even if your only plan is for that run, just know how long, how fast, and where you’ll be running before you start.

    You’d be surprised at the number of people who fail to do this!

    You’ll be happy you took the time to prepare beforehand.

    It’ll be one less thing to worry about.

    3) Run Based On Time Spent

    This is something I swear by, and it’s a huge reason I was able to finally succeed at forming a running habit.

    Determine the length of your runs on time spent, not mileage.

    Don’t even pay attention to mileage during your runs in the beginning.

    The reason is this: running 1 Mile will seem way more intimidating than running for 10 minutes.

    It’s purely mental. But remember, most of running success is mental.

    So, just give this a try.

    To this day I still prefer following this method.

    4) Be Consistent

    This may seem obvious, but most newbie runners fail to actually stay consistent.

    Which is basically setting yourself up for running failure.

    While all sports favor consistency – running success is especially built on methods of consistency.

    You can’t progress running-wise without it.

    If you think back to the times you’ve tried to form a running habit and failed, I guarantee all of those times you weren’t consistent in your efforts.

    So, proceed with your running goals through small, consistent runs.

    One day at a time.

    Before you know it, you’ll be crushing longer distances in no time!

    5) Sign Up For a Small Race

    While I don’t recommend signing up for a race before you start, within a few weeks or so, don’t be afraid to sign up for your first race.

    This can be a 5K race or even something smaller like a 1-Mile race (they do exist!).

    It’s good for morale to get around other runners and to use them as inspiration.

    And don’t be nervous!

    Racing and the running community are super welcoming.

    There are people of all spectrums of ages, race, and background looking to achieve the same goals you are.

    6) Practice Proper Running Safety

    To ensure you’re preventing unnecessary injury, incorporate proper running safety techniques into your running routine.

    The most discouraging thing that can happen is developing an injury in your first month running.

    You can prevent this by warming up pre-run, investing in the right running gear, and sticking to a post-run recovery routine.

    To most newbie runners these extra acts seems tedious and over the top.

    Do them anyway.

    7) Make It Enjoyable

    A number of runners in the beginning stages will complain about how hard the sport is, but they rarely brainstorm ways they can make the runs more enjoyable!

    Take the time to really investigate ways you can make those first, less-than-spectacular runs more enjoyable for yourself.

    If you do, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

    Some examples include listening to an audiobook, running in a pretty location, or downloading a new podcast.

    Whatever works for you!

    8) Lower Your Expectations

    When you start, you’ll be eager to get to the end result of your running journey.

    You’ll want running to immediately feel enjoyable and effortless.

    That’s unfortunately not how it works.

    Running when you start isn’t glamorous.

    It’s a combination of heavy breathing, sweaty foreheads, and frustrated expletives (at times).

    This isn’t to deter you from the sport, because the benefits are well beyond worth it.

    And you’re 120% capable of achieving them.

    However, you need to have a grasp on reality when starting.

    It’s often that our expectations of running are too high in the beginning that causes us to fail.

    9) Become a Well-Versed Runner

    Before hitting the road, be sure to acquire some basic running knowledge first.

    You’d be surprised at the number of runners in the beginning who have zero knowledge of the sport.

    Not only is this unsafe, since you won’t know the proper safety and training techniques, but it’ll make you sound pretty silly to your running comrades. 😉

    So, take a bit of time to research basic topics such as running form, running fuel, and proper running gear.

    10) Focus on Your Brain

    As I routinely mention, running for beginners is hard.

    The quicker you accept this, the more successful you’ll be.

    Because of this, it’s necessary to focus on your brain during this process.

    This is because your primitive brain will constantly be trying to convince you that running’s a horrible idea.

    Our brains have a nasty way of digging us into a self-sabotage circle.

    Even when we’re fully capable of completing the task at hand.

    So, develop a mindset approach that you can use to combat those negative thoughts when necessary.

    This will truly make or break your success.

    11) Have a Strategy

    Not having a strategy as a new runner is like having the tools without the manual.

    It’ll only leave you feeling unprepared and frustrated.

    Which usually means you’ll quit before you even start seeing results.

    I struggled with this for a long time before I successfully formed a running habit.

    Over years, I would find myself picking up the sport and putting it down.

    Nothing stuck, and I couldn’t make it work. I assumed that meant I wasn’t capable.

    It was all because I didn’t have a strategy or plan to start running efficiently.

    This is the most common reason I see for someone not forming a running habit successfully.

    And it’s the easiest problem to solve.

    Because of these common struggles, I now teach newbie runners to develop a running habit long-term in my running program Run Your Life.

    This program teaches you everything you need to start running successfully.

    What makes this program special is I’ll teach you the personal development tactics necessary to run long-term.

    Which is what every simple training plan you’ll find online is missing.

    I go deep into how to kickstart your brain for running success.

    I then get to the nitty-gritty of all the running-based knowledge you’ll need to be successful.

    Then, I give you an effective plan to get you developing a running habit in less than a month.

    If forming a running habit is something you truly desire, I recommend checking out the Run Your Life program.

    To Wrap Things Up…

    I truly hope this article gave you some insight as to what it really takes to start running successfully.

    There’s a ton of misguided information out there concerning running.

    Most resources give you the actions to take, but not how you’ll bring yourself to commit to the actions given.

    And this is what’s really important when you’re half a mile in and want to throw in the towel.

    What do you think the hardest part of forming a running habit is? 

    Cheers,

    Kat Rentas

    Founder, A Next Level You

    Free "Run Your Life" 7 Day Training

    In this free course, I'll teach you the tools + resources you need to establish a running habit for life. You'll also get info on the right mindset strategies, learn mistakes you should avoid, and receive a training plan!

      Subscribe to receive regular updates and get access to the course.

      Hey, I’m Kat!

      A Next Level You Home

      I created A Next Level You as a space for like-minded individuals to connect and learn ways they can reach their health, fitness, and personal development goals.

      I learned how to establish a healthy identity from the inside out. I’m here to teach you how to do the same!

      I can’t wait to meet the healthiest, happiest version of YOU! 

      You can read my story here…

       

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        47 Simple Ways To Declutter Your Life

        47 Simple Ways To Declutter Your Life

        Without even realizing it, there are a number of ways we’re unnecessarily adding clutter to our daily lives.

        After a while, we become so used to feeling scatterbrained and overwhelmed that we assume it’s due to our workload or our hectic schedules.

        Most of the time, it’s actually due to a ton of unnecessary clutter we’ve packed into our days.

        What’s absolutely ah-mazing is that simple little tweaks can allow us to feel immediately “clearer”!

        In this article, I’m going to list 47 simple ways you can declutter your life both physically and mentally.

        By decluttering aspects of our lives, we are ultimately cleaning up the chatter in our brains.

        Which is what we need to truly be successful at any goal we set for ourselves.

        Grab This Free Weekly Productivity Journal!
        So you can learn to get more done, in less time. 

          Subscribe to receive regular updates and to get access to this download.

          47 Simple Ways To Declutter Your Life

          1) Always make your bed in the morning

          By doing this you trigger a sense of accomplishment right away.

          It leads you on a mental path to more successfully complete the tasks you schedule for the day.

          Trust me on this one!  Such a simple act, but so life-changing.

          2) Schedule time to check email

          Or social-media.

          I’ve developed a habit of checking mine only after I’ve completed my most important task of the day. Which is usually by 12pm.

          This creates so much extra space for you to concentrate mentally.

          3) Clean your workspace

          Make sure you only have items in your workspace that you need.

          We tend to go overboard with “cutesy” items on our desks that have nothing to do with completing our tasks.

          Just be sure you eliminate any unnecessary clutter so your brain’s ready to go to work at all times.

          4) Create a minimalist capsule wardrobe

          Set aside 30-35 items of neutral clothing that all go together.

          In the future, only purchase items that incorporate well into your new wardrobe.

          This way you won’t ever have to spend hours picking out your clothes for the next day.

          I’m currently working on this now, and it’s a huge weight lifted off my shoulders!

          5) Clean your closet

          After you’ve chosen your wardrobe, get to work getting rid of the extra clutter.

          As a woman (who loves clothes) I know how crazy a closet can get. Take the time to sort items based on what you love and what you need.

          If an item doesn’t fit in either category, donate it.

          6) Use GCalendar

          I love organizing my tasks on Gcalendar since everything’s on one calendar out where I can see it.

          It’s also easy to rearrange tasks and organize them by color.

          This helps me keep my head clear as to what needs to be done every day.

          7) Create time buffers

          Don’t overfill your schedule so you’re left with more commitments than you can handle.

          Schedule extra pockets of time to complete tasks during the day so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

          8) Meditate for 5-minutes

          Every morning or evening.

          Just be sure to set aside time every day to be with your own thoughts.

          This is a great way to declutter pestering thoughts in your brain.

          9) Outsource tasks

          Realistically consider what daily tasks you could delegate to someone else.

          Oftentimes, it’s the small, menial tasks in a day that take up all of our time.

          10) Follow the 1-minute rule

          I can’t take credit for this one.

          I first learned it from Gretchen Rubin in her podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

          Basically, any tasks that will take under a minute to complete, do immediately.

          For example, instead of throwing your clothes on the floor, take the extra 15-seconds to hang them up in your closet.

          Such an effective exercise!

          11) Get a mailbox

          It’s common to grab the mail and throw it on the counter (if you’re like me). Which can leave it sitting there for days.

          To fix this, I invested in a wall hanger that acts like an in-home mailbox.

          That way, there’s a specific place to throw the mail when we’re in a hurry.

          12) Simplify your diet

          Consider adding constraints to what you eat on a daily basis.

          For instance, if you want to eat healthier, it can cause a ton of chatter in your brain when you’re deciding what to eat.

          If you decide in advance that you won’t eat sugar or dairy, then the decision’s been made for you.

          Constraints such as this can make life much simpler!

          13) Keep all your cleaning supplies organized

          When it comes time to clean your living space, you’ll be unlikely to do it if you don’t have all the materials at the ready.

          Keep your cleaning items in one place.

          14) Consider paying expenses annually

          Or semi-annually.

          This can free up your brain from those monthly bills. Check into areas where you can do this.

          Oftentimes, you can score a discount doing this as well.

          15) Automate your payments

          These days all billing is paperless (or online) anyways.

          Schedule your payments to be automatic so you don’t have to stress over the due dates.

          16) Clean your email

          If this seems too overwhelming, consider just getting an entirely new email.

          I’ve done this and I highly recommend it!

          17) Keep your car clean

          The rule: If you have to clear out the clutter when there’s a guest, you have a problem.

          Many of you likely spend 30-minutes to 1-hour in this space every day.

          Make sure it’s clear of clutter so you don’t carry that mess with you throughout the day.

          18) Find a creative outlet

          Examples include painting, writing, making movies, etc.

          This is a great way to add self-expression and color to our lives. Which can help to replace much of the clutter you’re taking away.

          19) Establish a routine

          When you create rituals in your day-to-day life, you’re removing clutter mentally.

          This way you aren’t scatter-brained as to what task you should complete next. Your schedule’s already been set.

          20) Schedule your downtime

          We can often feel scatterbrained as to how we’ll spend our “off-time.”

          If we schedule our breaks beforehand this eliminates extra chatter in our brains.

          21) Consider ditching the purse

          Or at least only carrying the essentials.

          Half the time I don’t even carry a purse since I’ll likely only need my wallet and keys.

          However, when I do carry a bag to work at a coffee shop, I’ll make sure to only bring what I need.

          22) Choose friendships intentionally 

          This isn’t to say you should stop being friends with someone. But choose the friends you want to prioritize, instead of prioritizing everyone but yourself.

          You’ll realize just how much social interaction you’ve been doing to please others.

          23) Budget your money

          Establish a system for saving money that is realistic and works responsibly for you.

          By keeping your finances in order you’re eliminating mental chatter about money that is likely causing you stress.

          24) Use one planner and keep it simple

          We tend to become addicted to our planners.

          These days, it’s normal to decorate them for hours with stickers, calligraphy, and art. If this is your creative outlet, then do you!

          However, acknowledge when it’s just adding more clutter to the scheduling process.

          I suggest keeping it simple to start, then adding more personal touches when you have established a set schedule.

          25) Clean out your computer

          This is a big one, but it’s so worth it!

          Remove any unnecessary files. Move files you need long-term to an external hard drive. Get rid of most of the items on your desktop. Choose a simple, more minimalist background for your desktop as well.

          You won’t be sorry!

          26) Think before you buy

          This one’s a serious gamechanger.

          If you start buying things intentionally, instead of spontaneously, you’ll cut down on a ton of clutter in your life.

          27) Pack light

          I used to pack every little thing I thought I’d need for a trip. Which left me feeling scatterbrained.

          I had way too many things!

          Now, I intentionally pack items only if I’ll use them.

          28) Batch tasks

          Establish set times during the week when you complete certain tasks.

          For example, don’t clean parts of your house throughout the week. Schedule a period of time when you clean once a week.

          This makes it easier for your brain to concentrate on the task at hand.

          29) Organize that drawer of cords

          You know…that draw that contains all the electrical-type cords you haven’t used in possibly months (or years).

          First, untangle them. Since they’ll likely be a mess.

          Then, figure out which ones you need and which you can toss.

          30) Clear out phone apps

          Many of us download a huge number of apps without realizing it.

          After clearing out the apps I didn’t need, I realized I only needed a few.

          31) Use one water bottle

          This sounds trivial, but it’s a super simple way to declutter your space.

          How often do we leave glasses of water sitting around? This eliminates that problem.

          It’s also eco-friendly! You’ll never have to buy plastic water bottles again.

          I love mine and keep it with me at all times.

          32) Get rid of one thing every day

          Or if you prefer to pack a handful of items every week (or month) to donate that’s cool too!

          Just make it a priority to get rid of extra clutter in your living space.

          This is one of the most foolproof ways to instantly feel clearer.

          33) Consider eBooks instead

          Don’t get me wrong. I love old-fashioned books when it comes down to it.

          But I’ve made it a point to only buy books that I love.

          I’ll download the rest as eBooks on my Kindle.

          34) Journal every morning

          This allows you to set intentions and goals for the day.

          Which ultimately clears your mind and sets you on the right path.

          I recommend the 5-minute journal for this.

          35) Declutter your wallet

          Remove any cards, movie tickets, or coupons that you no longer have use for.

          Also, there are currently apps for most things you keep in your wallet anyways.

          36) Utilize the extra space under your desk

          I’ve only started doing this recently and it’s removed so much clutter from my workspace.

          I’ve incorporated small drawers to store notebooks in.

          37) Limit your screen time

          Without realizing it, spending too much time staring at a screen can severely impair our ability to think clearly.

          So practice setting limits on a daily basis.

          38) Clean your fridge weekly

          By doing this every week my fridge has stayed clean without even trying.

          It also allows me to more easily prep meals since I can see what items I actually have.

          39) Establish a fitness routine

          Incorporating a simple fitness routine can eliminate unnecessary mental chatter for the rest of your day.

          Leaving you better able to accomplish tasks at hand.

          • Sidenote: If you’re interested in forming a running habit consider joining my free 7-day run your life training where I’ll teach you how to start running right now. 

          40) Learn to say no

          By learning to say no to other people’s plans you’re clearing up more time for you to accomplish your tasks.

          This can feel difficult at first, but it becomes infinitely easier the more you practice.

          41) Read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”

          This book by Marie Kondo is a fan-favorite when it comes to intentionally decluttering your home and life. I highly recommend it.

          42) Organize your makeup

          I recommend investing in a counter-top organizer for your bathroom and a travel organizer for on-the-go.

          43) Follow the 1-year rule

          If you haven’t used something in one year, toss or donate it.

          44) Have seasonal storage

          Have items you only use certain times of the year? Consider packing them away for the months you don’t use them.

          45) Keep healthy snacks at the ready

          Seriously. At all times.

          It’s crazy the type of food frenzy we can get caught in if we don’t have healthy items available.

          This eliminates any worry you have of falling off the healthy wagon mid-day.

          46) Get ready the night before

          Don’t wait to get your clothes ready, plan your breakfast, or decide what workout you’ll do the morning of.

          Always plan your tasks the evening before you’ll do them.

          47) Remove expectations daily

          This one’s my personal favorite. 😊

          Schedule 15-minutes a day when you remove any expectations of yourself.

          What I mean is, mentally remove any expectations of where you should be or what you should be doing at that time.

          Just let yourself be present.

          Many meditate, or some prefer to just sit in silence with a cup of tea.

          If you practice doing this, it’s a huge weight lifted off your shoulders daily.

          To Wrap Things Up…

          While these 47 tips are all serious game-changers, even implementing a few is amazingly effective.

          When you declutter your space, you ultimately declutter your mind.

          Which clears the path for you to accomplish your goals and to achieve the results you desire.

          Trust me on this! 😊

          Let me know how you declutter your life!

          Cheers,

          Kat Rentas

          Founder, A Next Level You

          Grab This Free Weekly Productivity Journal!
          So you can learn to get more done, in less time. 

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            Hey, I’m Kat!

            A Next Level You Home

            I created A Next Level You as a space for like-minded individuals to connect and learn ways they can reach their health, fitness, and personal development goals.

            I learned how to establish a healthy identity from the inside out. I’m here to teach you how to do the same!

            I can’t wait to meet the healthiest, happiest version of YOU! 

            You can read my story here…

             

            Join My Email Family!

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              The Ultimate Guide to Cold Weather Running

              The Ultimate Guide to Cold Weather Running

              If you’re like me (and possibly live in Florida) then nothing excites you more than the prospect of running in sub 50-degree weather.

              When you’ve spent months planning runs around the blazing summer heat, the fall/winter months are a much-needed break! 🙌🏼

              Cold weather running is my favorite by far, however, there are several factors we want to consider when properly preparing for running in lower temps.

              Such as what running gear to invest in, the safety measures we should take, and what little tweaks will make our cold weather runs more enjoyable.

              There are aspects to running in the cold that aren’t so glamorous either.

              Not so graceful falls on ice, runny noses, and super tense muscles are all regular guest stars in my winter running sitcom.

              It’s best to be prepared as early as possible since cold weather can hit out of nowhere.

              Don’t make the same mistakes I have and be left unprepared, running in shorts, in frigid temps below 45-degrees.

              Preparing for the cold will not only keep your safer and running more efficiently but will prevent disturbed onlookers from yelling things like “put some damn clothes on, it’s cold outside.” 😉

              Before we get started, enter your email below to snag your free cheat sheet where I’ll uncover the 7 most common newbie runner mistakes – and how you can avoid them.

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                Cold Weather Running Gear

                While you shouldn’t have to break the bank investing in the colder months, there are a few pieces of gear you’ll want to have on hand.

                Some of these aren’t essential to run per se; however, make a mental note to get these items eventually.

                They will make your runs infinitely more enjoyable.

                Sweat-Wicking Layers

                Investing in sweat-wicking gear is beyond crucial for the winter months.

                Cotton is the enemy of running and should be avoided at all costs.

                It holds moisture and takes forever to dry. Which will leave you feeling cold, wet, and miserable during your run.

                Sweat-wicking gear doesn’t have to be expensive either! You can find affordable, quality options at your local department store.

                And they last longer!

                Windbreaker Jacket

                You want to invest in a jacket that is breathable and protects you against wind and precipitation.

                If it’s super cold out, this is when I’ll layer fleece over the windbreaker to provide some extra warmth and insulation.

                However, a layer that repels moisture and wicks sweat is the ultimate must.

                The best materials are usually Gore-Tex or nylon.

                Running Tights

                ‘Cause you’ll obviously need a warm, sweat-wicking layer to cover up dem legs!

                They even have fleece-lined leggings that wick away sweat and feel super lightweight. 😊

                Cold Weather Running Socks

                While running socks are always necessary to prevent blisters and provide cushioning, you’ll want to be sure you invest in cold weather socks specifically.

                Cold weather running socks are thicker, moisture-wicking and provide breathability. 

                They’re so worth it!

                Fleece-Lined Headbands

                For the winter months make sure you have a fleece-lined headband that covers your ears.

                Some opt for a standard running hat but my ears are relatively sensitive to the cold.

                So, they gotta be covered at all times!

                Sweat-Wicking Gloves

                I like to invest in sweat-wicking running gloves to wear underneath polar fleece gloves (or mittens).

                A super effective hack is to put packets of Hot Hands in each glove when it’s super cold!

                Reflective Vest

                Since there’s less daylight in the winter months, you’ll want to prepare for those night runs beforehand.

                A reflective vest is always essential for safety. 

                And you can find them for super cheap!

                Headlamp

                If you want to kick your night running game up a notch, invest in a quality headlamp.

                I absolutely love mine and swear by it. 

                I recommend purchasing a quality one since they’re super durable and can last for years.

                Compression Socks

                On top of being an extra layer (which is always a bonus), compression socks help promote blood flow to areas of the body.

                Which can further promote post-run recovery.

                They also come in a number of fun patterns and colors, which never hurts.

                Face Cover

                It took me so long to jump on this bandwagon! 

                For years, the blistering cold winds would leave my face chapped and freezing.

                If you have some frigid runs planned for your future make sure you invest in something to cover your face.

                I usually just buy these thick multi-purpose headbands that you can use to wear around your neck.

                Sunglasses

                The cold winds really tend to bother my eyes as well.

                These sunglasses are a sturdy, budget-friendly option that will get you through the winter months – no problem.

                Sunscreen

                Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean you won’t get burned!

                Snow reflects the suns rays and there isn’t any less UV exposure in the colder months.

                Practice proper skin-care and always pile on that SPF before heading out the door.

                Run Traction Cleats

                I can’t even with this one.

                These are basically snowshoes that you strap to your running shoes. 

                If you’re a hardcore trail runner prepping for your next tundra run you gotta invest in these ASAP!

                Cold Weather Running Safety

                To help ensure your safety be sure to put these tips into practice before hitting the road during the winter months.

                Stay Visible at Night

                Since there’s less sunlight during the winter months, you’ll want to be adequately prepared to run in the low light hours of the day.

                As mentioned, invest in a reflective vest so you’re always well-seen on the roads at night.

                They’re super cheap, which means there’s really no excuse for you to be skipping this safety essential.

                If you want to invest a bit more, you can purchase that handy-dandy headlamp. I love mine and use it often. Remember, I recommend purchasing a quality option since they tend to last much, much longer.

                Watch Out For Ice

                I’ve had my fair share of ice-related wipeouts due to the cold weather.

                It’s never pretty to slip and fall mid-run.

                Especially when you’re in the zone!

                So be mindful of areas where there’s more ice and consider running slower when the conditions are exceptionally bad.

                Having a severe fall on ice is a good way to put you out of running commission for months.

                So, don’t feel frustrated if you have to take it slow for a handful of runs throughout the year. Your safety is worth it.

                Post-Run Recovery

                It’s beyond essential we practice proper post-run recovery during the cold weather running months.

                This is because the cold weather causes our muscles to contract because they lose heat.

                Which causes our muscles to feel extra tight.

                We can prevent this by incorporating routine post-run recovery such as dynamic stretching, foam rolling, or a yoga practice.

                Watch Out For Traffic

                This is something I see all the time and want you to be aware of.

                When the sidewalks become unavailable due to snow, many runners opt for running on the main road instead.

                Which can be fine under some circumstances.

                But if you do this, do it smart.

                Run on a less busy road, wear your reflective gear, and be always conscious of the fact that some drivers don’t care to share the road.

                I’ve seen way too many close calls with this one.

                Just something to keep in mind.

                I care about your safety, okay?! 😊

                Don’t Forget to Hydrate

                I am SO guilty of this one regardless of the time of year.

                However, in the winter months, I forget to hydrate much, much more.

                It’s easy to forget how much water you really need when you don’t feel parched by the hot sun 24-7.

                So, even though the temps are lower, make sure you’re chugging adequate amounts of the good stuff every day.

                12-16 ounces of water about 1-2 hours before a run should be enough to get you properly hydrated pre-run.

                Your body, and your next run, will thank you.

                Keep Wind Chill in Mind

                The temperature outside can be one thing, but the wind chill can turn it into a whole other situation.

                As a runner always be double-checking the wind chill temperature.

                For those unaware, wind chill increases the rate of heat loss and reduces the temperatures of ambient objects to the surrounding colder temps.

                Which basically means there’s the potential for it to feel a bazillion times colder outside than it actually is.

                So, make sure to be aware of these conditions before hitting the road.

                Know When To Use The Treadmill

                If it’s really messy out there, just opt for the treadmill instead.

                Even if you absolutely hate it, sometimes it’s just better to bite the bullet and stay inside.

                If you are one of these individuals who can’t stand the “dreadmill” really think about ways you could make it more enjoyable!

                Some of my favorite ways to pass the time are podcasts, interval training, and watching shows on Netflix.

                Invest in a Road ID

                Road ID is an amazing resource to help ensure our safety during our runs.

                Safety becomes very, very important when we embark on the roads in colder conditions.

                It’s basically a wearable ID created specifically for athletes that provides first responders crucial emergency information in case of an accident.

                I also recommend downloading the Road ID App as it also displays this information on your phone, while also listing your emergency contacts.

                It even has a feature that allows loved ones to track your whereabouts! 

                Extra Tips for Cold Weather Running

                These are some extra little tips you can use to make cold weather running more bearable and enjoyable.

                Have That Hot Cocoa Waiting

                Or, whatever your warm beverage of choice is.

                Not even kidding. This is a gamechanger.

                Having your hot beverage ready the moment you get back from your blistering cold run is AMAZING.

                It’s also technically healthy to warm your body up ASAP post-run.

                Don’t Forget That Warm-up

                As I mentioned previously, the cold has a tendency to leave your muscles feeling tense.

                Meaning a proper warm-up is super crucial for preventing injury in the winter months.

                Not warming up your muscles beforehand can cause serious discomfort during your run.

                So don’t skip it!

                Running on Snow

                Running on snow is perfectly fine, you’ll just want to be a little more careful.

                Shorten your stride by taking smaller steps and keep your feet lower to the ground.

                This will give you better alignment and allow you to run more efficiently over the snowy terrain.

                Not to mention that it’ll further prevent some slippage there. 😉

                And don’t forget to check out those traction cleats that I mentioned earlier!

                Forget Pace (For A While)

                Give yourself time to adjust to the pressures of cold running before worrying about pace.

                There are factors your body will need to adjust to when you first start cold weather running.

                Such as breathing, muscle tension, running on different terrain (potentially) and the extra layers of clothing you’ll likely be wearing.

                So, start slow and then work your way up from there.

                Run Into The Wind

                This is one of the most useful tips for cold weather running I’ve ever discovered.

                During the first half of your run, be sure to run into the wind.

                This way, when your sweaty-self is making the turnaround, you won’t have the frigid wind blowing against you after you’ve gotten all sweaty.

                Genius, right?

                Throat Burning

                Although I rarely have this problem, it’s extremely common for runners to struggle with a burning sensation in their throat when running in cold weather.

                The main advice I’ve heard is to take it easy, keep your runs below average pace and allow your body time to adjust to the temps.

                I know from fellow runners that this can be a frustrating dilemma but be patient!

                Your body will adjust if you give it time.

                Do Laps By Your House

                You can also do laps by your car if you’re parked by a trail.

                This is a tip I always recommend since you’ll likely want to shed (or add) layers during the run.

                I do this all the time, as I’ll be dressed like I’m hiking the arctic tundra only to burn up after one mile.

                So, while you’re experimenting with how many layers you need, consider doing some laps past your house to drop off the layers you want to shed mid-run.

                Or, if you choose to wear minimal layers keep extras on hand in case you need them.

                Just be ready to experiment at first to see what works best for you. 

                Hot Shower, Warm Clothes STAT

                Don’t sit around in your cold, drenched running clothes when you get home.

                Take a hot shower, change into warm clothes, and then do your post-run recovery afterward.

                This is necessary to get the blood flowing so your muscles can release some tension.

                Plus, there’s nothing better than a hot shower after a cold run. 

                Stick To Your Training – No Matter What!

                You might be tempted to stay bundled up inside and skip your run when it’s cold.

                Don’t do this! 

                Cold weather running is super enjoyable once you get into it.

                And even if it’s not your jam, there’s no excuse to not stay on top of your training.

                Just run indoors on the treadmill instead. 😊

                To Wrap Things Up…

                So, there you have it my dedicated running peeps!

                It takes a true runner to embark on the trails even when it’s freezing out.

                If this will be your first season running in the cold, don’t worry.

                I thought I’d be miserable at first, but now cold weather running is my absolute favorite.

                Just be sure to have all the essentials in place, and give your body the time it needs to adjust.

                Happy Running!

                Cheers,

                Kat Rentas

                Founder, A Next Level You

                P.S. If you’re struggling to maintain a consistent running habit I can help! Sign up for my free 7-day training below and I’ll fill you in on how you can actually form a running habit for life. 😊

                Free "Run Your Life" 7 Day Training

                In this free course, I'll teach you the tools + resources you need to establish a running habit for life. You'll also get info on the right mindset strategies, learn mistakes you should avoid, and receive a training plan!

                  Subscribe to receive regular updates and get access to the course.

                  Hey, I’m Kat!

                  A Next Level You Home

                  I created A Next Level You as a space for like-minded individuals to connect and learn ways they can reach their health, fitness, and personal development goals.

                  I learned how to establish a healthy identity from the inside out. I’m here to teach you how to do the same!

                  I can’t wait to meet the healthiest, happiest version of YOU! 

                  You can read my story here…

                   

                  Join My Email Family!

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                    The 12 Reasons You Haven’t Formed a Running Habit

                    The 12 Reasons You Haven’t Formed a Running Habit

                    Have you struggled to start running consistently for months? Maybe even years?

                    This is something I hear a lot about from readers.

                    So many people try and form a running habit and end up failing.

                    Which usually makes them feel they aren’t cut out for it, so they just give up.

                    And it has NOTHING to do with their abilities! It has everything to do with their approach.

                    Running while a simple sport is one of the most resented in all of the fitness community.

                    There’s a polarity that seems to exist between people who love it and people who despise it.

                    You rarely find people who exist in the middle.

                    Why is this?

                    The people who love running have simply cracked the code.

                    They took the right approach and got the results they wanted: which was to form a running habit that they genuinely enjoy.

                    Those who approached running the wrong way, usually ended up with negative feelings towards it.

                    They ended up feeling frustrated and incapable.

                    Which is so unfortunate.

                    Especially since I always like to think the people who hate running are really “great runners who just don’t know it yet.”

                    Because half the time…it’s true. 😉

                    Here I’ll walk you through the 12 reasons why you haven’t yet formed a running habit successfully.

                    Before you start, enter your email below to join the free run your life 7-day training where I’ll teach you the framework you need to form a running habit that sticks.

                    Free "Run Your Life" 7 Day Training

                    In this free course, I'll teach you the tools + resources you need to establish a running habit for life. You'll also get info on the right mindset strategies, learn mistakes you should avoid, and receive a training plan!

                      Subscribe to receive regular updates and get access to the course.

                      The 12 Reasons You Haven’t Formed a Running Habit

                      1) You Hate It

                      Or at least you think you do!

                      As I briefly mentioned, those that hate running normally think they do because they haven’t successfully formed a running habit.

                      They’re making their failure with running mean something about them.

                      I always tell those in my Run Your Life program to only decide whether you hate running after you’ve been running for a solid month.

                      In the beginner stages running sucks for everyone.

                      For many, what makes it seem so ruthless in the beginning is the simplicity of it.

                      Any sport feels difficult at first! But with running, it’s just you and the road.

                      Which causes people to notice the discomfort in a clearer way.

                      It’s easier to become frustrated and impatient when the activity of running SEEMS so simple.

                      I’m the perfect person to teach you this because I hated running for years!

                      My relationship with running was awful.

                      I would constantly think, “What’s so friggin’ hard about this?! Why can’t I just run like a normal person?”

                      Which of course led me to become frustrated and quit many, many times.

                      But, eventually, I gave it a real chance. And it paid me back ten times over.

                      It takes a little time and effort before you start to reap the actual rewards from running.

                      Which is the case with anything worth having.

                      However, once you crack that code, running starts to feel enjoyable.

                      Which is when it gets addicting. 😊

                      2) You Aren’t Consistent

                      If I could give one single tip to be successful at anything in life it would be consistency.

                      Consistency is king.

                      Only by the accumulation of small, everyday efforts do massive life-changing results happen.

                      You need to show up for yourself every single day.

                      I love the quote by Brooke Castillo that states, “Big wins are made up of little wins. Big quits are made up of little quits.”

                      Each step you take matters, no matter how small the step.

                      So, if you attempt a running habit and want to see results, follow through with your plans to run.

                      Those shorter, difficult runs in the beginning are the most important.

                      3) You Think You’re Just “Bad at It”

                      It’s likely you see runners on the side of the road and think, “What do they have that I don’t?”

                      Well, what they have is the ability to persist and keep running – even when it doesn’t feel so good.

                      Every runner you see went through the same sucky beginner stage you’re currently going through.

                      It’s easy to look at experienced runners and think they’re unicorns.

                      That it comes naturally to them.

                      The difference between them and you is that they simply kept going.

                      You’ll need to think of the “beginner stage” as a right of passage you’ll have to conquer in order to earn the right for running to feel enjoyable.

                      4) You Rush The Process

                      Running may be simple, but it’s not easy.

                      For many people who start running their ego takes over from the first step.

                      They feel that if others can run at top speed than they should be able to as well.

                      Which means instead of slowly building up their running legs they sprint out the door like a bat out of hell.

                      Usually, it only takes about a quarter of a mile for these over-excited newbies to fall flat on their face (hopefully figuratively).

                      What’s surprising is you’d think these individuals would understand why they failed.

                      They didn’t start small enough. Simple, right?

                      However, most of the time, frustration ensues, and they come to the conclusion that running just isn’t for them.

                      Don’t be one of these people! Start slow.

                      5) You Think It’s Too Hard

                      Running isn’t supposed to feel good at first.

                      Which is the case for any workout you start that your body isn’t previously familiar with.

                      However, I’ll admit…

                      Running has the potential to REALLY not feel good at first.

                      But this isn’t a reason to not do it.

                      Let me explain why…

                      Our brains primitively teach us to think that anything which makes us feel badly is wrong.

                      Which means our cerebellum (aka our primitive brain) freaks out every time we attempt something new and uncomfortable.

                      It’s trying to protect us by giving us thoughts that self-sabotage our goals.

                      This primitive resistance held me back from my running goals for a very long time.

                      For years, the fact that running felt crappy was the main reason I always quit.

                      I mean why would I want to do something that felt so awful?

                      What I didn’t realize is that running gives you so much more back than you put into it.

                      After running consistently for a few weeks, I was happier, looked healthier, lost weight, slept better, and just became a better human being all around.

                      I’d say this is worth a handful of crappy runs, right?

                      6) You Make No Effort To Make It Enjoyable

                      I’ll regularly get people asking me how they can make running feel easier.

                      The first tip I usually give is to simply run more, since that’s the only way to make it feel easier in the long-term.

                      However, the other tip I give is to brainstorm every possible way you could make those initial crappy runs feel a tad less unenjoyable.

                      I’ll be honest, most people aren’t interested in taking the time to figure this out.

                      Most just want a magic elixir that will make them instantly love running.

                      But don’t let this be you!

                      Take the time to really think about ways you can make your runs enjoyable.

                      My favorite ways to entertain myself are podcasts, running in nature, listening to audiobooks, or incorporating some interval training.

                      7) You Don’t Have Time

                      This is never a reason to fail at forming a running habit.

                      When most people really examine their schedules, there are plenty of ways they could realistically incorporate a simple training plan into their week.

                      Most who use this as an excuse are really in avoidance mode.

                      Their fear of starting a running habit (and failing) is causing them to convince themselves that time is an issue.

                      This is a common form of self-sabotage that I see super often.

                      When I finally got over my fear and began managing my time efficiently, I was able to form a consistent running habit without much fuss.

                      Time-management is a simple concept that gives you immense freedom and structure in your life.

                      By managing your time effectively, you can incorporate running into your schedule – no problem. 😊

                      8) You Expect a Quick Fix

                      The concept of instant gratification has never been a bigger problem than it is today.

                      In this age, most of our needs can be met with a click of a button.

                      Unfortunately for us, the same cannot be said of forming a running habit.

                      Or any fitness habit for that matter.

                      Many refuse to accept this and think that any results they desire in life should happen quickly.

                      They refuse to put in a real effort when it comes to running.

                      The tough-love truth is this: we are insanely spoiled.

                      We have lost touch with the fact that hard work is necessary to obtain worthy results.

                      It sounds cliché, but it’s true: If running were easy, everyone would do it.

                      What makes the results so spectacular, is the arduous process of developing a running habit teaches you more about yourself than you’ll never know.

                      It’s the process, not the result, that gives you those life-long, earth-shattering changes.

                      This makes the journey so beyond worth it.

                      9) You Wait for Motivation to Strike

                      I always say if you wait for motivation to strike, you’ll be waiting a long friggin’ time.

                      I get so many questions from readers asking, “What do I do if I have no motivation to run?”.

                      I always reply with the truth: you can’t rely on motivation to get anything of value accomplished.

                      Because most results worth having are difficult to obtain.

                      Therefore, you’re not going to feel very motivated to do something that feels uncomfortable or hard.

                      Running feels very uncomfortable and hard in the beginning.

                      Therefore, you’re going to have to take action and run, despite the negative emotions telling you not to.

                      That’s it. It’s simple.

                      When you really think about it, motivation doesn’t serve you at all! It’s super flaky and won’t show up for you when you need it most.

                      So stop relying on it!

                      You’ll need to learn the traits of grit and resilience to get you to follow through with running when it feels difficult.

                      If you can learn to act despite the discomfort, you’ll produce amazing results in all areas of your life – including running.

                      10) You Have No Mindset Strategy

                      This is a massively ignored area in the fitness community.

                      The reason for this is that almost every fitness plan you’ll find focuses only on the ACTIONS you’ll take.

                      An example of this is a standard training plan for running.

                      It’ll give you the workout plan…and that’s it.

                      It won’t teach you how to get rid of self-doubt, what to do when you feel unmotivated, how to deal with your failures, how forming a habit actually works, etc.

                      Your brain won’t know how to handle the pressures of running when it comes time to act.

                      So, you’ll schedule all your upcoming runs and feel motivated. Then when the time comes to take action and run, you’ll feel paralyzed. Which prevents you from forming a running habit.

                      This happens all the time.

                      It’s the main reason why people fail to form a running habit long-term, despite the training plans they were given.

                      11) You Have Zero Running Knowledge

                      I can tell you from first-hand experience that not having running knowledge as a beginner is one of the worst things you can do.

                      To be honest, I didn’t have any clue as to what the right running shoes were, proper recovery, or the fact that I even needed to warm-up before a run.

                      This affected my running progress in a myriad of ways including countless blisters, running injuries, and blank stares from onlookers who were wondering why I was attempting to run in Converse Chucks.

                      Yeah, I’ve come a long way.

                      So, take the time to educate yourself and become knowledgeable about running.

                      Topics to consider would be the right running gear, proper running form, running fuel, and racing.

                      12) You Have No Plan

                      Not having a plan as a runner is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

                      This is another mistake I made all too often for years.

                      I would continuously attempt running with no goals on mileage, pace or frequency of runs.

                      Which would leave me feeling like I had no idea what the hell I was doing.

                      So, make sure you formulate or invest in a plan that you can stick to.

                      Also, many choose the wrong plan!

                      There are bad training plans out there that don’t take beginners into account.

                      So, keep this in mind and make sure you choose a plan that is tailored to a runner just starting out.

                      The Solution

                      So, there you have it, friend!

                      I hope these reasons helped you understand why you REALLY haven’t yet formed a running habit.

                      Running may feel hard at first, but it’s incredibly simple.

                      The problem is, running at its core is mental.

                      And the simple training plans you’ll find online don’t teach you to overcome your mental limitations when it comes to the sport.

                      Which is why I teach newbie runners the personal development tactics necessary to form a running habit in Run Your Life.

                      I’ve built a framework that reworks your mindset with running before you even start logging miles.

                      Which you’ll realize you need when you’re about a quarter-way through one mile and feel the self-doubt kicking in. 

                      Then, I walk you through all the running knowledge you’ll need as a beginner and I’ll give you a clear-cut, effective training plan that really works.

                      These are the exact methods I used to form a running habit, so if you’re interested, I recommend checking out Run Your Life ASAP. 😊

                      And if you’re still having trouble on how to best get started, join my 7-day free training, and I’ll help you start a running habit with a simple method that works.

                      Add your email to the form below to get started!

                      Cheers,

                      Kat Rentas

                      Founder, A Next Level You

                      Free "Run Your Life" 7 Day Training

                      In this free course, I'll teach you the tools + resources you need to establish a running habit for life. You'll also get info on the right mindset strategies, learn mistakes you should avoid, and receive a training plan!

                        Subscribe to receive regular updates and get access to the course.

                        Hey, I’m Kat!

                        A Next Level You Home

                        I created A Next Level You as a space for like-minded individuals to connect and learn ways they can reach their health, fitness, and personal development goals.

                        I learned how to establish a healthy identity from the inside out. I’m here to teach you how to do the same!

                        I can’t wait to meet the healthiest, happiest version of YOU! 

                        You can read my story here…

                         

                        Join My Email Family!

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                          20 Simple Time Management Tips — To Get More Done, In Less Time

                          20 Simple Time Management Tips — To Get More Done, In Less Time

                          Have you ever felt frazzled or out of control when trying to complete all your tasks in a day?

                          Or just feel like you’re always trying to catch up with your deadlines?

                          I get it. For a long time that was me. Almost every single day.

                          I would plan down to the hour, feel like I had my life together, and then become overwhelmed with my tasks and just throw in the towel.

                          This is a direct result of having poor time management.

                          It’s not that I had “too much on my plate” or that I was out of control of my results in life. I was just clueless in terms of how to manage my time properly. Which left me feeling stressed and frantic much of the time.

                          It’s amazing how simple time management can fast track us straight towards our goals.

                          And once you get proper time management tactics in place, it becomes easy to tackle the day.

                          One of the best feelings in the world is when you don’t have to question whether you’ll achieve everything you planned for a day because you’ve become a pro at scheduling and following through.

                          There’s no question that it’s nearly impossible to achieve any goal long-term without learning to manage your time properly.

                          Here we’ll cover how our perspective on time can affect our ability to plan and follow through.

                          Then, I’ll walk you through 20 simple time management tips you can use to start seeing the results you want — right now.

                          Before we get into it, enter your email below to grab your free Weekly Productivity Journal so you can learn to establish a productive mindset and can start prioritizing tasks daily.

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                            How We Think About Time

                            It’s very common for the average person to feel trapped by their schedules.

                            They feel to have every hour of the day pre-planned is to rob them of their daily freedom.

                            This is so the opposite of true.

                            The idea that scheduling is restrictive stems from the common notion that spontaneity is exciting.

                            As a culture, we’ve established this idea that acting spontaneously is liberating in some way.

                            Spontaneity has become synonymous with freedom.

                            Chances are if you feel this is true, you’ve been causing yourself to feel scatterbrained and have been practicing poor time management.

                            The reason for this is: To act spontaneously will give you pestering thoughts such as “what should I really be doing instead.”

                            You’ll be unable to enjoy your downtime since you’ll constantly be thinking about the other important tasks you neglected to follow through with.

                            Many of you are likely not even aware this is happening.

                            When was the last time you felt you “piled too much on” so to give yourself a break you binge-watch a series on Netflix? You’ll think, “I’m really stressed by my schedule, so this break will set me up to get my tasks done better, so I won’t feel as overwhelmed.” I guarantee you this “relaxation” time wasn’t time well spent. It only left you feeling more stressed afterward.

                            Another fascinating concept is that many of us who struggle with sticking to a schedule absolutely LOVE creating them.

                            As a society, we’ve become obsessed with our planners.

                            There are planning addicts who spend hours designing their weekly schedule with stickers, motivational phrases, drawings, etc.

                            I personally know many of these individuals because I was one.

                            And guess how often I followed through when I obsessed with the “pretty” part of planning?

                            Very, very rarely.

                            The reason for this is many gain short-term satisfaction in making their plans. It will give them a false sense of accomplishment and will make them feel they’ve already done the steps necessary to achieve their goals. Every motivational sticker they place on their weekly layout mentally makes them feel they’re one step closer to their desired result.

                            The reality is many people become obsessed with planning (and their planners) because they’re in avoidance mode.

                            They actually have a deep-rooted fear of sticking to a set schedule, so they procrastinate and don’t take action.

                            They spend too much time planning and not enough doing.

                            So even if you love planning your time, doesn’t mean you actually follow proper time management.

                            A New Perspective

                            When we take the time to plan our daily activities it creates less stress and overwhelm.

                            By planning our work tasks, we are able to be ten times more productive when doing them.

                            When we plan our downtime, we can enjoy it more guilt-free, knowing it’s in the schedule.

                            Also, planning activities with friends gives you the ability to actually enjoy your time, rather than sitting around asking yourselves “what are we doing” for an hour.

                            There is nothing more freeing than having your time managed properly.

                            You can live life at ease knowing that all you have to do is stick to a pre-planned schedule, and your goals will get accomplished without much thought.

                            You’ll know when you reach this point because a huge weight will be lifted off your shoulders.

                            It will feel like you can legitimately accomplish anything.

                            So now that you have a better understanding of how we should view time management, I’m going to give you my top 20 best ways to manage your time that I currently use…

                            20 Simple Time Management Tips

                            1) Have a Planner

                            Just don’t become obsessed with them. 😉

                            As we learned previously, using your planners as a creative outlet can be a way to avoid taking action.

                            My advice is to purchase a simple planner, create your no-frills schedule, and commit to following through. Then, and only then, will it be acceptable for you to design and decorate your planner as you wish.

                            My favorite planners that keep planning simple are:

                            Passion Planner – Gives you massive sheets to schedule tasks for every 30 minutes a day. Very focused on goal-setting. Has monthly check-ins to keep you focused.

                            Productivity Planner – Not a traditional calendar planner, but instead a simple daily planner that allows you to prioritize tasks in order of importance. It’s a beautiful, minimalistic planner that I use regularly to keep me focused on my day-to-day tasks.

                            2) Schedule Down Time

                            By scheduling your breaks beforehand this will prevent overwhelm and burnout.

                            Which makes you ten times more productive during your work time.

                            As mentioned previously, you’ll also be able to better enjoy your downtime knowing you planned for it.

                            This downtime can include watching television, checking social media, or planning outings with friends.

                            3) Time Block

                            Dedicate certain hours a day to one specific task.

                            This gives your schedule the simplicity it needs so you can work efficiently.

                            The key to doing this successfully is time blocking in all areas of life.

                            Ways that I’ve incorporating time blocking are setting aside specific times of the day/week to go running, cook dinner, write articles, check social media, etc.

                            For example, I’m always running between 7:00am-8:00am. And from 10:00am-2:00pm I’m always completing my most important task of the day. It’s simple.

                            By doing this, there will be no chatter in your brain as to “what you should currently be doing” since you’ll have blocked your time accordingly.

                            4) Set Deadlines

                            Set strict deadlines for every task you set out to accomplish.

                            And then stick to them.

                            When we write tasks on a to-do list but don’t set a deadline for them we’re not holding ourselves accountable.

                            Make a promise that when you schedule something to be completed by a specific time, you will get it done!

                            5) Be Strategic With Your Schedule

                            Brainstorm what times of the day you’re most productive.

                            If you’re like me it’s in the mornings.

                            Which means I schedule my hardest tasks for that time of the day.

                            If I put off these tasks till later, they wouldn’t get done.

                            So strategize where you place things in your schedule according to when you’re most likely to accomplish them.

                            6) Create Rituals

                            Managing your time becomes infinitely easier when you create everyday rituals.

                            For example, I have the same morning ritual every day.

                            I wake up, go for my run, take a shower while listening to a podcast, meditate, then journal.

                            No exceptions.

                            After a couple weeks of committing, doing this every day felt incredibly natural.

                            Because I created a ritual.

                            7) Be Specific About Your Tasks

                            Don’t schedule the actions you’ll take, but the results you’ll produce.

                            For example, if I write “Run” in my planner I have no concept of what I specifically need to do.

                            But, if I write down “Run 5 Miles” I now have a clear result that I intend to produce in that time.

                            So be specific about the tasks you plan and have clarity about the results you’ll produce.

                            8) Plan Ahead

                            Proper planning starts the month before, the week before, and the night before.

                            You should have a clear plan for what you’ll accomplish any given day.

                            Make it a habit to practice proper goal setting. Check in with yourself monthly, weekly, and nightly to review what you want to accomplish for those times.

                            I normally plan every month down to the results I want, and every 2-weeks down to the hour.

                            9) Create Buffers

                            Give yourself enough wiggle room to ensure you’ll complete the tasks you schedule.

                            Scheduling buffer time relieves some of the pressure because it gives you that little bit of extra time to accomplish your tasks.

                            How I do this, is I set a period of “buffer time” from 6:00pm-8:00pm every day.

                            If I feel I’m behind on some tasks, I’ll use this time to catch up. If I’m where I want to be, I’ll use this time to take a break.

                            Knowing I have this extra time scheduled makes me feel more at ease.

                            10) Stop Being a Perfectionist

                            When you obsess over completing a task perfectly, you’re likely being super unproductive with your time.

                            In order to produce the results you want, you need to be okay with B- work.

                            I first learned this from Brooke Castillo at The Life Coach School and I was stunned.

                            Basically, I learned that in order to produce results at a high volume I needed to stop focusing on being perfect and instead focus on providing value in my work.

                            Being a perfectionist by nature, it took some effort for me to ditch my ways.

                            But since then, I’ve produced ten times more with my time than I used to.

                            11) Learn To Say No

                            Many people in your life will try and steal your time.

                            This is normal.

                            The key to success is having the willpower to say “Nope!”

                            After you create a schedule, you’ll need to guard it with all your might.

                            This will require you to prioritize your needs over others.

                            And that’s okay!

                            It’ll seem hard at first to turn down requests from friends or family members, but it gets easier over time.

                            Make it a practice of telling people your schedule so they know to make plans with you well in advance.

                            12) Do Passive Learning With Menial Tasks

                            Many of us feel more comfortable in passive learning mode.

                            This is where we’re not taking action – but learning what we need to do to take action.

                            For example, reading this article is a form of passive learning. 😊

                            While passive learning is necessary, don’t get stuck in this stage.

                            Pair your passive learning time with other menial tasks of the day.

                            For instance, I suggest reading books, checking out articles, or listening to podcasts while you’re eating breakfast, showering, working out, etc.

                            This helps me to keep up with my passive learning tasks, while still producing massive actions.

                            13) Keep a Time Journal

                            In this day and age, there’s an unbelievable amount of ways we can waste our time.

                            Even just having social media at our fingertips can take away hours of productivity a day!

                            What I recommend is every so often keeping a time journal to examine how you spend your hours in a day.

                            A while back, I knew I’d been spending more time than I wanted to checking social media.

                            When I kept a time journal for a week, I discovered I spent hours that week checking social when I should’ve been working on other tasks!

                            14) Give Yourself Less Time To Produce More

                            Don’t give yourself 4-hours to complete a task that you could realistically finish in 2-hours.

                            Many of us will tack on extra hours to help ensure they’ll complete the task.

                            Much of the time, this just causes people to further procrastinate since they have more time.

                            By giving yourself less time to produce more, you’re adjusting your body to be more productive in a smaller amount of time.

                            15) Batch Tasks

                            Make it a habit of batching tasks together so you can focus on one subject at a time.

                            For example, I write my blog posts on Mondays and Tuesdays every week. No matter what I have going on, this is what I’ll be doing.

                            This frees up my mind to focus on other tasks.

                            16) Download the Weekly Productivity Journal

                            This is a weekly journal I created with daily questions you’ll ask yourself to put you into a productive mindset.

                            It will also allow you to practice prioritizing tasks in order of importance.

                            17) Delegate Tasks

                            Realistically consider what on your to-do list you could outsource to someone else.

                            Many of us stubbornly insist on doing everything ourselves, but the reality is that doing this could cause our productivity to suffer.

                            Consider outsourcing menial tasks that take up your time to someone else.

                            You’ll produce much more into the world this way.

                            18) Prioritize Your To-Do List

                            It’s likely that your to-do list will be massive which can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

                            You’ll need to learn how to prioritize tasks that are most important.

                            This can be the difference between accomplishing your goals or spiraling into overwhelm.

                            As previously mentioned, the Productivity Planner is excellent for this!

                            19) Become (Borderline) Obsessed With Your Schedule

                            Make it a practice to look at your schedule on the hour, every hour.

                            By doing this you’re allowing your brain to remain focused on the tasks at hand.

                            I highly recommend Google Calendar for this.

                            I can access it from my phone and computer.

                            Instead of checking social media when I wake up, I go straight to my plan for the day.

                            20) Commit To Your Schedule

                            The most important tip is to follow through with your schedule.

                            While you may have the desire to follow through with your schedule, it’s not enough.

                            You need to have the commitment. Which means you’ll have the willpower to follow through with plans even when you don’t feel like it.

                            This is the secret to success.

                            To Wrap Things Up…

                            If the idea of scheduling your time (and following through) still seems intimidating to you, just know that this is perfectly normal.

                            Your brain will feel more comfortable in the state of being your currently in. It’s normal to feel a bit of resistance when you first start following through with plans.

                            Just keep in mind that after some time, it’ll begin to feel natural to follow a schedule.

                            And it will give you a sense of freedom you never knew was possible. 😊

                            Cheers,

                            Kat Rentas

                            Founder, A Next Level You

                            Grab This Free Weekly Productivity Journal!
                            So you can learn to get more done, in less time. 

                              Subscribe to receive regular updates and to get access to this download.

                              Hey, I’m Kat!

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                              I created A Next Level You as a space for like-minded individuals to connect and learn ways they can reach their health, fitness, and personal development goals.

                              I learned how to establish a healthy identity from the inside out. I’m here to teach you how to do the same!

                              I can’t wait to meet the healthiest, happiest version of YOU! 

                              You can read my story here…

                               

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