7 Smart Things You Can Do Every Weekend To Be Happy, Healthy, and Focused
There are two types of people: Those who use the weekend to recover from weekdays and those who use weekends to their advantage by investing in their happiness, health, and personal growth.
The truth is, your weekends impact your life just as much as your Monday to Friday.
Here’s a simple example: If you stick to your diet during the week but consume loads of unhealthy foods plus alcohol on weekends, you’ll struggle to achieve your fitness goals.
In the end, our weekends shape a significant part of our lives too, so we can’t just stick to our good habits during the week and completely ignore our intentions on Saturday and Sunday.
Here’s what I do every weekend to ensure I achieve my long-term goals with ease:
Start by doing something you genuinely enjoy
Just because you want to use your weekends intelligently doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or enjoy yourself.
Even though I like to use weekends to build the future I dream of, I also make sure I actually enjoy myself.
That’s why I start my Saturdays and Sundays spending lots of time doing something I love: Reading.
Think of a tiny activity you genuinely enjoy (and can’t take much time for during the week) and ask yourself if you could do it first thing in the morning on weekends.
What if you watch a movie or series you genuinely enjoy?
What about preparing a special breakfast?
What about a long walk in nature or about visiting a place you like?
Yes, we want to use our weekends productively, but we also want to enjoy life, so allow yourself to take time to do something for the sake of pure enjoyment.
Tap into the power of being well-prepared
The most rewarding routines I’ve ever established are meal planning and prepping.
Every Sunday, I plan what I’ll be eating the following week. I have a small selection of meals that are healthy, easy to prepare, and delicious, so it usually doesn’t take me more than five minutes to come up with a weekly meal plan.
I also make sure I can eat the same meal at least twice, so I don’t have to cook every single day.
I’m not a passionate cook, and I don’t enjoy the activity itself, but I want to avoid ordering food and choosing unhealthy options too frequently. I found that being well-prepared and choosing simple options works well for me.
Once I have the meals planned out, I write my grocery list, so I only need to go to the supermarket once per week.
Planning your meals in advance comes with so many benefits:
It’s a massive time-saver because you don’t need to shop for groceries every few days.
It frees up mental space because you don’t need to think of what to cook and eat throughout the week.
Sticking to a healthy diet is way easier because you’re not tempted to choose highly processed fast food options.
Plus, it’s probably even a lot cheaper than buying random foods because you’re much more aware of what you already have at home.
…and stop finding excuses
In addition to planning my meals, I also create a workout schedule for the upcoming week.
I check my calendar and see if there are any social events, activities, or goals that could make it hard to work out on a particular day. Based on that, I put my workouts on the calendar.
That way, I know that I have time to move, no matter how busy I feel during the week.
Putting important tasks and habits on your calendar is a form of self-respect because it helps you prioritize the things that are important, not just urgent.
There’s always a reason not to work out, but if the workout is part of my daily schedule, I don’t come up with excused but just do it.
Deep connections don’t happen by chance
Research proves that our relationships have a significant impact on our happiness and health.
But the truth is, great relationships aren’t built by coincidence. They take time and effort.
That’s why I consciously take time to plan social activities and meetings with people I care about.
Every Sunday, my partner and I schedule a date night for the upcoming week. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or special. Sometimes, the activity itself is nothing more than watching a movie at home and enjoying a glass of wine or some hot chocolate. It’s just about consciously deciding to spend quality time together.
On top of that, I take a look at other social activities for the upcoming week and try to create a balance between having enough alone time for myself and catching up with friends and family members.
By scheduling those events in advance, I can ensure that I don’t overwhelm myself and still have some flexibility in my weekly schedule.
If I don’t have any meetings with friends coming up, I make sure to catch up with someone I didn’t see for a while.
That way, it’s easy to stay in touch with people I care about while sticking to a schedule that allows me to have enough space for myself.
Outer order creates inner clarity.
Use weekends to clean and organize your physical and digital spaces.
Remove papers, receipts, and all sorts of trash from your home.
Do the same for your bags and wallet.
Get rid of anything you won’t need anymore, so you have space for the things that are truly important and valuable.
Do the same for your digital spaces: Clean your inboxes and get rid of messages and emails you don’t need. Clean your desktop and your download folders.
This gives you a sense of clarity and control. Plus, it helps you ensure you don’t clutter your home or devices and have enough empty storage space at all times.
If you organize your physical and digital world during the weekend, it’s easier to keep everything tidy during the week as well.
And let’s be honest: We all prefer a clean and tidy space over a mess.
The real work
Another must-have on my weekend to-do list is a simple weekly review that helps me reflect on the past week and set the tone for the next one.
I use a simple journal that includes templates for weekly reflection and preparation.
That way, I’m quick and efficient without forgetting about any major events.
A weekly reflection should help you review everything you accomplished during the week, so you celebrate your wins and be proud of yourself.
Additionally, it should help you reflect on the things that didn’t go perfectly, so you’re able to find out why that happened and what you could improve in the future.
Here’s the template I use, which is part of my Personal Growth Journal:
After reflecting on the past week, I also take a few minutes to plan the following week.
That way, I’m sure to take care of all relevant areas of my life without forgetting anything important.
I also set three priorities for the week. If I can take care of these three priorities, I know the week was a success. Anything else is just a bonus on top.
The Happiness Jar
I end my weeks by writing a small note about something great that happened that week or something I’m particularly grateful for.
Every Sunday, I put one of these notes into a small jar, and my partner does the same. At the end of the year, we take some time to read each other’s notes and review the beautiful moments of the year.
We’ve been doing this for the past two years, and I wish we’d started sooner. Our happiness jars are basically a mini-review of each year, and they’re a great way to reflect on the few things that truly matter in life.
It’s a simple routine that doesn’t take more than a minute per week, yet, it can remind you of your happy moments forever.
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that there are two types of people: Those who use the weekend to recover from weekdays and those who use weekends to their advantage by investing in their happiness, health, and personal growth.
I believe magic happens when you can find a balance between the two: When you can spend some time becoming a better version of yourself and some time just enjoying life by doing things you love.
Weekends are a great opportunity to invest in yourself, especially if you’re working at a demanding job that doesn’t allow you to take much time for yourself during the week.
Yet, this investment can look different for each of us.
Be intentional about how you use your time, but also don’t forget to have some fun and enjoy yourself.
Create the right balance between productivity and rest for yourself.
Nobody knows you better than you do, so make sure you listen to your own needs.
If you don’t have much time to work out during the week, use your weekends to move your body.
If you, however, have a physically demanding job, use your weekends to rest and recover.
If you spend most of your week glued to screens, try to take some time off from your laptop and phone during the weekend.
If you’re, however, trying to build a business to quit your job, use the weekend to make some significant progress, so you can leave as soon as possible.
Life isn’t black or white, and most of the time, there’s more than just one right answer.
I hope a few of my routines will also make your life simpler and better, but beyond all, I hope you stay true to yourself and choose routines that help you build the future you’re dreaming of.