Personally, I believe that planning is the key to almost all successes. It’s very rare that a person achieves a goal that they did not plan for, or did not follow a path to get to a finish line. When you think about it, anything you do requires some kind of general outline; family vacations, the commute to work, a dinner plan with your friends…
I live by my calendar – sort of because I have to, but also because it helps me stay on track in all aspects of my life, including health and fitness.
Here are some things most people know about me:
• I am always on time
• I always follow-up
• I do not miss deadlines
• I don’t generally forget birthdays/occasions
• I live by my calendar/phone/watch (which are all synced!)
• I am stubborn AF
To me, these are all good positive traits. No one likes anyone who always shows up late. No one likes that person who never does what they say they’ll do. While it may seem like a obsessive and orderly way to go about life, I can attribute a lot of my success, personally and professionally, to my love of planning. That does not mean I am not impulsive (I am ridiculously impulsive much to some peoples dismay!), but my day to day life – the one in which I have responsibilities to myself and others, I like to plan for.
If you resolved to be healthier in the 2018, I applaud you. But I’ll also tell you that the only way you’re going to see your hope become a reality is to put a plan in place for the ‘how’.
Example: I resolve to lose 20 lbs this year. Okay, great! How you gonna do it?
Take out your phone, laptop, or a notepad and pen. Now, at the top of the page, write out your goal and then think about what that goal really entails. So you want to lose 20 lbs? Is that all? Is it just a numbers game? Or do you want to be able to run an entire mile without stopping? Do you want to fit into a certain size of jeans, or do you have an event coming up? Do you want to improve your cholesterol or increase your stamina? Do you just want to look and feel better?
1. What is your why?
2. What is your how?
These two questions need to be answered before you can even get started.
I’ll share my goals, my whys, and my hows with you, and then you can share yours with me. Deal?
1. Achieve and maintain a lean physique.
2. Be kinder to myself, and embrace my body at all stages.
1. When I am leaner I feel better about the loose skin on my belly.
2. I want to wear bikinis over the summer and not feel self-conscious about it.
3. I have spent a long time building muscle in the gym; I’d like to cut back the body fat to see my hard work.
4. I want to look great for my 35th birthday in July and wear an amazing dress.
5. I spend too much time critiquing myself which makes me feel bad. I want to be proud and encouraging of myself.
6. I want to have a healthy relationship with fitness and food.
1. 80/20 rule. 80% tracking macronutrients on plan and 20% enjoying life.
2. Lifting 4 days a week; active rest or cardio 3 days a week.
3. Add 20 minutes of cardio to each workout.
4. More running/walking with the dog. It is great cardiovascular exercise but also therapeutic.
5. Tracking macronutrients in MyFitnessPal every day
6. Staying accountable by posting my meals and progress in my Facebook group, staying active on Instagram and continuing to share on this blog.
7. Celebrating and sharing the successes.
8. Continuing to mentor and train others.
So there it is. That’s my plan. Do you see that there are a lot of ‘how’s’ in order to reach the result I want? Set yourself up with a calendar and start entering in your reminders. You are more likely to follow through with something if you schedule it ahead of time. Let yourself know that it’s already predetermined. Decide what days of the week you will go to the gym and throw those on your calendar – block out the time because your health and your goals are just as much a priority as all of your other tasks in life. Choose what days you’d like to rest – maybe a couple times a week you have some pre-planned commitments or meetings – those would be good rest days. Schedule reminders for your weigh-ins and remember to enter the numbers in your tracker. Each week you’ll provide yourself a progress update and this will give you the gratification of a job well done and help you identify what’s working for you and what might need to be adjusted.
Like anything, it’ll take some trial and error, and a tweak here and there. Eventually a plan becomes a routine and you’re all set.