Hello and Happy Wednesday lovelies!
We’re heading into one of the craziest times of the year, here in the fitness world.
We begin getting inundated with messages about needing to make the most of the remaining weeks of the year, so we better get to the gym and WERK WERK WERK!
We read blog posts and articles and see clips on TV about how to stay in shape during the holidays, and maybe even how to lose weight!
And we put plans in place to make the following year our fittest, most active year yet.
We all know the beginning of January is a popular time to start a new fitness program, but with the increasing number of messages telling us to get our sweat on this time of year, not surprisingly, the holidays are a hot time of year to pick up the fitness pace.
It’s Sunday. Your fridge is stocked with healthy food and you’ve got plans to hit the gym every single day after work. You know what you want – to have more energy, to have more confidence, and to feel more fit. And you know you’re going to get there. Your new workout clothes are laid out and ready to go, and you know that come Friday you’ll be shouting from the roof tops “I AM A BEACON OF HEALTH!”
It’s Sunday.Your fridge is stocked with healthy food and you’ve got plans to hit the gym every single day after work. You know what you want – to have more energy, to have more confidence, and to feel more fit. And you know you’re going to get there.
But then Monday rolls around and you’re thrown a new project at work. You’re at the office until 8pm and you’re starving, but you don’t want to go home and cook that elaborate gluten-free, vegan dinner you were going to make and THEN go to the gym. So you skip the gym and pick up takeout on the way home.
An appointment you forgot about pops up Tuesday night, you’re invited out for post-work drinks with friends on Wednesday, Thursday’s another “stuck at the office” day, and before you know it, it’s Friday and you haven’t been to the gym or eaten anything green all week.
Does this sound familiar?
All too often we have an end goal in sight but don’t have a plan as to how we’re going to get there. We know we want to feel more vibrant and energetic, but aside from saying we’re going to hit the gym 5 times this week the planning rarely goes further.
We live in a BUSY world. Between work, commuting, family obligations, and social commitments it’s easy for those “less important” things to fall to the wayside. You know, those things that involve taking care of yourself? 😉
I’ve always found it easiest to remain consistent when I have a plan. Saying you want to workout 4 times this week is great, but there’s 168 hours in a week and a lot can happen to throw you off your game.
When are you going to workout?
What exactly do you plan on doing?
These are things that need to be thought about in advance if you want to boost your chances of crushing the larger goal, whatever it may be.
How to Create a Workout Plan
Follow these steps and those common life obstacles will have a much smaller chance at stopping you from becoming your happiest, healthiest, most confident self! Sure, once in awhile a wrench you have no control over will be thrown your way, but by having a set plan the little every day distractions will have waaaaay less of a negative impact.
Step 1: Set aside time to make your plan.
On Sundays (or whatever the day before your week starts is) take 15 minutes to sit down and look ahead at your week. When are you working? What commitments do you already have in place? Appointments? Social outings? Where do you have free time leftover to fit your workouts in?
Now you obviously don’t want to fill all of your free time with exercise, however getting some activity in and spending time working towards your goals will leave you feeling recharged and ready to take on the rest of life’s handouts.
Step 2: Pencil in your workouts.
Look at your fitness time as you would any other appointment. Whether you use the Calendar app in your phone, a day planner, or even a calendar on the wall, set aside enough time for your workout (and making it to and from said workout) and make this NON-NEGOTIABLE. You wouldn’t just not show up to a doctor’s appointment or lunch with a friend, would you? Attach the same importance to your health and fitness goals.
Step 3: Make a plan within the plan.
Okay, so you know you’re going to go to the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6:30 until 7:30, and you’ve even set aside an extra 30 minutes for travel time. But what are you going to do once you’re there?
Not everybody feels the need to have every exercise, rep, and set laid out to a T, but if you know what you want to accomplish you’re going to waste less time wandering around and staring at machines. Similarly, having your running route planned out or knowing what you want to do at the pool will make you less likely to bail early.
On those days you’re just not feelin’ it, if you already have your workout planned you’ll have an end in sight and will know that as soon as you’re done Exercise X you’ll get to go home. 🎉
Step 4: Stick to your plan!
Motivation levels are highest within the first couple of weeks of an exercise program and then tend to decline. DON’T FALL VICTIM TO THIS. Stick with it! Even if you don’t lose 10lb in the first week like you wanted to (because you’re not going to), even if your runs aren’t going as planned, even if your couch looks way more appealing than the gym, DON’T GIVE UP.
If you remain consistent you will begin to notice progress, you’ll become more focused during your workouts, and your motivation levels will begin to rise. Working out will become a habit and soon you won’t even have to think twice about heading to the gym, hitting the pavement, or popping in that exercise DVD.
Step 5: Know your personality type and be realistic.
There’s a fine line between pushing yourself and setting yourself up for disappointment. When you’re making your plan be honest with yourself. I have so many things I want to accomplish in a day and never enough hours, & if I hold off on my workout until the afternoon or evening chances are it’s not going to happen.
So I make fitness my priority and get it done as soon as I possibly can. Some days it’s the first thing in the morning, and other days it’s as soon as I’m done training my morning clients.
Similarly, if you know you’re a night owl and aren’t fully awake until at least noon, planning to hit the gym by 7am every day may not be the best option.
It’s okay to recognize your areas of weakness and plan accordingly, and I recommend you do so! If you set realistic and attainable expectations for yourself you’ll be more likely to reach your goals, which will boost your confidence and motivation.
Then when it comes time to look at those areas of weakness to see where improvements can be made, you’ll have more belief in yourself and in your ability to do so.
I won’t lie – there are days where it’s TOUGH to stick to a routine! But know that everyone experiences those peaks and declines in motivation.
There are days where I’d like to stay in the comforts of my bed and ignore everything that needs to get done, but after years of remaining consistent I’m finally able to remind myself I’ll never regret a workout.
If you find you continually struggle with creating and sticking to a plan, have a chat with me! We can figure out what’s keeping you stuck, and put a simple plan of attack into place for overcoming those barriers.
Care to share any tricks you have up your sleeve for staying on track with your goals? Ever made a plan and found it difficult to stick with it?