Creating a plan is the easy part of any program the problem lies in the follow through of the plan. I used to be a personal trainer so creating and exercise and nutrition program comes easy to me, I struggle with following through on the plan that I have created. I am going to share with you some tips on creating a plan and overcoming the obstacles that can get in the way of completing that plan.
- Write it down: They #1 tip I can give you is to write it down. You can use a regular notebook, any training journal or my personal favorite the Fitbook. The Fitbook not only has a space in front to write your long term goals and plan your workouts for 12 weeks, it also has space at the beginning of every week to create your short term goals. Making short term goals and meeting them on a weekly basis not only keeps you on track to meet your long term goals but they also keep you motivated to continue working towards your long term goals. The Fitbbook also has a place to write down your training and food intake each day. Writing everything down is an invaluable tool that keeps you accountable and creates a diary of your training and diet that you can review to see what works and what doesn’t work during your program. When you fail to reach a goal or hit a plateau in your training all you need to do is go back and review your log to see what has and hasn’t worked in the past and what changes need to be made in your current diet or training in the upcoming week to continue to meet your goals or breakthrough a plateau.
- Schedule your workouts: Creating a plan and goals is the first step to a plan, once you have finished that part then you need to schedule your workouts like an appointment. I personally like to work out first thing in the morning before anyone else in my household wakes up but sometimes that just doesn’t work for me depending on how long my workout is and what I have planned for the day. I use my google calendar and schedule each workout in like an appointment, this holds me accountable to complete my workout. You can take that one step further by printing a copy of your weekly schedule including your workouts and posting it on the fridge so now everyone can see when your workouts are scheduled. By making your workouts an appointment you make them a non-negotiable part of your day.
- Plan your meals weekly: I meal plan on Sunday and write my grocery list for the week. This not only saves you time, it also keeps you on track to eat healthy all week. When your meals and snacks are all planned out and available there is no excuse to grab something unhealthy instead.
- Reward yourself: A reward can be small like a manicure or large like a spa day, but whatever you choose as a reward make sure and savor it. A reward doesn’t have to cost money either, it can be as simple as bubble bath or a walk in the park. Choose something you love and reward yourself, this will keep you looking forward to completing your goals.
These are just a few tips to help you create a plan and keep you moving forward to your long term goals. The last tip I will give you is to relax, don’t be too hard on yourself. There will be days you will miss a workout or eat some ice cream and that is okay, just start fresh at the next workout or meal. A big problem people run into is the all or nothing attitude-I screwed up and ate ice cream so I might as well eat whatever I want for the rest of the day. Don’t do this, just let it go and move on and start fresh the next chance you get. Don’t allow the guilty feelings to eat away at you and make you abandon your plan. We are only human and we all make mistakes. We just need to learn from those mistakes and move forward, don’t allow one little mistake ruin weeks of work. Just relax, have some fun and celebrate the completion of your goals!
I’ll leave with one last thought: If you fail to plan you plan to fail. A good plan makes all the difference in the completion of goals and leaves less room for error.