Look in any health magazine or Google “Workout Plan” and get ready to be bombarded with thousands of training plans for any goal you can dream up. Planning your ideal routine is easy enough to do, however sticking to it is where the true work begins.
You’re human, and life will happen despite your perfect plan of 4 cardio sessions and 2 strength training sessions a week. Your kid will need to stay home from school, a new deadline will pop-up, and although you try your best, you will have a sick day. Since this is inevitable, plan for it. Giving thought and having a game plan for when you have, “the worst week ever!!!”, can be the difference between giving up and reaching your goals.
Earlier we discussed Realities of Your Goals, with the focus of thinking of barriers that get in the way of healthy eating and activity and coming up with a plan to overcome them. Planning to fail takes this a step beyond. You will have that week where you get in 2 of your planned 5 workouts and it’s not going to feel good. Now what? It’s incredibly easy to convince yourself it’s too hard, that you knew you couldn’t do it anyway and throw in the towel.
THIS is when you need a good plan. Come up with a few scenarios that are likely to throw you off course; Travel, sickness, and work/schedule overload are a few big ones. Next write down a comeback day and 2 actions for each scenario. Here’s a few examples:
Scenario 1 – I get sick
Comeback day – The first day I go back to work
Action – 30 minutes low-intensity neighborhood walk OR 30 minutes of yoga
Scenario 2 – I go on vacation
Comeback day – My second day back (arrive home Monday night, I workout Wednesday)
Action – Right where I left off OR At home workout
Scenario 3 – Work overload, I ate out all week
Comeback day – First day I’m home on time
Action – Stock up at grocery or order from Instacart OR Make my favorite simple meal
Scenario 4 – My child is home sick, I can’t get to the gym
Comeback day – Today
Action – Get her/him situated and do a 30 minute at home workout from fitness site OR At home workout DVD/On Demand
It’s important to recognize beforehand that these days/weeks will happen. Expecting to stick perfectly to your plan is unattainable and will not only cause stress but will lead to negative thoughts about your abilities when things don’t go as intended. Here are a few thoughts to ingrain in your mindset that can help in the long run.
-One workout won’t make you fit, missing one won’t make you soft.
-Every healthy choice counts.
-Don’t let one meal dictate the next. Your healthy breakfast does not excuse an unhealthy lunch and an unhealthy lunch does not mean you skip dinner.
-It’s not the workout you missed that matters, it’s what you do next.
-What you do occasionally doesn’t define you.