Learn to Plan
Planning. This is something that we could all use a little more of. Quite often, coming up with a plan is something we all do but just as often as we create plans; we create ways that those plans fail. What do I mean by this? I mean we are all really good at coming up with what we feel are plans, but often we do not put the required detail into plan in order to enhance its accountability. Here is an example:
Plan #1 "I am going to work out 4 times per week, 2 weight training days, and 2 cardio days"
Plan #2 "I am going to work out 4 times per week, 2 weight training days, and 2 cardio days. On Monday at 8 AM, I am going to resistance train, on Tuesday on my lunch at 12 PM I will do my cardio, on Thursday at 8 AM I will do my other resistance workout, and on Friday I will do my cardio at 7 AM”
Which plan has the greater chance at success? Plan #1 has no specified days or times and therefore has little accountability; workouts can be moved around to other times increasing the likelihood of it being missed. Plan #2, much like an actual schedule has specified times and days and therefore has a much more likely chance at triggering a response that will make you complete your workout. If you have a DR’s appointment at 9 AM, do you go? The same mentality must be carried into your own planning, it is appointments with yourself!
Now, Plan #2 is still fairly simple. What else do we need to consider when implementing a plan? Here are just some of many considerations:
· What days and times will I workout?
· How long will my workouts be? How many sets and reps per exercise? What intensity level will I train at?
· Have I looked at any barriers within the week that may interfere with my workout?
· Have I made back up plans for those possible barriers?
· Will I commit to training if I am tired, or had a long day?
· Do I have a long term outlook for my training? What do I want to get out of my training?
These questions can sometimes be overwhelming. It seems like a lot of work. Planning is a lot of work, but once you get the planning done, that’s it. All you have to do is follow the plan as you have laid out, you do not have to think about it anymore. Planning is there for the long term so that what you do becomes autopilot. You know what you have to do, and you do it. The greater the detail in your plan, the greater your ability to follow it will be, and get where you want to go with it. If you skimp on your details you often end up in a familiar place, at the beginning, trying to come up with another weakly framed, low intention plan. Something as simple as writing it down can help you stick to your plan!
Do it right the first time!