I was camping with Katja, Liam, and my future in-laws this past weekend at Point Farms near Goderich.
As you know my schedule has been pretty full with doing the reno’s on the new gym, and because I like to plan I had everything in my calendar.
It got me thinking about planning trips relates to planning for fitness success.
Imagine you’re about to head out on a much-anticipated trip.
You’ve spent hours creating an itinerary, planning excursions, scouring reviews of local places to eat, triple-checking your luggage, and making sure you hired a dog sitter.
You get to the airport, albeit a bit frazzled, but you’re here.
You’re about to go into vacation mode and just relax, but something is stopping you.
You notice all the hustle and bustle of the airport. You’re sitting at the gate and patiently waiting for your flight to board.
You’re watching the gate attendant run through her pre-flight boarding protocol. She’s calling the names of passengers that are not here. She’s dealing with passenger requests.
And she’s trying desperately to remain calm.
You gaze out the window where you can see your plane.
The luggage cart has arrived and guys are hoisting the luggage into the bottom of the plane.
Trucks seem to know exactly where to go and exactly where to be at every moment of the day.
You look into the cockpit of the plane and can see the pilots. They’re checking and flicking switches – their heads are on a swivel as they adjust things all over the cockpit to make sure they are ready for the flight.
Everyone is going through a pre-flight checklist of some sort. Without this safety net things could be missed or forgotten.
You might be wondering what this has to do with fitness
Well, the truth is… fitness is hard for most people.
Believe me, I know. I hear the struggles every single day from members, friends, and even family members. I also know the struggle a bit myself – fitness never came easy to me, I just learned to love the journey.
I think that fitness would be a lot easier if we had a pre-fitness checklist.
I think it’d look something like this:
- Do you have the desire to cultivate healthy habits that last a lifetime?
- Are you willing to look into your past experience and see what unhealthy patterns you’ve picked up along the way?
- Are you willing to make a change to move forwards, even if it’s hard?
- Do you have a system in place to help you through this journey?
- Do you have your measurements and/or pictures? This is more than just what the scale says.
- What is your fail plan? More than likely part of your unhealthy patterns is a loss of motivation or desire after a week or two. What is your plan when you reach this section of your journey?
- Do you have a plan that you believe in AND is achievable for where you’re at in your life?
- Do you have the support of friends and family? Do they know this is important to you?
- Are your workouts in your calendar each week?
- Are you okay with hitting bumps in the road, knowing that you can readjust course?
I could add in other things, but I think you get the idea.
Businesses require a business plan before a bank will lend money to them.
Pilots must go through a pre-flight checklist before taking off.
Athletes prepare daily (both physically and mentally) for their event.
To reach your goals, whatever they are, you must have a plan. Leaving things up to chance is an almost sure fire way to ensure failure.
Here’s my top 3 for making sure you have a plan:
1. Put your workouts in your calendar
There is something about having things in a calendar that make them important. The different between “I will work out in the afternoon” and having an appointment with yourself to work on your goals seems small, but it’s monumental.
Then, even if things aren’t going perfectly, at least you are still moving forward and you will feel good about the consistency.
2. Put a 15 minute weekly ‘review’ in your calendar each week.
– What’s been good about the past week?
– What’s been hard about the past week? What did that teach me?
– What needs to change (if anything) for this week?
Our members do this every Sunday/Monday with the accountability check in, but it’s a great habit to get into for all things.
Personally, I do this almost every Sunday with my Fiance to review our budget, plan for the week ahead, and make sure we are on the same page.
It only takes a few minutes but it gives you a great sense of control and purpose with the coming week.
3. Make a list of the top 3-5 habits you would like to change
Then, tackle them ONE at a time for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Think of it like skill building. If you want to eat less processed food, make a daily practice of ‘practicing’ eating a vegetable instead.
Once you get good at this skill, move on to the next one.
One at a time will seem too slow but fight the urge to do it all at once, especially when you start out.
The goal isn’t to do it all at once, the goal is to get momentum so when it gets hard, you can move forward and through the challenges.
Is there one of these 3 that you need to work on?
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