Now, I’m guessing life is pretty hectic. You’re juggling work, family and trying to hold together some kind of a social life as well. It’s not surprising you’re finding it so hard to fit in workout time as well.
I’m not doubting that you have the best of intentions. Not for a second. I know I always do. If we don’t make at least a rough plan, however, “stuff” interferes and distracts us from what we thought we might fit in somewhere throughout the week. It just never seems to actually happen.
So, what do I mean by planning ahead and what are the benefits of doing it?
Instead of just saying ‘I will go for three walks this week’, actually think about where you might have sufficient time to squeeze in a walk and making an appointment of sorts – an appointment with yourself to do something for you. You might even like to put it in your calendar so you don’t forget. Which days will you be able to get out there? What time will it work best? How long will you walk for and where will you go? That sort of thing.
The biggest benefit of planning ahead is that you’ll have the opportunity to mentally prepare yourself for what you intend to do and consciously allocate that time on that day to doing something active. Allocating the time means you are making it a priority and this means it’s much more likely to occur than if you just have a vague idea that you might do something. I know you know what I mean, those days where you get up and you think you’ll go for a walk and you just keep putting it off. Before you know it, it’s dark and cold and you’ve missed the boat.
You will feel much less overwhelmed by the prospect if you’ve got a bit of a plan of attack. It won’t weigh on your mind once you’ve made the plan. You’ll just know that after work on Tuesday and Thursday and on Saturday morning at 10am, for example, you’ll head out for your walk. It will free up your mental bandwidth to think about other things. This planning process can happen at the end of the week for the next week and be fine tuned as the day approaches.
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy” – Norman Vincent Peale
It doesn’t always happen, sometimes it just doesn’t work out and that’s okay. Simply having the plan in place will help you feel less overwhelmed and more positive about the week ahead.
What detail should you be planning down to? Some of the main things you might like to consider in making your plan include:
- What days you will exercise?
- What time will you do it?
- What activity will you do?
- What will you wear? Do you need to change somewhere first? Will you need to take it with you in the morning to do in the afternoon?
- Approximate duration of the activity
- What will you be doing afterwards? Will you need to have another change of clothes or be able to have a shower?
It doesn’t have to be down to tiny, little details but having thought about this previously will mean that you will be prepared with suitable clothing and any other equipment or accessories you may need and you know just how it will fit into your day. Another tip I often give people just like you is that it’s not a bad idea to have a bit of a backup plan in case you miss one of your planned days for whatever reason. If you intend to do Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday as in the example above but you get stuck at work on Thursday and just can’t go, you might have Sunday as your backup. This means that you can switch your Thursday walk for a Sunday walk and catch back up.
In saying all of this, it’s important that you don’t beat yourself up if things don’t quite pan out how you expected they would or you really couldn’t bring yourself to do one of the sessions you planned. Tomorrow is a new day. Just keep going – try to make each day better than the last. Be the best you that you can be!
“WITH THE NEW DAY COMES NEW STRENGTH AND NEW THOUGHTS” – ELEANOR ROOSEVELT
If you need a hand with ideas of how and what to do, you can find us over on our Facebook page. You can write on our wall and we’ll see how we can help you work more movement into your life.