Resolved: How To Make A Plan That Works

Happy 2018 everyone! I am particularly excited for this year, because I feel like God is telling me that this year is going to be a year of breakthrough in so many ways! Hopefully you’re just as ready as I am to see how the year will unfold.

But if you’re looking at the beginning of the year and it seems daunting because you’re wondering “how in the world am I going to obtain my fitness goal”, or “will I actually make it to the gym?”, then this post is just for you. I’m about to step-by-step give you a plan that will work just for YOU.

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The thing about health and wellness goals is that there is no such thing as “one size fits all”. We all have different schedules, different energy levels, some of us are early birds, others are night owls, some of us can’t handle dairy, others have issues with grains. So with all of those factors going on, how do concisely make a plan that works?

STEP 1: Decide What Kind Of Results You Want (which will determine how often you should work out)

I have some folks ask me if it’s possible to lose 10 pounds in a month and I always wish I could say yes, but unless you do things that aren’t particularly healthy, then the answer is no. So if you know you have a vacation coming up in June and you want to look good in a swimsuit by then, you can probably afford to add 2 days of resistance training and 3 days of cardio to your schedule, and see results. If you want a six pack by March, well you better be ready to be in the gym at least 4 days out of the week with cardio happening every day.

See what I mean? If you what dramatic results it requires more effort. You’ll need to know what you want in order to determine how to attain it.

STEP 2: Decide How Much Time you Have

You know that whole saying that goes, “if you don’t have time to work out, make time to work out”? Well, I sort if loathe that saying.

When I was in college I was CONSTANTLY busy with class, giving tours, remaining somewhat social, and representing the University of Alabama. Nonetheless, that’s actually when I started my own fitness journey. The thing was, if anyone had said to me, “you have to make time”, I would’ve turned them off immediately. My time was carefully divided into my planner and I didn’t have much to spare. So how do you schedule time for fitness when there isn’t any?

FIND THE WINDOWS DAY BY DAY. What do I mean by that? Well, we’re such creatures of habit, that I believe we like to find windows in our  weeks that will repeat themselves again, and again. For instance, you have time from 11-12 on Tuesdays and Thursdays to take a yoga class, so you make a plan to do that for the year. But rather than looking for that pattern (because it will inevitably change anyway), look for the windows day-by-day. It may change constantly, but if you plan ahead of time it will definitely ensure that you have time to work out.

Look for those windows in:

  • the morning before work (are you a morning person?)
  • after work (maybe you’re a night owl)
  • how long is your lunch break? Can you fit it in then?

You get the idea. Be intentional with each day. Some days there may not be absolutely any way to work it in. But that’s okay. Which brings me to my next point…

STEP 3: Decide WHERE  You Will Work Out

Is a gym membership necessary to achieve your goals? Should you just sign up for the app? Can you do it all from home? Should you buy the equipment?

GYMS- If you need a gym membership, then find a gym that best suits your budget and style. Many gyms offer tours and a free workout pass, so take them up on it and see if those atmospheres are right for you. A gym membership at the right place can make or break your plan to get in shape, so be choosy if you can.

STUDIOS- This is your PureBarre, Orange Theory, CrossFit, and yoga studio type of place. If budget is less of a factor and you don’t have any major health conditions, then maybe this will fit your personality better. It’s always there, and there’s always someone walking you through the workout. Personally, they aren’t my favorite due to pricing and lack of variety, but that’s just me. Another post for another day.

HOME- If you’re really tight on time or you honestly just don’t want anyone seeing you work out, then home is a great option! Things like dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, yoga balls, jump ropes, battle ropes and so on can actually be pretty cheap to purchase. It’s so easy to attain your goals from the comfort of your home. Just make sure you have enough room to move.

STEP 4: Decide HOW You Will Work Out

Work out plans can be very useful if you’re experienced in the gym. However, you aren’t then the amount of options can be overwhelming. Should you take a class, buy the app, or, get a trainer? Here’s how to decide:

CLASSES- Classes are great if you enjoy the group atmosphere. They’re also reliable because you know what to expect from the amount of time you’ll be in there. I went through a phase where classes were my JAM. If you have a question in terms of fitness  sometimes the class instructor can be a good source of advice as well. But if schedule doesn’t line up with class schedules, or you have a specific need (you’ve hit a wall with fat loss, you have a bad knee, etc.) then classes can be somewhat limiting. Not to mention there’s so many different types of classes to chose from.

APPS- Oh, apps. They can be great for a certain amount of time. If you’re looking for a good way to jump start the year, then they are definitely for you. In addition, many of them work in 30-45 minutes, so if you’re pressed for time, then they’re great as well. However, beyond 12 weeks it can just become an extra charge on your account that isn’t helping you very much. So that swimsuit you want to be in by June? Might want to save that money for something better.

TRAINERS- Obviously I’m partial here. But here’s why: this is the ONLY THING that ever worked for me. I never grew up playing sports or training and conditioning, so I needed the help. Plus, my body matured quickly, so the fat that seems to hang on tighter in your late 20’s started hanging onto me in my early 20’s (evillll), and I could not get it off until I started training with a certified professional on exercise science.

The truth about trainers is, it’s an automatic accountability. If you need someone to hold you to your word, then a trainer is a good way to go. They also know when you need to slow it down or work it harder. It’s pretty much fool proof (if you have a good trainer). So if your goal is TOTAL TRANSFORMATION, then budget wisely and just do it. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

STEP 5: Diet and Nutrition

This one could use a post entirely on it’s own, but let me just say this. If you workout and don’t eat right, it’s not going to work well.

You know your body. So if you have any intolerances, then look into diets that cater tot that. If you can eat a balanced diet, look into things like counting your macros to make sure your nutrition levels are balanced.

There is one app that I will definitely promote and that is My Fitness Pal. It will count calories and has a huge selection of preloaded foods from restaurants as well. It’s great for helping you keep track of what you eat and how much. Download it, for sure.

STEP 6: Accountability

So you’ve got your plan. Now what?

If you’re motivated easily, then small things like deadlines are good to have. For instance, set a goal that you want to fit into the tight pair of jeans by 3 months from today. Or maybe you’ve got that wedding coming up that you want to look good for. A deadline will ensure that you hold to your word.

If you’re kind of motivated, then set a deadline, and even give yourself a reward. If you drop that dress size, you get to go buy a cute new dress (that fits). Maybe it needs to be a big reward like going on a really cool vacation. Either way, it’s healthy to reward yourself in some way. Otherwise it’s not as fun and you’ll lose interest (unless you’re a fitness fiend like me, then it’s just fun anyway).

If you’re not motivated at all, then human accountability is necessary. If your fitness goal involves going to classes or using an app, grab a friend to do it with you and promise each other to make it happen. If that isn’t good enough, then just go ahead and book the trainer. I know it’s expensive at first, but trust me when I say it will even out in the end (no more wasted money on classes, less doctor’s visits, less sick days from work…). I hate to sound biased, but I know that it works!

STEP 7: Listen To Your Body

If you’re tired, something’s hurting or it’s not difficult enough, you need to make the appropriate accommodations. Your body knows when something’s right or wrong. So as your going through this journey this year, make sure you don’t over or under do it. That little part right there will make all the difference


And that’s it! Take some time to read through these and write out a plan that’s right for you. Next week we will review how to STAY resolved. Until then, have a good week and a happy new year!








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