After spending 22 years as a personal trainer and coach, I’ve had the fortune of meeting and working with some other trainers and coaches who were really great.
One in particular had a very simple response whenever dealing with adversity or working with someone facing a challenge. “So what’s your plan,” he would ask.
But it wasn’t just a passing question or an empty comment. He was truly interested and would follow up with more questions to help walk them through the potential solutions.
He was not just a physical trainer but also a life coach before they had become popular.
The question stuck with me and since has become my go-to responses anytime a challenge would arise. “What’s the plan,” I’ll ask myself. Because we’ve all heard the saying, “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.”
And in times of more unprecedented difficulty, it’s more important than ever to not just ask ourselves, “What’s our plan” but to create said plan.
In case you have been completely avoiding the news lately (and I cannot blame you for doing so if you are), the next few months will probably be interesting. But interesting doesn’t mean without hope or even bad.
Let’s talk about a few things we can do to establish our plan and set ourselves up for health and fitness success this Fall and Winter.
Control the Controllables
There probably isn’t a phrase we have used ourselves more, whether it’s with our own mindset and success or with trying to help our members navigate the last several months than control the controllables.
This is something we mention often normally throughout each year. Whether it’s with following proper nutrition or getting good workouts in regularly, if you control the things you can control, you are more likely to be successful.
There are somethings we cannot control: car trouble, having to stay late at work, leaving our prepared lunch at home to name a few.
We encourage not spending time worrying about those things but instead try looking at what you can control: Putting workout clothes out the night before, preparing meals over the weekend to make the week easier or even making a plan to workout with a friend for added accountability.
By focusing on these things we can control, we tend to be more successful and stress ourselves out a lot less.
The same can be said for stressful times. What can you control? Focus on that. For many, having a fitness outlet will not only be great for your physical health, but your stress level, mood and mindset as well. There are countless studies that show how important exercise is on our psychological well being.
Additionally, if we are involved in something social, be it a book club or gym community, that regular connection (even online virtually) can be a sanity-saver during winter months.
These are examples of things we can control. By recognizing these things and focusing on them, we can create a brighter, happier and much more positive couple of months ahead.
Progress Over Perfection
We have gone over this idea a number of times that perfection does not exist in this life. And trying to chase it is fool’s errand, not to mention a big waste of time.
But progress is powerful. Progress can be measured day by day and in as little as 1% increments. And in the middle of a pandemic, 1% progress is everything.
Whether it’s focusing on one workout per week or cutting out sugary beverages a single day each week, something is always better than nothing. Especially now.
We tell our members at Park Fitness that you might not have been an exerciser before Park Fitness, but you are now. You made it happen. You also might not have ever done a workout from your home before either. But you have proven to yourself you can do this once before. You can certainly do it again.
Remember, one workout per is more than zero and is completely doable.
Lastly, something we cover often is the ideal of ranking your workouts on a scale of 1 to 4. 4 would be the best workout you feel you could have and a 1 is a workout where maybe it took all you had to just show up to the workout that day but really didn’t have much in the tank. And 2 and 3 fall somewhere in between.
The reality is that we often don’t have many 4-type workouts and we actually don’t really have many 1s either. Most workouts are 2s and 3s. And even if they are all 1s, the beautiful thing is that they still count!
As long as we show up (in-person or online virtually), it’s more than a zero and better than nothing. After a while, 1s, 2s and 3s really start to add up. And that is where success lives.
Perhaps the last and most important thing that we can embrace during this time is that nothing is permanent - not even Covid.
There will be a day sometime soon that we will be past this. We will get back to “normal” at some point.
Something profound that my business partner, Danny O”Malley, said recently was maybe the greatest bit of advice yet.
He said, You can either do nothing and be worse for it or do something and be better for it. Doing nothing (no workouts even virtually, no community connection and involvement, and no outlet for mood and mental clarity) will give you a zero percent chance of being in a better place.
So what’s your plan? If you work on controlling the things you can control; you focus on progress even 1%; and you avoid the zeros you allow yourself to have a much better Fall and Winter and set yourself up for a 2021 that might be your best year in sometime!
You got this. Let us know how we can help.