Planning - Patience - Practice
Now I’m not saying summer is over (It’s September for crying out loud…it better not be over!) but I do know that many of you are coming back from a fluctuating work schedule, bouts of relaxing travel, birthday bashes, long weekends, fun weddings, engagement parties, bachelorette shin-digs, bachelor jaunts, and generally a break in your regularly scheduled week to week calendars. Knowing all this means that we have to consider how we approach a changing of the season, and how you approach what is likely to be an increase back to your normal training routine.
We have already heard the phrases of “back to school,” “on the wagon," “detox,” “in it to win it” and the likes. And while these sentiments are fine, it is important we realize that going from little to lots NEVER EVER WORKS…EVER!
We all think we can do it all. But I challenge anyone to remember a time when they either A. Succeeded in doing everything all at once and B. Enjoyed trying it that way. It is a fair bet to assume that we’ve all been there and all had a rough time. So what should we do instead?
Plan your week to gradually build up things that you can tolerate and more importantly maintain. You have quite literally years to work on your self improvement project, so what's the rush? Surely you’d prefer to keep the fruits of your labor rather than yo-yo back and forth and deal with the crappy feelings that come with that. Yeh, thought so. If you’ve been doing no training, plan to try 2 days per week and then gradually add back more as you get into the groove again.
Week 1: 2 days
Week 2: 2 days + a walk
Week 3: 3 days
Week 4: 3 days + 1-2 walks etc.
As I previously mentioned, you have LOADS of time. So enjoy the process and be patient. Take a minute to tell yourself the following - “there is no substitute for consistent hard work on the basics or movement, healthy foods, and sleep” go on..tell yourself...I’ll wait….Done? Great. Write that on your mirror, screen saver, dashboard or wherever. Take your time and make habits out of the most important things. Don’t add anything new to your habits until you can prove to yourself that you can maintain all the other stuff before it.
Highlight the most important things you need to address to feel successful like training (building back up to daily movement), or nutrition (eating minimally processed foods such as lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats), or sleep (establishing a constant sleep and wake time and getting 8 hours per night) and they break your most essential goal up into more manageable tasks. Now practice them until they become second nature.
All this to say that everything in life is cyclical and we will always have ebbs and flows in our priorities and actions. When the shift in those priorities and actions happens, make a plan, be patient, and practice your skills.