As I’ve previously mentioned; planning will get you motivated. Yet, I have learned out of experience that just having a 12-week plan can be equally as discouraging as not having one and starting from scratch. This is why it is important to plan step by step, build up and keep things exciting.
Step by step
The number one advice I can give when it comes to planning is not to get too much ahead of yourself. Start by planning your week instead of getting overly excited and planning your entire month.
Take your week planner, calendar or diary and determine the amount of time you have in a week. Do this by choosing an hour a day, everyday, that you’re going to dedicate to fitness and wellbeing. When I say ‘everyday’ I really do mean everyday. What that means is that you’re either going to plan in a one-hour long high intensity training/class, 40 minutes (or more) of a lower intensity activity (like jogging or yoga) or an hour of pampering.
Now, it is important to determine your background. Are you used to working out more than 4 times a week? Do you workout twice a week at low intensity? Or do you never workout? Everyone is different, so there is no fixed amount of workouts one has to do to achieve results. Here are some examples that will give you an idea of what a week should look like according to your background:
You work out at least 4 times a week at high intensity:
4 days of training: high intensity activities such as weight training, TRX, HIIT sessions (although I would probably faint if I had to do one hour of those), Crossfit etc.
1 day of lower intensity activities: running, yoga, swimming, a barre class etc.
1 day of rest and pampering: by that I mean an hour of polishing your nails, scrubbing, taking extremely long baths, doing masks, putting on way too much cream etc.
You usually do about 2 or 3 days of lower intensity activities a week:
3 days of training at high intensity
2 days of lower intensity activities
1 day of rest and pampering
You workout once every two weeks, when you feel like it:
2 days of training at high intensity
3 days of low intensity activities (if you can do at least 30 minutes)
2 days of rest and pampering
Switch it up
By planning your days ahead it’s easier to plan in some cool classes you’ve never tried before. Simply book them the Sunday before the start of a new week. That way you’re sure you’re actually going to do something that week. Plus, by trying out new workouts you’re very likely to enjoy yourself more than you usually would.
“What? Huh? How? I never enjoy my workouts!”
Well, that’s about to change as soon as you switch up your regular routine of going to the gym, running on a treadmill for an hour and then doing some crunches. As soon as you’ve figured out which type of workout you enjoy most, you’ll be excited to plan your week ahead!
Once you’ve determined your level of activity, plan these hours in to your week using a planner/diary. Don’t worry if, one day, you really can’t get to the gym for a high intensity training. Simply switch that day with a rest day or day of lower intensity. In the end, everything you do is for you. If you know you want to start working out because it’ll make you feel better in your own skin, then you need to make a commitment to yourself. Of course, I’m not saying that missing one workout is the end of the world (I’d be worried if that was the end of anyone’s world), but if you regularly miss workouts by telling yourself you don’t have time, you’re sore, it’s cold etc. the only one you’re punishing is yourself, no one else.