The past year has been a testament for me to the necessity of planning when exactly I will work out each week, and what time each day. With so much going on, a pump is just not going to happen unless time is specifically set aside for that. Before I started working on a schedule there were so many days where I had every intention of working out and just never got to it. Now, rather than just having it on my list of things to do, (because let's be real, none of us finish an entire, "to do" list in the amount of time we expect to) I know when and where my workout will happen, and I stick to the plan.
I begin by creating a visual map of my week on a whiteboard. I block off each day with what I have to do. It looks like this:
As you can see, I include my workout schedule in the plan. Typically I don't write the, "when" or "where" on the board, but I do take the time to give it some thought. Like I'm sure you are, I am very busy during the week. My goal is to get in some physical activity every single day, even if that simply means walking to and from my errands rather than driving or taking public transit. When I write down what workout I'll be doing, I'm mindful of the other tasks I have to complete that day including work, school, meetings, and social activities. Beyond my visual of the week, I hang a monthly calendar so I can be aware of what's on the horizon. That way, if the next week looks packed, I can get some minor errands or cleaning tasks out of the way this week.
Also, and very importantly: before I go to bed each night, I run down the following day in my head making a mental note of the free time I'll have. I think, "Okay, session 8-9am, session 9-10am, session 10-11am, supervision 2-2:30pm, and babysit 3-6pm." Then, I think about what my evening will consist of... "I have to run an errand on my way home, and publish my blog post." On this particular example day, I know I am scheduled to get a "HIIT" workout in which will only take 20-30 minutes. So, I'd opt to squeeze it in before evening rolls around... otherwise I'll have to do it kind of late, and
there's a chance I'll bail or I'll do it and then be too amp'd to fall asleep at a reasonable hour. I'll think, "Looks like I'm getting my pump in between 11:30am and 1pm. For me, a small window is helpful because I know I have a limited amount of time, and I'll get right down to business rather than wasting time doing mostly nothing before actually starting my workout.
Another thing I just started doing this week, is making a little note in my day planner about how my workout went. I created a little key for myself in which a check mark indicates a very good/high energy sweat sesh, a dash indicates a decent/average pump, and an "X" indicates a poor/low energy excuse for a workout. I also note the type, time, and place. My intention here is to paint a picture for myself of the optimal workout and workout setting, so I can be most productive in the future.
Is my crazy showing?! I think I'm making my "type A" personality quite clear, but I'm telling you! People have asked me, "How do you stay motivated?" and this is the answer. I make it a priority in my life, as if I were getting paid to do it... because really, I AM getting paid... paid in health. I'll say it again, physical fitness has to be a lifestyle choice. So CHOOSE to live the lifestyle and it will get easier and eventually it will become a part of your routine. The key is to have a plan and stick to it
What is your workout plan?!