My message for the week:- When life throws you off track, role with the punches!
I’m a big believer in planning – if you want to see results in the gym, you need to plan your training cycles with clear goals in mind. But know this:- There is no such thing as the perfect plan. The best laid plans can be derailed when life happens:- you get injured, you get ill, you suffer from burnout, you eat too many Easter eggs, you move to another city, or you suffer an emotional trauma. I find that sometimes one can become so invested in every little detail of you training or eating plan, that as soon as something happens to derail you, it turns your world upside down. You throw your arms up and say, well, that didn’t work, I’m never going to achieve my goals now, I may as well pack it in!
The reality is that no plan goes according to plan! If you were to ask Olympic athletes, they would tell you that at some stage during their preparation, their is almost always a setback, an injury for example, or sometimes a major setback that would cause them to have to go back to the drawing board and adapt – enter plan B or C or…Setbacks are a part of life, and champions know how and when to adapt.
My advice for when life happens:- Firstly, always put your plans on paper (eating plans, exercise plans, goals, timelines etc), write them down and monitor progress. When life happens, go back to the drawing board, and make the necessary changes. Again write the changes down, ask for advice, and turn to your support network. If we don’t make the effort to committ our plans to paper, find alternatives and seek help, there is a tendency to become lost – to drift from one aimless training session to the next, to unconsciously allow ourselves those extra unhealthy snacks, or we become overwhelmed and eventually fall off the wagon.
Think of a plan as a dynamic, flexible process. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and when life becomes unpredictable, proper planning will always include a plan B. The ability to be adaptable and dynamic in our planning is a key factor in long term success. Never say die!