The month of March was extremely hectic for me. You may have noticed The Four Percent was on a brief hiatus from updates, sorry about it! Now I’m back in action after taking a deep breath and gaining a renewed sense of motivation and inspiration. We all have those moments where we need evaluate our current situations, reflect on where we’ve been, and decide where it is we want to go. Over the past couple of weeks I battled a four day stomach flu (trust, not a pretty sight), traveled to LA and back, AND started a new job. I was spreading myself too thin and subsequently running out of hours in the day – with a list of things to do that NEVER seemed to get shorter.
Long story short: my routine has been anything but regular and I’m in dire need of hitting the reset button. Sound familiar? If this has happened to you, I know you feel me. It doesn’t take much for me to get back on track, but like everyone I need to prepare myself mentally to get started. You know what they say, getting started is the hardest part. Armed with the tips below I’m hoping that the first step is that much easier. I hope you find it helpful too!
Plan Your Workouts
Over the weekend I planned my workouts and rest days for every day for the entire month. I reserved classes that work for my schedule, and planned independent workouts using my NTC app. While you have the option to use the app’s 4-week plan feature, I’m opting to hand pick my workouts and elevate myself as the month progresses. When you schedule classes via MindBody you can choose to use their automatic calendar updates. Take advantage of it. If you block off the time in your calendar from the get-go you’ll have a more realistic view of how many hours you have available in the day, and when you can fit in your daily sweat. It’s up to you how you schedule your workouts, when, and how often. Make sure you’re giving your body time to recover. Again – the operative word here is REALISTIC. If you haphazardly plan your schedule you’re less likely to stick to it. I kick it old school – I still have a planner that I use to hand write my commitments. I don’t know why, I just can’t make the switch to a digital calendar. Something about crossing things off my list, it just feels so good!
Structure Your Meal Plan
I’ve experimented with nutrition enough to know what works for my body to shed fat: high protein, healthy fats, and minimal carbs. Knowing this, I plan my meals accordingly. Just as I did with my workouts, I took a moment to plan my meals for the month. Yes, every single meal and every single snack for the month of April. While I may make some last minute changes in real time while I’m cooking or at the grocery store having a basic outline is really helpful. Saturday I went to the grocery store, and cooked enough meals to keep me fueled and satisfied for 4 days. I like to keep my fridge like I keep my closet: fully stocked, and full of items that I can mix and match. Meals with a lot of ingredients and intricate preparation isn’t my style. I keep a variety of proteins, fats and fruits and veggies so that I can grab and go according to when I’m hungry and what I have a taste for. Remember this nutritional outline? I still use it. Tried and true. It works for me.
Your hard work preparing yourself won’t meal anything if you don’t put it into action. Before I start any program I tell my family, closest friends, and my co-workers. I kindly remind them peer pressure isn’t appreciated (example: “It’s only one drink.” Or, “One meal won’t kill you.”) and that I’m serious about achieving my goals. You don’t have to talk about it incessantly – in fact don’t, it’s actually annoying – but getting your friends and family on board to support you will be really helpful.
I am ALL about positive reinforcement. Track your progress and give yourself some snaps if you stay true to your plan. I love to treat myself to a sweet treat (but only ONE) or a manicure, or something fun. It not only keeps you motivated but gives you something to look forward to.
If you’ve fallen off the wagon the time is NOW to recommit, refocus, and remember your goals. You can’t achieve anything without putting in the time and energy. While it is important to plan ahead it is just as important to take one day at a time. If you have an indulgent meal, or miss a workout that is a-okay. Life happens. Start where you are, be mindful and enjoy the process! This journey is your life, so smile on.