I had an open day yesterday.
It was wiiiiiide open.
I didn’t have any appointments, and I didn’t have swim practice to coach last night.
I didn’t even have to drive anyone anywhere (which is a minor miracle).
My morning started off exactly the way I planned and exactly the way I start most days. With exercise.
I did 25 minutes on the elliptical after Number 3 got on the bus and before the rest of the kids were up for the day, and then I went for a 35 minute run as soon as Number 6 and 7 got on the bus.
I have leveled up my exercise goals for 2020, and I am shooting for an hour a day.
I have an easy time doing anything cardio — I love to run outside and I love using my elliptical at home because I use that time to watch my current favorite shows on Netflix.
I still haven’t made strength training a consistent part of my routine, so that’s what I’m working on making a habit now.
In Not Your Average Fitness Course we start off with what I call one-minute habits. We work on making habits super small and manageable to start with.
My one minute habit right now is a 55 second plank and 7 push-ups. I started with a 45 second plank and 5 push-ups around Thanksgiving, and I’ve added a tiny bit every couple weeks over the last six or eight weeks.
So I did my one minute habit after the elliptical and my run, and I was ready for the rest of the day by 9:30.
I was off to a great start.
I had some really big plans for myself. I was going to get so much done.
SO MUCH DONE.
And you know what I did?
I wasted most of the day.
A big reason for this is that I’m a little burned out from my family’s current schedule and I haven’t had a day of rest in much, much too long.
But there are other reasons.
I gave myself no deadlines.
I could have gotten so much done yesterday if I had imposed some deadlines on myself.
But I just didn’t.
And I shouldn’t be surprised. Because when I have no time constraints, I am super inefficient.
This is how I have always been.
On the days when I have smaller windows of time (like today, for example when I had my therapy appointment at 9 a.m. and a Facebook live for NYAFC at 1 pm and I had to leave for swim practice at 4 pm, then I had smaller windows of time to get things done.
And I kicked some ass today.
What’s the solution?
Well, first, I should know better than to think I’m going to get a shit ton of work done on a day that is wide open for me.
I just am not there yet.
A month or so ago I wrote this blog post entitled Monday is the new Sunday.
I was going to make Mondays my day of rest because my weekends are so often full of swim meets.
But Mondays just aren’t working out that way.
So I think I’m going to make Wednesdays my day of rest.
How amazing yesterday would have been if I had just not planned to do any work!
I would have fully embraced the freedom to allow myself to recover and restore my brain and my body!
But instead I placed all these expectations on myself, then I didn’t meet them, I felt guilty about not being productive, and I ended the day feeling guilty and disappointed rather than refreshed and rested.
This is where we often go wrong with our planning.
We plan things that aren’t realistic.
And that’s why it’s often really hard for us to stick to a plan. Because we are not meeting ourselves where we are, or we aren’t being realistic about the plan.
Maybe a year from now I’ll be able to be super efficient when I have a wide open day.
But at this season in my life, I’m just not there yet.
I would have been much better off yesterday watching some Netflix and taking a nap or reading a book simply for pleasure or doing whatever I wanted to do. Then I wouldn’t have felt like I wasted a whole day when I went to bed last night, and the wheels of guilt would not have been turning in my head.
I would have felt like I recharged myself.
In retrospect, I should have just done that!
So that is my new plan.
The point of a plan is to help you get stuff done or get closer to a goal you have set for yourself.
Not to overwhelm you and set yourself up for certain failure.
When you are planning your day or your meals or your exercise or your (fill in the blank), make sure your plan is realistic. Make sure it’s not leveling up like 40 levels from where you are now.
Because if that’s what your plan looks like, chances are that you will not stick to the plan.
Then you’ll very likely be beating yourself up at the end of the day.
And that’s not going to help you make any progress at all.
Meet yourself where you are and make a plan that is realistic. There’s no prize for making huge plans.
Especially when there is almost no chance that you’re gonna be able to stick to that plan in the first place.