Sunday, November 28, 2010

7 STEPS to Make a Training Plan for the Holidays

I am an athlete in training and I have found myself in the midst of the holiday season without a plan.

This predicament of being an athlete, being in training, being in the middle of many holiday parties, and being without a plan is not new to me.  I have always been an athlete, I have usually been in training, and I do not think I have ever had a good plan of attack to deal with the holidays.

The holidays need to be dealt with for obvious reasons: they involve lots of food, traveling, and stress.

Food gets sweeter and heavier; traveling pulls you away from your gym, and your workout routine; stress increases when unexpected challenges present themselves, and we often find ourselves facing all of these holiday pitfalls alone.

This year needs to be different.  It needs to be different because tryouts are approaching for the Boston Militia!  If tryouts are in January, this month, December is precisely the time I need to be kicking my training into full gear.  I cannot get lazy.  I am going to follow these steps to create my own plan AND I am going to come up with some tough input and output challenges to make sure I am working towards my goals and becoming a better athlete than I was in college.

STEP 1: Think about the big picture
This is important, ask yourself at the end of the holiday season: how will you know if your training plan worked?

STEP 2: Pick one or two things to focus on
You cannot fight every battle, so what battles are you willing to fight everyday?  Is it more important for you to focus on your food, or getting your workout in?  Make sure you know what your priorities are so that if you are running out of time and you need to cut something, you already know what you can cut.

STEP 3: Make a calendar
Part I: Decide how many days a week your want to work out
Part II: What days, and what time you will hit the gym, or get a workout in?
Part III: When will you go grocery shopping?
Part IV: When will you cook?

Think about what nights you will get home late, or what mornings you have to get up early.  By planning ahead you already know where your week might get tough and you are problem-solving. You are committing to a goal in advance and that means you are exponentially more likely to follow through.  Write in pen.

STEP 4: Pick one thing that you will do everyday
Commit to doing one 10 minute activity every day.  This is something you can do anywhere, every day. This activity is valuable because it reminds you to be conscious of what you are doing with your body and your mind.  Stretch, do push-ups, sit in complete silence.  Set this daily expectation for yourself and meet it.

STEP 5: Share you plan/Post your plan
It is a fact: things feel harder when you do them alone.
Another fact: when you make your goals visible, you are more likely to hold yourself accountable, and consequently more likely to meet those goals.  POST THIS SOMEWHERE!

STEP 6: Remember, it is always a choice
Read "Drinking A Glass of Water" written by JT, a Crossfit Coach at Crossfit Fenway for inspiration about making hard choices.  This post gave me confidence to make hard choices by focusing on one choice at a time.  Thanks JT!

Please share your own strategies for coping with the holidays, and post YOUR HOLIDAY GOALS here!

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