31 Aug Make a Plan…..IT’S YOUR PLAN.
You go and see a Personal Trainer. The Trainer is very enthusiastic and the trainer tells you that you need to do some exercise, get stronger and tone up, become more flexible, have rock hard abs and a core that will allow you to cross the Andes by frog without spilling your drink. You are going to need to lose 15 kgs, buy various supplements, stop your alcohol input completely, associate with regular and frequent exercisers only and consume measured quantities of “carbs, fats and proteins” from now until such time as hell freezes over. You will need to complete 4 strenuous gym sessions a week at no little cost to yourself and two of the arranged times might be difficult as you sometimes take the kids to Total Tiddlywinks at that hour.
You leave this appointment lighter in the pocket and a little doubtful as to how this is going to play out. You have a stressful day at work the next day and can’t get away at the time you expected so you cut short your gym session but nonetheless go home feeling fairly pleased that you made it at all.
The following day is your partner’s birthday and you go out for a “few” celebratory drinks after work and when you wake the following day all you can face is a “Croque Monsieur” from the French bakery on the way to work…….
You didn’t stick to the plan…..again.
A week later, and somewhat dispiritedly, you go back to the Gym and ask if you could have a chat with an alternative Personal Trainer as the one you spoke to originally is not present. This alternative PT (who shall be named Marjorie) asks you about recent experience and you relate the last 72 hours. Marjorie makes a few notes and lets you talk, asking for a little clarification here and there and asking you how you felt about various situations that arose.
Only when you have stopped talking does she ask, “So what do you think is realistic in terms of making a start?” You reply that just coming for a bit of a workout twice in the remaining week of the month should be realistic. Marjorie asks you to look in your diary and check what other commitments you have. You confirm that you do have free time for these sessions. She asks if there is anything that is driving you to want to make a few changes in your lifestyle patterns. Each time you give a reason she asks you to tell her a little more about this as she is really interested to hear about it. She asks several times, “What will this feel like if you achieve it?’ and “Why is this important to you?”
You leave the session with the thought that you will be able to complete your first goal of 2 workouts by the end of the month and Marjorie has asked if she can send you a text to see if you made this commitment into a reality.
Many of us harbour only vague ideas of how to start our journey towards better choices. What is needed is guidance and coaching. Losing ownership of our goals is an immensely frustrating experience and making the goals too hard to reach in the short term is also annoying and leads to thoughts such as, “I’ll NEVER be able to do that”. Steps along the way, stepping stones, staging posts, call them what you will, are much more encouraging and give opportunities to celebrate achievement especially when it is obvious that they align with the bigger objectives that you have.
So when you set up the plan it needs to be…..
FOR YOUR REASONS
AT THE RIGHT LEVEL FOR YOUR ABILITY AND ENCOURAGE SOME IMPROVEMENT
By all means have someone to act as a sounding board and to reflect back what you are saying and thinking but they are not making the plan for you.