Taking on a new fitness program or challenge? Signing up is the first step, and an important one, but not as important as taking these next steps. Putting a plan in place and being prepared before you even begin will make a world of difference when it comes to the level of success you achieve.
It is so easy to get discouraged or fall off track early in the game because you just weren’t prepared, so take the time and do it right! Here’s my Pre-Challenge Checklist. I highly recommend going through the entire thing and checking off those tasks before you jump into your program. I promise it will be worth it!
1. Schedule like a Boss
- Put ALL your workouts in your calendar at least 2 weeks in advance.
- Pick a time of day that you know is realistic. This will make developing a routine a lot easier. If you’re not a morning person don’t attempt 5am workouts right off the bat and if you tend to hit a wall later in the day schedule your workouts for the morning or over your lunch break.
- Look ahead and make note of upcoming special events and/or travel dates. Adjust your workouts as needed by moving your rest day around or change your regular workout time if needed for that day.
- If you know you are going to have to miss a day find a way to double up on another day that week. ie; cardio in the morning and weights in the evening.
- Schedule in grocery shopping and cooking days for each week. I personally like to keep this the same each week – shopping on Fridays cooking on Sundays and Wednesdays.
2. Get The Gear
- Purchase proper footwear for both running and weight training and athletic apparel that is breathable and comfortable for working out in.
- Taking your workouts outdoors? Make sure you have the proper gear for all weather conditions. Plus any safety/reflective items you may need if you are out after dark.
- Do you need to purchase any supportive tensors, wraps or tape to accommodate past injuries or weak joints? *this is something you should have discussed with your health care provider before starting your program
- If you’re not set up to workout at home go sign up for that gym membership!
- If you’re following an At Home program make sure you have all the necessary equipment and the space needed.
3. Fuel Your Workouts
- Clean out those cupboards. Get rid of any junk food or anything that will tempt you to stray from your clean eating plan.
- Plan out your meals/menus for the entire week. This will save a ton of time and will save you lots of money since you won’t be buying items that you won’t need or use.
- Make a grocery list. Take note of the items that you already have and what you need to stock up on. Save time in the store by organizing your list into sections ie; produce, deli, bakery etc.
- Use reusable containers. All those meals in the fridge will take up space unless you have some way to keep them organized. Portioning out each meal into an individual container will save room and will allow for quick, easy access when it’s time to eat.
- Purchase any supplements or vitamins that you plan on using and find a place to store them. When you start a new supplement routine it is easy to forget to take them everyday which is why I recommend putting them on your kitchen or bathroom counter where you will see them each day.
- Have a system in place for bringing food and supplements to work or on the road. Do you have access to a fridge or will you need to bring a cooler or lunch bag with freezer packs? Do you need a daily pill box or other storage for your supplements?
4. Build Your Tribe
- Share your new goals with your friends and family. Let them know what you are up to, how your life and schedule will be different and how it may effect them.
- Invite others to join you. You never know who you may inspire or who’s just been waiting for someone to ask!
- Find your accountabil-a-buddy. This person will make sure you do what you said you would and won’t be afraid to dish out some tough love. They can be someone that you train with or simply someone that you call when you need some motivation.
5. Create a Motivation Arsenal
There will be days that are hard and days that you just want to give up – guaranteed! These are just a few of my ideas to keep going through those tough moments
- Motivational Quotes – post them everywhere! On your bathroom mirror, as a screen saver on your phone/work computer, in your car…
- Videos – Just search ‘motivational videos for athletes’ on YouTube and you are bound to find something that get’s you fired up, just don’t get sucked into the black hole of funny cat videos lol
- Music – We all have that one song that just gets us going. Create a playlist that includes this song and others that move you and inspire you to keep pushing through. I also like to use that one song as an alarm the goes off right when it’s time to get ready for my workout.
- Meditation – Calm the mind and remove negative thoughts with a daily meditation.
Everyone is different but I know from years of training, both myself and others, that taking these steps before jumping into a new challenge makes a huge impact on the results achieved. Plan the work and then work the plan! If you have any other tips or advice I would absolutely love to hear how your prepare – just leave a comment below and let me know 🙂