A contingency plan is a course of action designed to help respond effectively to a significant future event or situation that may or may not happen.
We often associate a contingency plan with the “big” things…building a house, planning a vacation, or launching a new initiative at work. But what about a contingency plan for our healthy lifestyle goals?
Your health should be your number one priority. These tips can help you navigate some of the most common obstacles cited when I asked clients what keeps them from maintaining regular schedule, despite their goal to do so.
1. Break your plan down weekly. Birthday parties, business dinners, project deadlines and doctor’s appointments can all derail your exercise plans. Look at your week in advance to see where you need to make adjustments.
2. Reschedule immediately. Whether you have a month's notice or a minutes notice, make a plan immediately. Will you miss your regular Monday spin class? Plan a replacement time and/or activity, or adjust your “off” day, as soon as you know it's needed.
3. Pack your gym bag the night before. Even if it’s as simple as tossing shorts and a t-shirt into a bag. Bonus points for going ahead and putting the bag in your car. No excuses for sleeping in or walking right by without grabbing it. You are also more likely to remember the smaller items like socks and hair ties when packing isn’t so rushed in the morning.
4. If you are an evening exerciser, stop at the gym on the way home from work. You are less likely to get caught up in household chores or other crisis that tend to meet us at the door. Prefer a morning workout? Check out the locker room facilities and get ready at the gym – it eliminates extra travel time and minimizes distractions. Bonus: Because my outfit for the day has already been picked out and I can't make any last minute adjustments I actually get out the door quicker!5. Don’t force it. Do you have a standing book club at 6:00 each Thursday evening? Then don’t plan on the 5:00 boot camp class. Accepting your limitations eliminates feelings of failure and helps with achievable goal setting.
6. Figure out what kind of activities you have access to and be flexible. If there is only one rowing machine at your gym, don’t give up if someone else is on it at the time you would like to be. Try a new cardio class, hop on the stair stepper or give the elliptical a whirl.
7. Keep an extra pair of walking shoes and a pair of socks at your desk. If an after-work appointment pops up, you can use your lunch break to take a brisk walk or do some light yoga.