Summer Fitness Challenge 2 - Prepare to Crush Goals

The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare - Bobby Knight.

Tomorrow, July 1st - You've mentally and emotionally committed to showing up for yourself for the next 21 days. I'm so proud of you!!! Deciding to define your goals is the first step to starting them. Now what can be done to help you achieve what you set out? You have to take a few action steps to prepare. 

One thing before we jump right into the how's, you have to breathe. Yep. Slowly inhale all of your dreams and passions and desires. Hold...Hold... Now. Slowly release the breath. In that exhale allow yourself to let go of the the bulls**t, the excuses and self-doubt. Repeat the slow inhale and envision how fabulous you'll feel once successfully completed this challenge. Hold for 4 seconds, then slowly on the out breath visualize anything other negative thought leaving your body. If this exercise feels foreign to you, then that's a sign you need to breathe deeply more often. Practice this each morning and evening, and I promise you'll find it easier to focus on what matters most. 

Now, what you came to find out. How to prepare for the 21 day challenge!!!

Step 1: Grab a NEW planner or journal that is ONLY used for meal and workout plans. 

Since this challenge is only  a stepping stone to completing other health & fitness challenges throughout your lifetime, you'll want to keep this and add things along along the way. Use the planner/journal as a road map with ideas about your vision of what you want to accomplish on each challenge. Jot down life goals, workout ideas, recipes, friends to work out with. In a big bold beautiful color, list reasons that you want to crush your goals. PLEASE make it more than about physical effects. If that's listed, great. But my hope is that you have more reasons of why you joined the challenge. How about increased energy for loved ones, reduced  intake of medications, feeling empowered to make bigger life-changing decisions in the future? Focusing on other "Big Why's" will keep you pushing through even if you haven't noticed external results. Don't worry if it's messy and the ideas don't have a flow or organization to them. Make sure to attach any articles you find along the way to look back on when you feel like it's a challenge to even think about showing up for yourself. You can find a few free ones on Pinterest. The Happy Planner has some great add-ins if you want to go all out. Get pumped about this challenge and be excited how you're taking control of the outcome, not me or anyone else telling you what or how.

Step 2: Plan the next 21 days of hydration, meals and workouts.

Grab your tried and true planner, the one that has your entire life already mapped out. Don't have one? Now is the time to get one, because we all have other obligations and they will always take priority over staying on track and showing up for a challenge. This challenge is going to work around your life, not the other way around. That's the only way to succeed. Not sure which one is right for you? Let's talk. I'm the queen of planners/journals. 

OK, in the next three weeks what days can you not fit in at least 30 minutes of physical activity? Vacations don't count, sorry. Stay tuned on ways to shred your goals while away from your normal routine. On days where physical activity isn't possible, focus on your emotional and spiritual wellness. Meditate or take moments of silence to focus on your breath. Allow your body and mind to be calm for about 10-20 minutes. Doing this will keep you centered and in tune with you body's cues to eat or rest.

Any celebrations going on?  Don't sweat those day. I mean it!! Seriously. Stressing out causes a load of adrenaline and cortisol to be released, which causes you body's digestive system to shut down, causing toxin and fat storage to build up. And that defeats the purpose of eating nutritious foods and working out. We don't want that. Do your best to remain focused on meals you can plan. Don't "save up" calories for goodness sake. Enjoy a nutrition dense breakfast and lunch that was prepared at home. Then enjoy a great time out and about. The only recommendation I have is to listen to your body's cues. Is a piece of cake calling your name? Eat the damn cake. Savor every bite like it's the most amazing thing your taste buds have tasted. Be honest about ho much you want. If two bites satisfies you, awesome. If you eat the entire piece, cool. Enjoy the cake. Now, allow leftovers to go home with someone else. You have a commitment to yourself to keep.

Back to the planner - Plan your water intake. Sounds silly, but do it. Plan to drink your water throughout the day. Next write 2 exercise options each day. Preparation means giving yourself a choice. If the only two choices are workout or not, that's an easy choice. If the calendar says walk or yoga, 21 day fix video or jog, 80 day obsession or Zumba class - now you have an option to choose between indoor/outdoor or gym/at-home, solo/group. How great is that? If you're not sure what routine will work for you or if you have a solid routine and want to challenge yourself with some additional fitness goals, reach out to me and we can talk. 

Once you plan out your daily 30 minutes or more of physical activity, you're ready to get to the heart of reaching health & fitness goals - Setting up success in the kitchen.

In your handy dandy planner, schedule your meal prepping like anything else. Turning your kitchen into a work space requires time and attention. Don't try to squeeze it in between two other important events. My meal making magic happens on Sundays, late in the afternoon and it lasts for about 3 to 4 hours. I begin with going to the grocery store - with a list. I have gotten my routine down where I can be in and out of the store in about 40 minutes and back home with pots, pans, scale or ultimate portions fix kit and and storage containers ready to go. I prepare breakfast and lunch/dinner only. This saves time and food. Though we all should make time for three meals, the reality most of us eat only two. If you're like me, you're life is too on-the-go to sit down and properly eat three meals.  That is why I became efficient and committed to having a protein shake for either lunch or dinner. When I don't make time to eat when I'm hungry, I consume impulse food that are easy to carry around with me. I wised up and bought a shaker bottle that has a separate compartment to hold protein powder in the bottom. Now I have a grab-and-go meal that I don't have to cook. Saves time in the kitchen, reduces waste and my body thanks me for not starving it.

Perhaps this challenge would be a great time to take back your time and enjoy three full meals a day. I encourage you to continue prepping only two and cooking enough left over ingredients to throw together for a quick third meal.

Once you prepare your meals, yep, write down what you're going to eat in your planner. The visual reminder is crucial when you are hungry and forget you have a healthy choice waiting for you to consume. The act of writing down your meals also helps you remember to grab your food when you head out for the day. If meal planning is new to you, you may not be accustomed to taking your meals and sticking with the plan, so prepare even more with little notes to yourself. 

You may be asking right now about eating out and if this challenge allows it. Chica, anything is allowed. It's your challenge. But eating out is the easiest way to make a health & fitness challenge even harder. Saturday is the only day that I eat out, and I make it a lovely occasion. One meal out, once a week. You do you though.

Step 3: Find an accountability partner (or 5). 

Join the Facebook group, "Define Your Fit Goals" and be a part of a supportive team. Post photos of your workouts, meals and really be authentic on your journey. Use the group as an outlet motivation when you don't feel like sticking to your game plan. Reach out to me personally ANYTIME with questions, comments or suggestions. We are in this together for the next 21 days and beyond.

Lets conquer this challenge,

SG