Work The Plan: How To Take Purposeful Action

Perhaps it’s just me, but I find February to be a time for evaluation. As the hustle and bustle of New year’s resolutions passes, there seems to be a more calm energy. Everyone is settled into routines once again, busy work is getting done and the hope for an early spring keeps the morale high.

With all the day-to-day action, it’s easy to get lost in the “busy-ness”. Our heads are down and we’re pushing through. But if you’re like me, I always question if I’m on track. Am I taking the RIGHT actions? Or am I chasing ghosts. Does this resonate with you?

Since January, my ambitions revolved around action. Planned, purposeful, manageable action. It’s way to common (and honestly stereotypical) that we see people “fall off the wagon”. While the intentions may have been commendable, there is usually a lack of objective planning. What do I mean? I mean having goals, quantifying them and setting deadlines with action items to make the work, well, work. 

So here’s what I’ve found helpful when it comes to “working the plan”:

1) Set An Annual Goal
It could be a single focus point or a couple. The main thing is that you pick something that is easily defined by some sort of metric. Since it’s a very long initiative, make sure it pushes you outside your comfort zone a bit. However, keep it REALISTIC. You know you best, so keep it honest. Write down what “done” looks like and how you could measure it over time. A simple example could be looking to become healthier by losing 30-50 lbs of fat mass by December 25th. 

2) Set Quarterly Projects
Pick 1-2 “projects” you’d like to focus on that work towards the annual goal. Ensure the projects are realistic, measurable and are easily defined as what “done” looks like. These projects should have a 90-day deadline and be challenging enough to take some time to work towards. Going back to our weight loss example, a “project” could be: build and implement a workout regimen 3 times per week for 90-days. Sounds simple enough. Then a following quarter project could be: improve workouts to 4 per week with 30-mins of recreational sports. 

3) Set Weekly Action Items
Similar to your projects, the weekly action items work towards accomplishing the quarterly projects. Take the time to plan out some action items that are SMART based and plan out 12 weeks worth. Then, take action. An example could be: get comfortable workout clothes. Another could be: research gyms in my area and make a list of 3. Next could be: sign-up for a gym membership. Next week could be: meet with a trainer. 

4) Review & Continue
Set 30-mins at the start of each week and ask “did it get done, yes or no?” If no, why? Perhaps the action items were too broad or the timeline was too specific or other factors came into play. Feel free to adjust the action items but look to stay on track. I find color coding my “yes” with a green helps keep me accountable; I don’t like seeing reds on my plans. Wash, rinse, repeat!

Remember, implementing a new strategy for strategizing will take time. It won’t be perfect and your first time taking a crack at it will likely be very messy. That’s ok, it’s supposed to be. Be patient with yourself and just trudge forward. You’ll clean it up as time progresses. Just keep taking action.

Eat the elephant one bite at a time.

PS: If you found this helpful, we’d love to hear about your 2024 goals! We’re big go-getters and love working with people passionate to improve their health and fitness. Click the link below and let’s chat about how we can work together!



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Here’s a big question in the fitness world: Do you need machines to get fit? The short answer: No.  Here’s a very quick history lesson:


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