3 Steps to Avoid Over Planning and Actually Reach Your Fitness Goals

over planning get leave you stuck at the start line

Having trouble reaching your fitness goals? It might be because you are over planning.

If you think you have a full-proof plan, but you aren’t reaching your goals, over planning might actually be holding you back.

Getting beyond the starting line

You probably know the saying, “When you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” After all, if we don’t know where we’re going, how can we get there, right? We are told over and over again, in business, with our finances, and with weight loss, we need a plan!

We are encouraged to be diligent in creating goals and implementing our plan so we can reach success. So does that mean that everyone who takes the time and effort to make a plan will succeed? Not necessarily.

On the other hand, planning but never acting, which is essentially playing it safe behind the starting line of life, is no way to go out and make things happen either.

Planning vs over planning

Planning is good. Over planning? Not so much. I’m what you might call a reformed over-planner, even an obsessive planner at times. And because I live it, I know how to recognize when it’s holding me back.

I like lists. I like charting out my goals. I’m pretty great at starting things. What I’m not always great at is finishing. Planning helps us start. Acting helps us finish.

Recognizing I tend to get stuck in the over planning, and not in the ACTING, has helped me, and I think it could probably help you, too.

Getting comfortable

For me, planning, even to the point of over planning, is a safe place. If you read my post on the phases of fitness, planning happens in stage one. It’s the rally phase, where things are exciting, motivation is high, and you’re behind that starting line ready to run!

With any plan, there will be stumbling blocks obstructing you from success. These can be in the form of fear, doubt, other people, or unforeseen situations. If we set up camp in the planning stage indefinitely, and stay there nice and comfy, none of those stumbling blocks can reach us.

Like I said, planning is safe.

But playing it safe in the race of life is to never pass that starting line. Too much planning becomes a form of procrastinating. 

Sure, those obstacles can’t touch us if we stay behind the starting line, but it won’t help us win with our goals, either.

With weight loss, having a plan is having intention. But there has to be more to it, or we won’t win.

The reward waiting for you if you’ll just get beyond that starting line. Even though it may not be as comfy, it’s worth it!

So let’s not be over planners, let’s be anti-over planners!

how to stop over planning and finally reach your fitness goals

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3 anti-over planning steps that get you beyond the starting line and reach your fitness goals

There are 3 simple steps to getting out of the over planning rut and winning (with fitness or any other areas of your life). They are SUPER simple, but sometimes not all that easy:

  1. Plan.
  2. Act.
  3. Track.

Told you. No rocket science here. And you might be thinking, “OK, that’s weird. The first step in NOT over planning is to PLAN?”.

Anti-over planning step 1: Plan

Yes! The important first step to reaching any goal successfully is, in fact, developing a PLAN to get there. Sure, we still have to plan, but we aren’t going to get stuck here. Step 1 is just our means to an end. And it’s where we get our mindset right to achieve our goal.

The mindset work you’ll do in preparation to planning a goal is important. You must identify your outcome before brainstorming ways to get there. This will save you some of the stress that goes with flowing whichever way the wind blows, or living day by day chasing a whim.

Once you have realistically set your goal, think about what measurable milestones you can identify to make sure you can recognize how well you are making progress toward it. Break large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks, and put a timeline on everything. Create a schedule and allot yourself the time to take those small steps.

We can’t stop there, however.

Anti-over planning step 2: ACT

This is where the magic happens.

Any good plan needs execution (otherwise, your plan is only a wish). You can ‘t just sit on the couch watching late night fitness infomercials and expect to shed pounds. You must get up and act.

The better your plan, the easier this step is. In Step 1, you’ve built in time and space for yourself to actually DO the thing you are planning. If you’ve thought ahead, made some good SMART Goals, accounted for those inevitable bumps along the road (or at least some of them) you are on your way out of planning and into implementing.

Active action makes that possible.

Anti-over planning step 3: Track

The last step in getting control of your over planning is to TRACK your progress.

Being able to recognize success when it’s staring at you in the face is one thing, but so is your ability to make adjustments on the fly. 

Tracking helps at every step of your goal attainment, but so is having a growth mindset of flexibility. Neither is very effective without tracking.

First, keep track your original goal (yes, we tend to lose sight of it if we don’t continually remind ourselves what it is and WHY we want it). Next, track your habits. These are the small steps you’ve assigned for yourself to walk (or run!) closer to that goal every day. Are you going to drink more water? Get to sleep earlier? Meal prep on Sunday? Track the steps you say you are going to do, and chances are you’ll actually do them. Finally, track your progress along the way (and celebrate the wins when you get them)!

Stay in the race

When Henry Ford built the first automobile, he forgot to include a reverse gear. We all know today that his incredible innovation forever changed our world, but what if he wasn’t able to adjust his plan by making a second attempt, or a third, a fourth, or however long it took to re-work his plan?

Remember that as you track your progress, making changes whenever you catch yourself off track is totally OK.

It’s taken a lot of time and patience for me to learn how to be flexible and adjust to the bumps in the road, and I have had many. I also trust in God to ultimately lead me according to His plan for my life.

In 2 Corinthians 9:6, the Bible says,

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

The late Zig Ziglar also said,

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”

Lastly, I leave you with a quote by John F. Kennedy,

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”

Decide you no longer want to be stuck hiding behind the starting line. Decide you don’t want to be stuck in over planning mode. Execute your plan with commitment and action. Sometimes it will mean you get to take a risk, but don’t fear that. Plan for it and adjust along the way. You’ll be set to run the race of your life!

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