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Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Our Gym

By Coach William

Real talk: the gym can be an intimidating place. 

The first time that I walked into a gym on my own, I was 14. It was at our local community center, and you had to be 14 to enter the weight room. I was so excited to finally enter this unknown world. Prior to this moment, I had been working out at home, just doing whatever I knew–bicep curls, push-ups, crunches. 

Coach William at 14

Walking in was an intimidating experience–no one welcomed me, no one showed me what to do. There were a lot of machines that I had no idea how to use. There were a lot of people who seemed to know so much more than me. So, what did I do? I walked on the treadmill, did some bicep curls and went home. 

That first day, I didn’t feel like I fit in. Everyone else seemed to know each other already. After that, I didn’t show up for a while. Then I’d go on and off, just when I felt motivated enough. For years I went back and forth between going to the gym regularly and not going for months. Then going started to become routine. Eventually, routine became proficiency, and I realized that I wanted to somehow make a career in the fitness world.  

All of those feelings I had at first, though–the self-consciousness, the pain, the frustration I felt with myself–were awful feelings to have. And I know so many people who’ve gone through the same thing! We join gyms because we want to feel better physically and emotionally–but once we start, we often just feel worse: we feel out of place, we’re sore, we might even be dealing with an injury. Maybe we take on too much at once and get burnt out quickly. Then we’re stuck in an 18-month contract for something we don’t use, and even thinking about fitness makes us feel guilty or resentful. 

This is one of the many reasons that I opened Restored Strength: To give people like us a home where we can find comfort and have fun getting fit in a community of like-minded people. We’re not like other gyms: We’re a private training facility, which means we know everyone who walks through the door by name. We use our own S.M.A.R.T. Fitness System in conjunction with our Seasons of Lifting for Adults to help members achieve their goals without all the pain, time, and frustration of other exercise programs. Our community of coaches, members and staff is supportive, welcoming, and FUN! Restored Strength exists to offer a fitness home to our friends and neighbors who feel abandoned by a fitness industry focused on profit and short-term, unsustainable goals. 

We meet you where you’re at

We get to know you.

Have you ever been to a group-fitness workout where the instructor didn’t know your name, much less which exercises you’re good at, which you struggle with, whether you’ve had injuries? Those group fitness workouts where the instructor just ran you through the workout with everyone else and didn’t offer modifications that worked for you? 

Have you ever worked with a personal trainer who expected you to work out five times a week for an hour or more at a time? Or to start eating nothing but “healthy” food immediately? 

That’s not at all what the RS experience is like. We get to know you. We ask you about your goals, your history, your fears and your favorites, and then we tailor our programs, systems, and coaching style for you. 

You’re surrounded by a supportive community 

Traditional gyms are often crowded with strangers who either stare too much or ignore you completely. You never know who’s used which equipment or how clean they left it. The staff might not even know your name; you just come in and swipe a card. No one asks how your day is going, how your family is, or how your goals are coming along. 

At Restored Strength, you will experience the opposite: We pride ourselves on being radically welcoming. Not only will you be greeted by our coaches, you will be welcomed with open arms by all our members. 

Every member here has been the “new” person at some point. They all know what it’s like to feel uncomfortable in a new setting. So be prepared to have strangers make you feel at home, share your goals, and cheer you on as you become a healthier, stronger version of yourself! 

Our coaches are experts, and they’ve GOT you

Have you ever tried to do a home workout–on YouTube, maybe, or a DVD, maybe even at your gym–and not been able to tell if you were doing the exercises the right way? Or, worse, did you injure yourself? 

Because we work in small groups, our coaches are able to give you the one-on-one attention that ensures you’re moving safely and correctly–and to make sure you’re getting the full benefit of the exercise! Our coaches don’t just tell you how to do the exercises–we *teach* you how to do the exercises, giving you gentle feedback on how you can improve your form and (socially-distant) high-fives when you get it right! 

This small setting also ensures that our coaches are able to get to know your goals and habits, allowing us to guide you through the process in a way that works specifically for you. Whenever you walk through our door, a coach will greet you and ask if there is anything new that we need to be aware of–is your back hurting, did you have a rough day at work, did you sustain a minor injury over the weekend–so that we can tailor that day’s workout if necessary.  We will always have a plan ready for you when you arrive, and we will always be ready to change the plan if that’s what you need. 

You can try us for free, with no obligations

I started Restored Strength for you!

I started Restored Strength to create the gym experience that I hadn’t been able to find anywhere else–and it’s turned out even better than I’d hoped it would. If any part of this article resonates, I opened Restored Strength for you!

If you’ve been looking for a gym where coaches are attentive and encouraging, workouts are tailored to your needs, and you’re surrounded by people like you who want you to succeed, come check us out!

To see if we are the right fit for you, click here to claim your free week

Top 10 Backpack Exercises

Having a home gym isn’t always in everyone’s budget. You can often be overwhelmed with the cost of fitness equipment thinking that you have to buy the latest and most innovative equipment out there. I’m here to tell you that you don’t necessarily need to break the budget to get fit! 

Using a backpack is one of the most affordable tools you can use to start getting in shape. Using a variety of different weights for this one tool can help you achieve almost any goal you are looking for. 

The backpack is something you can use to supplement for a sandbag. Ideally, we would want to invest in a sandbag to get the full training effect of this implement. 

With the backpack you can load up with a variety of things books, soup cans, rice bags, sand, pretty much anything! The amount of exercises you can do with just one backpack is absolutely endless! 

Here are 10 of my personal favorites:

1. Bear Hug Squat

– Hug the bag and tear it in half from the sides 

– Reach your hips back and spread the floor with your knees 

– Drive your feet into the ground and stand tall 

2. Good Morning 

– Pull the bag into your chest

– Have a slight bend in the knees and reach your hips back

– Keep your chest up and drive through your hips.

3. Bent Over Row 

– With a slight bend in the knees reach your hips back with the bag facing below the chest.

– Pull your shoulders down and row the backpack towards your chest

– Avoid rounding your upper back and hiking your shoulders up

4. Shoulder Press

– Face the backpack sideways grabbing it from the outside

– Start with the backpack in front of the chest, think collarbone area, then press the backpack overhead.

– Lock out the elbows, so that the biceps are behind the ears, then pull the bag down to the start.

5. Clean 

– Start in the row position with the backpack below the knee.

– Drive through your hips pulling the backpack up and turning it upwards.

– Drop the backpack back down to the start position. 

6. Thruster 

– Starting with the backpack in front of the chest holding onto the outside of the bag, go down to a squat. 

– Drive your feet into the ground letting the moment of the legs push the weight up.

– Lock the arms out overhead so the bicep ends behind the ears. 

7. FL Reverse Lunge 

– Place the backpack in the crook of your arms holding it tightly against your chest.

– Take a giant step back and get your self stable. 

– Lower your hips down and touch the floor gently, then drive through the front foot and return to the start position. 

8. Weighted Glute Bridge  

– Lying on your back, place the backpack on to your hips, think beltline. 

–  Push your feet into the ground and raise your hips up.

– Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top and hold for a 1 count. 

9. Front Load Squat 

– Place the backpack in the crook of your arms and raise your elbows up high.

– Reach your hips back and spread the floor with your knees.

– Drive your feet into the ground and stand tall. 

10. Weighted Dead Bug

– Lying on your back with the backpack facing over your chest, begin to tear the backpack in half.

– Push your low back into the ground and pull your toes up.

– Breathe out as you extend one leg at a time, not reaching the ground. 

Give these exercises a try and let us know what you think!

3 Exercises for Better Hip Mobility

Everyone who works a desk job will deal with tight hips. This isn’t a choice because we often cannot control our work environment. Stiff hips can lead to low back pain, make daily activities difficult, or make exercising more challenging. 

There is a lot of different mobility exercises you can use to help open up your hips. Here are 3 of our favorite exercises to help you mobilize your hips! 

Side Bent Sit

Side bent sits are great for what is called “internal” and “external” rotation of the hips. This is our hips ability to turn inward and outward. This motion alone is highly neglected throughout our daily routine. Using this exercise will really open up the inside and outside of your hips.

Begin with your legs in a 90/90 position, create about a foot of space between your heel and your opposite knee.

With the back leg, begin to raise the knee up and roll on to the top of your butt.

Shift the weight to the opposite side of your starting position.

Repeat back and forth for 6 reps, be sure to transition slowly between exercises.

Quadruped Hip Extension

This exercise will help you with stretching and mobilizing the front of your hips, like your hip flexors. If we are in a seated position for most of the day the front our hips can get very tight and short, this exercise allows for you to stretch them out.

Begin on your elbows and knees.

Raise your knee up so it is in-line with your hip.

Squeeze your heel towards your butt and avoid overarching your low back.

Lower the knee down and repeat on the opposite side.

With these you will do 8 reps on each side.

Frog Stretch

The frog stretch is a little more of an advance exercise, but this is great for stretching out the inside of our thighs, specifically the adductors. To make this exercise less challenging you can point your toes down rather than angled outward.

Begin with on your hands with your knees spread out as wide as you can.

Have your feet facing outward.

Slowly and gently rock into your hips as far as you can comfortably. 

With these you will do 10 to 12 rocks.

Hip mobility is an important thing to work on day in and day out. Be sure to include these exercises in your daily routine! 

10 Exercise Tips for People 40 & Over

Working out in your 40s is far different than working out in your 20s. Bodies undergo a lot of changes across our lifespans; by your 40s, you’re likely losing muscle mass, taking longer to recover from injuries, noticing more joint pains, and experiencing changes in your sleep patterns. The days of chasing a “pump” or intentionally trying to make yourself as sore as possible are long gone. All we want to do now is look better, feel better, and move better. 

Try these 10 tips to help you get the most out of workouts in your 40s and beyond!

1. Never go into pain

I can’t stress this enough: NEVER go into sharp pain while exercising. The old motto of “no pain, no gain,” is outdated and untrue. Mild discomfort is okay; dull and achy can be okay; but sharp pain is a big no-no[SM1] . Pain is never a good measure of progress because it is easy to make yourself, you should be checking for progress with weights or how you feel as a indicator of progress.

2. Warm up and cool down

Warming up isn’t just stepping on a treadmill and walking for a few minutes. Your workouts should begin with foam rolling, as well as a dynamic warm-up that includes mobility exercises to get blood-flow to your muscles and to move your joints. 

Cooling down is just as important as the warm up. It brings your body back into a regular state of relaxation—which is vital to counteract the stress you just put your body through during your workout.

Click here to read more about why you should warm up!

3. Be consistent

In order for change to happen, you have to be consistent. Taking some time off here and there is okay, but skipping more than a week can put you in a bad position[SM2] . This is because we are creatures of habits, once we break routine it is very hard for us to get back on track. Remember, it’s not the 101ststrike of an axe that took the tree down—it’s the 100 before it. Being consistent over time will be one of the greatest keys to your success.

4. Stay hydrated

Drinking water is crucial when it comes to exercising. Staying hydrated keeps your muscles and joints healthy. While you are exercising, you are going to sweat and lose water, it is important to keep yourselffueled[SM3] . Begin with drinking half your bodyweight in ounces, and gradually increase from there.

5. Be patient 

It took years—decades, even—to create the bodies we have today, so why do we expect our bodies to change completely in just a few short weeks? Change takes time. Fitness and health are long-term goals, not quick fixes. By age 40, most of our bodies have gone through years of damage—we’ll have to establish and stick to new habits to reverse all that. Whatever your goal, remind yourself that it may take longer than you expect—but it’ll be worth it. 

6. Set goals 

Setting goals is like planning out a road trip: You have to know where and how you’re getting to your destination. Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based) goals will give you an accurate perspective on how to best accomplish your goals. Start with small changes- such as maybe eating one home meal a week or adding in one cup of veggies a day into your nutrition and begin to build toward bigger ones like eating home meals a majority of the week or limiting the amount of processed foods you are eating.

7. Work technique

If you’re new to exercising or trying a new type of exercise, hire a coach! A coach can help you with setting the right goals and making a plan, but more importantly, they do one of the most important things: teach you proper technique. Learning proper exercise technique will help you avoid injury, and get the full benefit out of each exercise, helping you to progress more safely, quickly, and confidently. 

8. Nutrition matters

Nutrition is just as important as exercising, so unfortunately eating pizza every day—even if you’re exercising regularly—isn’t the most productive way to get fit. Don’t worry, though: You can still have the delicious foods you love—you just have to eat them in moderation. Begin by planning out your meals for the week, deciding what you’ll have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks throughout the week to reduce spur-of-the-moment decisions that tend to be less nutritious. Add healthier and healthier habits to your meal plans as the weeks go on. 

9. Take time to recover

Trying to go “beast mode” all the time at the gym is a quick way to get burnt out. We use the 80/20 rule at my gym: give us 80% now and save 20% for tomorrow. If you aren’t taking the proper time to recover between training sessions, then your body won’t be able to function as well as you want it to. Save some in the tank for another day!

10. Have fun

Exercising should be fun! It shouldn’t be a chore you dread, nor should it be punishment for something you ate. If you love lifting weights, great! If you enjoy yoga, awesome! If you are a runner, wonderful! Whatever the form of exercise, as long as you’re staying active, you’re doing it right! 

You Are Not a Number

Most of us begin exercising to lose weight. We work out multiple times a week. We plan our
meals and eat out less. We do all the right things to achieve the goal weight we have decided in
our heads.

And then the day comes: We step on the scale, only to see the number go up!? How
discouraging. How frustrating. It makes us question why we’re even trying.

When it comes to weight-loss goals, the scale can actually be your biggest enemy.

The scale only does one thing: It gives you a number—nothing more. When you see that
number, and its not what you want it to be, it can feel like you stepped on broken glass. All your
hard work gets discredited by three digits.

But those numbers aren’t an accurate representation of who you are or what you’ve
accomplished. Those numbers do not define you.

Measuring your weight is one of the smallest elements of your equation for improved health.
Read on for five better ways to measure progress toward your weight-loss goals.

How you feel

Remember how you felt three months ago, before you started exercising? How many aches and
pains you had before you got stronger and more mobile? What about your energy—how low
that was prior to exercising?

Having less pain throughout the day, having more energy to do stuff with the family, being able
to walk up a flight upstairs without feeling gassed: These are huge strides forward that you’ve
made.

The scale does not depict how you feel now compared to how you felt when you first started.

Your strength

Before you started your fitness journey, perhaps doing a single push up was completely out of
the picture. Now you can do five in a row, no problem!

You’ve started using heavier weights now because the weights you used in the beginning are no longer challenging enough.

The scale does not represent how strong you have gotten. It doesn’t show all the new skills
you’ve developed.

Your confidence

Going to the gym used to be the worst feeling in the world. You felt intimidated and
uncomfortable. Maybe you didn’t know what you were doing, or you didn’t know anyone.
Maybe you felt as if you had a big sign on your back that said HEY, EVERYONE, STARE AT ME!!!

Now you proudly walk into the gym looking forward to what you get to work on today. There’s
no more fear everyone staring at you or not knowing what you are doing. You might even be
able to help someone who’s new to the gym because you remember how it felt when you first
started.

The scale does not show how much more confident you are now.

How clothes fit

Losing weight can be expensive because you need to buy new clothes again! What a great
problem to have. When you first started working out, you may not have felt comfortable in our
clothes because they were either too tight or excessively baggy.

Now you’re buying new pants and shirts that you may never have considered wearing because
“there was no way I can fit into that.” As you begin to build more lean muscle, clothes begin to
fit better.

The scale does not have your sense of style—it’s just a number.

Better habits

The biggest one of all: The newly formed habits you’ve created for this new lifestyle. Remember
how you used to drink five pops a day? How you never ate vegetables? How about the idea of
exercising? What about how you almost never planned out what you were going to eat
throughout the week?

The list goes on and on—We all had negative habits prior to starting this journey. Now you have
a whole toolbox of improved habits, like drinking more water daily, reduced sugar intake,
weekly meal planning, and regular exercise.

The scale does not measure all your great new skills.

Stop thinking of your progress at the gym in terms or nothing but a number.

YOU ARE NOT A NUMBER. You’re a human being. You’re complex, and so is your progress as
you work toward bettering your health.

The Best Squat You’re Not Doing

The Goblet Squat is one of the best exercises to learn when you are new to exercising. Often times when we think of squatting, we automatically jump right into barbell back squat. Though this is a great exercise to use, sometimes it may not be the best choice for us. 

Why the barbell isn’t the best choice for squatting when you’re new to the gym.

1. We do not have the necessary mobility for this exercise yet.

The barbell back squat is a very advanced exercise that requires a lot of mobility and technique to do.

2. It requires a lot of technique.

The barbell back squat is an advance exercise that requires a great amount of skill to perform.

3. We are recovering from an injury.

If we are coming back to the gym after recovering from an injury of some sort, sometimes the barbell may not be the most accommodating tool to use right away being that it places you in a fixed position.

So, what should we do instead? 

Let’s Goblet Squat!!  

Goblet squatting is one of the best forms of squatting that anyone can do. The reason that this exercise is pure gold is because it is a great exercise for learning proper squatting technique and it doesn’t require a great amount of mobility.

To learn how to goblet squat, follow these 4 cues.

1. Tall & tight.

We want to begin in a tall and tight position. This allows for us to maintain proper position throughout the movement. Pinch your shoulders back and keep everything tight.

2. Reach your hips back.

Rather than just dropping down into the bottom of the squat, begin by reaching your hips back to create more room for the hips. 

3. Spread the floor with the knees.

Pull yourself down, as if you are going to sit between your feet. You want to actively spread the floor with the knees. What this means is to widen your knees as you go down. This gets your inner thigh and hips muscles to be more engaged. 

4. Drive through your feet.

When you reach the bottom of your squat you want to make sure that you drive your feet into the ground as you stand tall and lock out. 

Next time you are on your way to the gym, make sure to give this exercise a try! 

3 Reasons Why You Should Warm Up Before Exercising

Let’s face it, we don’t take the time to warm up before exercising. 

Who has time for that? Better yet, why do I need to do that?

Warming up is an essential part of exercising with many benefits to warming up. 

Here are the top 3 reasons you should warm up.

Wakes Up Your Central Nervous System

First, what the hell is your nervous system? 

The CNS (central nervous system) is what controls most of our mind and body.

When we think of exercising we only think about how our workout will only impact our weight loss goals or our strength goals. 

Our nervous system plays a big factor in how our workout will go. If our brain is cluttered from the stressors of the day it can be hard to focus on the task at hand, our workout.

Having a warm up can help your brain get prepared for your workout.

Mentally Prepares You

It’s 5:30 am and you hear the alarm going off, we are tired and don’t want to get out of bed. We fight through the exhaustion and get ready to go to the gym anyway. (proud of you)

We get to the gym and get right into our workout. It takes about 15-20 minutes into your workout before you start feeling energized and ready to go.

Warming up can mentally prepare you for your workout. With a proper warm up you can train your brain to get ready for the stress you are going to put it through.

Warming up can prepare your mind for an awesome leg day rather than trying to avoid it.

Prevents Injuries

We spend all day sitting at our job not doing anything really physically demanding. We are in a tight position slumped over our computer listening to our boss talk about how we need to improve our work quality.

We leave work getting ready to go and do some deadlifts to get rid of the frustrations for the day. Once we get to the gym we load up the bar with some weights and jump right into our first set of deadlifts. 

After the first few reps you feel a sharp pain in your back and you know that you’re done for the day, and probably the week.

When we include a proper warm up, it can help us prevent injuries like these from happening. 

The reason a warm up can prevent injuries, is because you have woken up the nervous system, got good blood flow to the muscles, and have mentally prepared for your workout. 

What you should do

Warm ups do not have to be 15 minutes long, nor do they need to be super hard and get you sweaty. 

Walking on a treadmill or doing lighter weights of an exercise IS NOT a warm up. 

A Proper Warmup Should Include The Following:

Foam rolling tight areas

Ground exercises

Quadruped exercises

Core exercises

Hip exercises

Shoulder exercises

Dynamic exercises 

These can be done in 5-8 minutes and will get you ready to go for your workout.

If you want to be more successful in your workouts make sure to be warming up! 

Here is a video of a warm up you can do for your next workout! 

This Exercise Can Help Lower Your Resting Heart Rate

Resting heart rates can tell us a lot about our current state of health. Most commonly, we see resting heart rates ranging from 60 to 100 beats per minute. The lower our resting heart rate is, the healthier our body will be. 

We live in a tech savvy time and age where we have every bit of information readily available to us at any minute, yet we spend this technology looking at chonky cats. (I mean, who doesn’t though?) 

There is an app we all have available in our smartphones that can tell us our current resting heart rate. When it comes to tracking your resting heart rate, measure your heart rate first thing in the morning. I would suggest doing this for a few days to determine where your average resting heart rate is.

 Now, let’s move onto the exercise that will help you lower your resting heart rate and improve your health. 

Breathing.

STOP READING AND DO THIS RIGHT NOW! 

Place your hand on your chest and stomach, take 3 breaths, and think about what you are feeling. 

Is the hand on your chest moving more than the hand on your stomach? If so, then this exercise will be great for you. 

*Nerd Talk We have two states of breathing; parasympathetic and sympathetic. 

When we think of parasympathetic breathing, think passive. You are relaxed and calm. There are no bears in the room trying to eat us. 

When we think of sympathetic breathing, think stress. You are in a room that is on fire and a bear is going to eat you. 

Now, go back to the breathing exercise we did earlier. If your chest was raising up, we need to ask ourselves, “Is the place on fire with a bear eating my face?” If not, let’s focus on breathing in a more passive state of mind. 

How to Baseline Breathing


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSPsSaJEKqU


When we can teach our body how to breathe in a more passive state, our resting heart rate can be lowered. This is because we are not sending signals to our brains that we are stressed out and being attacked by a bear. 

There are plenty of other factors that can help you with lowering your resting heart rate, but this is one of them. This is only the beginning of what breathing can do for you. There are many benefits that breathing alone can fix. 

Stay tuned for more to come on these topics in the future.

Dead Bugs For Core Training

When we think of trying to get our core stronger and more defined, we want to lie on our backs and do crunches until our spine breaks.

We’re here to tell you there is a much safer and more effective way of challenging your core.

Insert dead bugs. The name sounds gross, right?

Dead bugs are a staple in our exercise programs. The reason these are such a great alternative to traditional crunches is because this exercise truly trains your core muscles, unlike crunches.

Crunches can cause a significant amount of strain on the back because you’re fighting your anatomy. You’re curling the spine and shortening your muscles when you should be straightening and elongating your core for proper training.

Dead bugs make you use your entire core and also tell you when you are not. That way it’s easy to self-correct when doing these on your own.

How to dead bug:

1. Begin by lying on your back with your legs and arms up, your knees bent and hands facing the ceiling.

2. Next, push your low back into the ground. This will help ensure you’re doing them correctly. If your low back begins to arch, you’re losing tension. Make sure that your low back is glued to the ground so that a volkswagen beetle cannot drive underneath your low back.

3. Reach your right arm back, and at the same time lengthen your left leg. Remember to keep the low back glued to the ground.

4. Return to the start and repeat. To modify this exercise, keep the arms facing the ceiling and tap your heel to the ground.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P2fdGzMMqw

The next time you’re going to train your core, give dead bugs a try!

How to Make Time for Weight Loss

Making time for things like going to the gym, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, going to work, spending time with the family, having a social life, and getting a good night’s sleep sounds absolutely impossible. We are all in the same boat! We are unable to make time to get ourselves back in shape and get fit. It’s almost overwhelming to think about how we can fit this into our busy lives.

There are plenty of solutions to resolve the common problem of having too much to do and not enough time to get it all accomplished. We have to create a map that will get us from point A to point B, so that we have a direct path to get us to our destination. First, we must begin with meeting ourselves where we are at. Once we can recognize where we are starting from, we can begin to draw our map.

Let’s use candy bars as an example of meeting yourself where you are at. For example, if we are eating 6 candy bars a day, and we decide that we want to lose weight, we will need to make a change in how many candy bars we are eating in a day. Rather than completely taking away our candy bars, let’s slowly start to limit how many we are having in a day. Begin with one week of having just 5 candy bars, and once that becomes easy, you can start to bring that number down. Meeting yourself where you are at begins by starting with small changes.

Now, let’s dive deeper into how we can make time for weight loss! 

Time analysis sheet (start where you are)

You need to get an idea of where you are starting before you can make a map to your destination. Typically, doing a three to five-day time analysis will allow for you to get the most specific and most accurate map.

EX:

6:00 am wake up, check Facebook and Instagram 6:00-6:15 am, go to bathroom and get ready 6:15-7:15 am, make & eat breakfast 7:15-7:45 am, go to work 7:45-7:55 am, work 8:00 am-12 pm, lunch 12-1 pm, work 12-4:30 pm, get ready and drive to the gym 4:30-5:00 pm, gym 5-6 pm, go home 6-6:10 pm, make supper 6:15-6:45 pm, eat supper 6:45-7:10 pm, watch Netflix 7:10-10 pm, get ready for bed 10-10:15 pm, scroll on Facebook and Instagram 10:15-11:00 pm, go to bed 11:00 pm. 

Action:

Spend the next few days writing down, either on paper or on your phone, what you are doing throughout the day. This means paying close attention to the things you do throughout the day. If you can’t do this first, your map will be harder to create.

This is an example of a sheet you can create to track your time.

See where you are wasting time (shorten your miles)

Now that you have an idea of where your time is going, you need to be able to save some miles on this trip to your destination. In order for you to get to point B, you need to cut some time out of the scenic route.

EX: 

We are spending an hour on social media, on top of almost three hours on Netflix. Though there is nothing wrong with enjoying these things, let’s see if we can take a half hour out of this time to add towards something else. If our goal is to make time for meal prepping, then we can take a half hour of Netflix time to accomplish meal prepping.

Action:

See where you can cut or reduce time. Find things that you can negotiate with yourself and change up your map to get you closer to point B. 

Using Google Calendar is a great way to plan your day and set reminders for your goals.

Draw your map 

If you are not using a scheduler or a planner, we HIGHLY suggest investing in one. Using a scheduler like Google Calendar, show us what our day looks like. Using a planner like Panda Planner, guides us through our day, by including the goals & habits we are working on this week/day. Google calendar is what guides us to our destination. Panda Planner is the line of landmarks that show us how close we are getting to our destination. Here is a link to get your own journal https://pandaplanner.com/products/panda-planner-classic?variant=438128803843

Begin by putting in the biggest time blocks in your week. This could be work, sleep, mealtimes, meetings, kids sporting events, family time, etc. These are non-negotiables, meaning that you cannot change your times for these things.

Next, begin to look at your negotiable agendas. This could be Netflix, spending time on your phone, social media, emails, going to the gym, running errands, etc. These are the time blocks that we can move around and adjust our times.

EX: 

Using a planner or scheduler, begin to enter in your schedule. It is also beneficial to have things color coordinated. 

ACTION:

Enter in your schedule somewhere you can keep track of it. Give each of your agendas a different color. This will help you determine what is non-negotiable and what is negotiable. 

Here is how you can use Panda Planner.

Set course (set your goals and start them)

Point B is getting closer and closer, but first, let’s determine what Point B is. Let’s say we are wanting to lose weight; well how do we plan on losing weight? By eating better. How do we eat better? By making healthy meals. How do we make time for making healthy meals? By rearranging our schedule to allow us the extra time to make them.

EX:

Use your schedule to your advantage and make time, either once a week or many times throughout the week, to begin making your meals. They don’t have to be perfect. You just need to get started making those meals at home. Once that gets easier, you can begin to start making bigger changes into your nutrition, such as eating healthier, eating fewer calories, having a menu to follow throughout the week, etc. 

ACTION:

Find out what your point B is, then begin to break it down, step by step, to the smallest change you can make from where you are starting.

Plan for heavy waves (you might get off course and that’s okay)

We all know that things will not always go according to plan, and that is okay. Just because we drew our map and set sail, doesn’t mean we won’t come across a few storms along the way. We must be able to navigate ourselves through the storm. If something sporadically comes up when we had set a time for our goal, we can allow for that to happen. We are not a slave to our schedule; remind yourself that it’s just a map that is helping us along the way.

EX:

You forgot that your kid had an appointment at 5pm, the same time you were going to go to the gym. No one else can give them a ride and it’s out town. You know that training is very important to you and you don’t want to give that up. You can just change the time in your schedule instead. If you were going to watch Netflix at 7pm, do a home workout instead. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes, it will still get you closer to point B. 

Action: 

Create an action plan that will help you out on your worst day ever. Think about what that day would look like, and what you would do to keep yourself on track to point B. There will be times when it is completely out of our control. On those days, just go with the flow and start up again tomorrow. 

Always check the map (be sure to check in daily to see how you’re doing with goals)

Daily journaling will help you keep checking your map to see where you’re at and how close you are to point B. Using a journal like Panda Planner helps you keep track of your progress every day by having tasks, priorities, and scheduling all in one place. Check in once a day, with whichever method of tracking you use, to keep you on task to achieve your goals.

EX: 

Getting up 5 minutes earlier each day to set your goals and review them is a great way to set intent for your day and how you can get closer to point B.

ACTION: 

Use an app or get a journal that you can write in everyday to help you track your progress and see what you are working on for that day.

It takes time (Know that this won’t happen overnight; make mistakes and try new ways)

Getting from point A to point B is a very long journey. You need to be able to set small landmarks to check in with your progress. This will keep you afloat and allow for you to see how far you have come. Just know that this is a lot of work, but only for the first few weeks. Once this becomes more routine, you will see how you can make time to your day to help get you to your goals.