Note – Hi – I realize that many of you are beyond the days of getting kids ready for a new school year but perhaps you can pass this along to the moms/dads you know or find it helpful as parents from a distance.  Happy reading…

Yep, that new backpack smell is in the air, which means the rest of the school year ‘new’ is but one crayons and scissors store run away – new routines, new schedules, new commitments, new kinds of busy – all potentially drawing you away from physical activity.  Fear not!  Use the following to help manage the new so you don’t miss even one power walk or bicep curl.  This is Part 1 of a 3 part series of strategies to use so your gym membership doesn’t feel abandoned, while dinging your credit card of course.         

-‘Take a meeting’ to protect the time you set aside for exercise      

‘APPOINTMENTING’ EXERCISE – make it work for you by ‘taking’ meetings


With a 24/7-slammed life, one strategy to ensure exercise makes the mix is to treat it like the dentist or a haircut – make an appointment to do it.  Punching the time into your phone’s schedule app or penning it onto your day-planner in theory offers interference protection, but with expert skill we often over juggle the slot until it disappears into cyber never-never land or the trash as eraser crumbs.  ‘Appointmenting’ can be a great first step to aid and abet our exercise habit, but to close the loop we need to take the next step – prepare for the appointment like it’s a meeting  we take.  Think less haircut, more client conference.            


First, determine the objective(s) of your exercise ‘meeting’.  I doubt you would video conference or swing by the dentist to just chat.  The same sentiment goes for exercise.   What do you want the meeting (workout) to accomplish?  A clear purpose is something your activity psyche can sink its teeth into, which triggers the effort required to meet the objectives.  ‘Today is bicep and tricep day’ is a laser-sharp directive we can virtually taste.  ‘Going to exercise’ is like quicksand; unpredictable, with no firm footing, sort of like maybe I will do cardio, maybe I won’t, the exercise equivalent to maybe I will close the sale, maybe I won’t.  Eliminate maybe as an option – plan for success by precisely identifying what you want to accomplish.


Second, create an agenda (workout plan) to roadmap how you will accomplish the objective(s).  List the exercises you are going to do specific to time (for cardio) and/or sets/reps/weight for weight training.  Be realistic about the time you have and account for any unique logistics.  For example, if the cardio area is separate from the weight area make sure that you add transition time to your plan.  Hey, the devil is in the detail! 


Third, stick to the plan as best possible.  There is a certain confidence in creating, then following a plan—you KNOW that you know what you are doing, which also eliminates the time wasting ‘what am I going to do?’ wander.  Like grocery shopping, a list prevents overbuying and forgetting something that you have to return for later.  There may be intangibles to manage such as changing the order of the machines you use if the gym is crowded but these require minor plan adjustments not aborts.            


As an added bonus, planning also fosters motivation.  The written plans provide records that capture then display your Iron Footprint growth (seeing your accumulation of physical activity inspires you to accumulate more!), and the process stirs adrenaline that gets you psyched up.  By the time you are at the gym you are READY to bench press more than ever!   


Don’t leave success to chance, ‘take’ a meeting with exercise to bond to the appointment, not just reserve it.  If nothing else, this will save dings to your usage minutes caused by the unused exercise time you schedule into your fancy schedule app…