You’ve probably heard the old cliché: “A goal without a plan is a wish.” Well, it’s true. If you wish to recover, but you don’t actually have a plan in place to get there, then all you’re doing is wishing.
I have found that I tend to lose sight of my goals over time. The goals I do reach are the ones that I put on a calendar. That means committing (to myself) to take specific steps on specific days to reach my goals. Otherwise, at some time in the future, I will realize that the time has flown away, and I did not do what I promised myself that I would do.
Commit To A Workout Schedule
There are specific tasks that I must complete towards my recovery, or I am likely to find myself with no improvement whatsoever a year from now. I know this because I’ve had two strokes. After the first stroke, I took charge of my therapy (with guidance from professionals) and kept to a rigid schedule for doing my exercises. Every single day, there was some specific exercise that I had to do; either for my body or my brain. I did them religiously and could see weekly improvement.
It’s worth noting that I had a second stroke at the 1-year mark, which wiped out nearly all of that first year’s progress. I had to begin all over again. In year 2, I followed the exact same path, and once again I saw weekly improvement. Then, I began to slack off a bit, and so did my improvement. I saw the plateau and got back to work. I am just about to begin year 3, and I still track everything. Note: I no longer track individual exercises because there are several hundred to choose from, and I find that incredibly tedious. I alternate among them for each body part to keep it interesting. I simply categorize them under Leg/Ankle, Hand, etc. Certain days are “Leg Days” and others are “Arm/Shoulder Days.” Exercise works. Regularly scheduled and repetitive exercise works better. I am living proof.
You can use anything you want to track your workouts. Find the right solution for you. The important thing is that you write it down. Decide what tasks you must complete, how often you must complete them, down to specific days – that’s right, on a schedule.
The Strides App
I have tried a number of affordable tools to track my workouts. I currently am using the Strides App for iPhone. Strides lists the tasks that you want to complete, on specific days of the week. You swipe right to complete a task and swipe left if you didn’t. Strides compiles your stats into a pretty graph so that you can see how you are doing. It’s very cool and very easy. $39 annually for the deluxe version. Unfortunately, this app only works on iOS.
If you don’t want to spend any money, you can always plot your workouts on a piece of paper, or just within your to-do list on your phone. I suggest that you put in your calendar app as an appointment, and keep it!
Make your plan – then work your plan.