Plan to fail

As a life-long athlete, I didn’t like the expression.

Plan to fail. No! Plan to succeed!

There were many points I missed in my youth, most notably the point of the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus. 

“He didn’t achieve his dream of writing music,” I told a professor in college.

“His opus was his students. You missed the entire point of the movie.” 

Somedays you just face plant onto a nasty gym mat with the ab wheel. It happens. 

Somedays you just face plant onto a nasty gym mat with the ab wheel. It happens. 

I watched the movie a decade later - and I had indeed missed the ENTIRE point of the movie. 

Plan to fail.

How about plan for failure?

When it comes to nutrition and fitness plans, planning around life events is crucial. I would bet that most people believe that effective diet and training revolve around two primary beliefs:

1. You can’t indulge and still achieve results
2. You must train all of the time to be fit, look good, and be healthy

I once deprived myself of chocolate for six weeks because it was part of my nutrition plan. I promise you, the only result was a wrestling match with a close friend over a piece of baking chocolate in her kitchen. (She won.)

It’s summer. Parties and picnics and family reunions and weddings are going to happen. If you restrict your diet at all of these events, you’ll just find yourself miserable, longing for the days when you could still eat cake. (And that icing is made with real cream. Mmmmm….)

Let yourself eat a piece of cake. Because that one piece of cake will likely play a significant role in your ability to stay consistent with the overall plan. 

The same is true for training. Injuries, work, family obligations; life happens. You do your best to plan around it. 

What’s most important with both the diet and training is that you stay in it for the long haul. It's consistency. One piece of cake and one missed workout won’t be your undoing.  

Have a plan for the day after the missed workout and the day after a party. Because that’s when it’s easy to stack one missed workout on top of another and another and the next thing you know, you’ve been out of the gym and away from your nutrition plan for three months. 

If you plan to fail you will succeed.