Taking a Flexible Approach to Building a Better Body

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“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach”

Anthony Robbins

Most people need a defined plan to achieve their goals with workouts and nutrition. If only we were perfect and could follow the plan to the letter all the time. Alas, we are human, so sometimes we fail to do things perfectly.

So what if the plan itself could be flexible?

Planning for Life’s Uncertainties

You need to expect a certain amount of unpredictability in your life. As much as you try to control everything, you can’t. Life throws you all sorts of unexpected events, not all of them positive. Yup, life sometimes gets in the way of your goals!

Your Plan

The more complicated your nutrition and workout plan, the more likely you are to fail. If you think you always need to do an exact number of reps and sets to get results then you’ll always feel like a failure.

What if your plan is to work out 4 times a week for about 45 minutes at as high an intensity as you can manage on that day? That’s a pretty reasonable guideline, right?

It’s simple.

And it’s probably better than you’re doing right now.

So that’s it for your workouts.

Of course you’ll have a more detailed plan of exercises with sets, reps, rest, etc. – BUT don’t worry if everything doesn’t work out exactly as you planned.

You’re still achieving your primary objective of working out 4 times a week for 45 minutes, right?

Good job.

Nutrition

You’re keeping track of your calories and macros (carbs, protein, fat) on a regular basis, but you don’t always get the numbers to fit perfectly.

So let’s say your protein intake was 170 grams and it was supposed to 160g…are you going to freak out about it?

Let’s hope not.

But I know there are people who do. Or they start eating too many calories for a few days and instead of doing a course correction they decide that they’ve blown it and lose confidence in themselves to follow the plan at all?

Sounds crazy, but have you ever eaten something you regretted (the fries that your friend ordered which ended up mostly in your mouth), decided you screwed up and you might as well completely blow off your plan for the day?

It’s actually a pretty common mindset to fall into.

Better Choices

What if instead of going nuts after those fries you just skipped the dessert you were planning to have? Wouldn’t that be a sensible, flexible approach that didn’t encourage binging.

Yup.

Don’t get down about it. Move on with your next bite of food.

Sometimes you need to ignore the details and cultivate flexibility. Don’t beat yourself up over what you may have done wrong. It will only backfire on you and keep you from reaching your goals.

Flexibility leads to success, so don’t overanalyze the details. You’ll be happier and healthier for it.

Ivana Chapman 

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 5-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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