Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It Looks Good On Paper

What's written isn't
the same as what happens.

Before embarking on an endeavor or project it helps to write out a rough draft highlighting the major points. Doing so helps refine the plan further guiding it to become more structured. What we end up with is something a little more concrete to follow than the initial rough draft.

In an ideal world, execution of the plan would be perfect to what we wrote down. Unfortunately the ideal world is just that - ideal. Realistically speaking, the plan that's been created can't be prepared for every curve ball thrown at it. Whether we like it or not, there are always a host of variables at play.

As a result we have two opposing ends on a spectrum. At one is the perfect "ideal" plan where everything goes accordingly, while at the other end is the real world where everything can change in an instant. The former contains our original plan while the latter is the first trial run of it. Usually there are a few problems encountered when we try to enact the hard work we wrote out.

I'm certainly not trying to shoot down anyone's hopes. Rather I want to point out it's not always - more like never - straightforward in life. When it comes to exercise and nutrition, micromanaging every detail will only make you obsessive. For short term plans it is possible, but in the long run you need to keep your sanity.

From personal experience in the gym, I don't get to do everything I ponder up in my own head. Sure new exercises sound good in my mind, but when I attempt to do them in the gym it may be a total wreck. At other times availability of equipment might force me to switch exercises. In the realm of nutrition, I don't get to choose every meal if I have to attend a social event or if something comes up last minute. Instead I'll have to consider substitutes and alternatives.

Understand what looks good on paper isn't necessarily how it will turn out. Be prepared to make adjustments and adapt when the moment calls for it rather than having a failed effort or giving up.


  1. So true. I notice people at my gym who find out their desired piece of equipment is being used, so they huff and puff and don't do anything else. "Dude, men had back muscles before they invented lat pulldowns!" is what I always want to say. It's a bit irritating to have to suddenly change plans, but there's always an alternative order or exercise. I don't get people who HAVE to do each exercise in a specified, unarguable order. Ok, I totally get them -- they are OCD like me, but I still shake my head.

  2. I hear that Mimi! Once a guy gave me the meanest look for using something he wanted. While I try as much as possible to stick with what I plan myself, I'll go out of order to keep the lift time to a minimum. Being sporadic is a must sometimes.

    I tailored this post to fitness, but it holds true for any situation. I don't know how many times other plans or events I've had go bad. It goes hand-in-hand with trying to be a perfectionist which isn't always possible.


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