Welcome to Day 1 of our Health and Fitness Kickstart Week , Lifers!  Are you ready to Renew You in 2019???  We are here to provide you with realistic and doable steps to kickstart your year and set you up to finally achieve your health and fitness goals this year. And it all starts with the 24 Hour Plan.

We have all tried so many different “diets” throughout the years.  Many of them “worked”….. for a time.  Then the pounds slowly started coming back on and we were right back where we started, or often we were HEAVIER than when we started!  Then we beat ourselves up and wallow in shame because we failed, yet again.   Wash, rinse, repeat.  “I can never lose weight… I’m not an athlete… I have no willpower…” these become our inner soundtracks. 

Sounds familiar?  

Why did those “diets” not work for the long haul?  Why are we constantly failing??  It’s so frustrating!!!  What we’ve realized is that the diets don’t work for the long haul because they are too restrictive and not sustainable.  By the time we reach the end, even though we have the best of intentions to stay the course, we end up slipping right back into our old habits.  What we have done is “white-knuckled” and “willpowered” our way through the whole thing and when it’s over we breathe a big sigh of relief because it’s done! 

What we need is a plan that we can do for the rest of our lives, and not one that we come to the “end” of with a big celebration of gluttony and junk food! That’s why we developed the 24 Hour Plan!

Are you ready to change your life? Let’s do this thing!

Listen: How to Complete the 24 Hour Plan Podcast

Julie and I recorded a podcast that provides you instructions about how to complete the 24 hour plan. Click the player below to listen or click the link to download the podcast! You can listen as you read the article.

 Download MP3 (32.9 MB)

Also, listen of the following podcast apps:

Steps for completing the 24 Hour Plan Worksheet

  • Schedule a time: Schedule a time either before you go to bed or in the morning to fill out your plan.  I like to do mine in the morning to ensure I am starting my day out on a positive note filled with gratitude.  Remember, this shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. 
  • Food Planning Section:  Start with the food planning section on the left-hand side.  You will see there are boxes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  The key with the food plan is to be REALISTIC and come up with a plan you can COMMIT to doing.  If it’s a crazy busy day running your kids around to their activities and the McDonald’s drive-thru is a strong possibility, then WRITE IT DOWN.  Have the cheeseburger and fries and don’t beat yourself up about it.  Just don’t throw in the towel and say screw it for the rest of the day… or week… or year!  [Tom here: yep, I have done that a time or two!] Also, don’t worry about portions, calories, etc.  Just keep it simple!  I will add some snapshots of one of my worksheets so you can see how I do this. There’s no right way – just figure out what works best for you. FYI, if you see I have crossed things out or wrote in changes, those were made when I did my plan review at the end of the day or the next morning.
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  • Meal Time Slots:  The “Time” slots in the meal sections will be left blank until you complete the “24 Hour Plan Review” at the bottom of the page at the end of the day or the next morning.  They are there so you can see your eating patterns and reflect on them when reviewing how your day went.
  • Sleep/Water Consumption:  Now on to the right-hand side of the worksheet, where you will find the “Previous Night’s Sleep” and “Water” boxes at the top.  You will track your previous night’s sleep, aiming for at least 7 hours per night.   I complete the water consumption box during my 24 Hour Plan Review time.  Water and sleep are an absolutely critical part of the equation to success! How much water you consume is dependent on your size, weight and activity level, but a good rule of thumb I have heard is to aim to drink half your body weight in ounces.  And yes… you will pee A LOT!  As the Boy Scouts say, “Clear and copious, people!”  Actually, light yellow is good too. 😉 
  • Movement:  The movement box is pretty self-explanatory. Aim to get some type of movement in every day. Remember, be realistic and START WHERE YOU ARE AT! If you’ve been sedentary for months or years, maybe you start with a walk around the block or an easy 15 minutes in the pool. The goal is to write it down and COMMIT to doing it. If you’ve been running 5 times a week and lifting weights and exercising consistently, maybe make a goal to level up in some way. This is YOUR plan!
Didn’t get my butt moving fast enough this day to make it to spin class! Rallied and walked on the treadmill for 45 minutes instead. Still got my movement in!
  • The Daily 3’s:  This section also includes areas to complete your daily 3’s:  3 things you are grateful for, 3 prayers or meditations, and 3 tasks you would like to accomplish.  It has been said that it’s hard to be negative if you start your day out with a grateful heart, and I have found that to be so true!  Here’s a little tip… don’t be TOO overzealous when planning your 3 tasks to accomplish.  Just like with our food plan, try to be super realistic in what you will be able to do given the rest of your daily schedule.  You don’t want to write down 3 things that there’s no way on God’s green earth you will be able to complete, which will just give yourself yet another reason to beat yourself up!  We are learning how to show up for ourselves, and also how to give ourselves some grace. [Tom here: this is building on our Weekend 3 Things discussions in the Small Scale Life Facebook Group, so we can keep that going on a daily basis!]
Health and Fitness, 24 Hour Plan, Daily Gratitude 3's
  • Daily Plan Review:  The daily plan review section is where you sit down, either at the end of the day or before you start your new daily plan the next day, and review your plan.  If you ate off plan, write it down, and spend some time thinking about WHY.  Again, this is NOT a time to play the shame game and make yourself feel like a piece of crap!  Just really give it some thought and be honest with yourself.  Often you will find that you wrote down a plan you SHOULD eat, not one you actually WOULD eat.  As Corinne Crabtree with Phit-n-Phat always says, we have to quit “shoulding” all over ourselves!  (More to come about Corinne and her awesome program in my next post.) Or you may also find that you wrote yourself out a punishment plan.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about… you overate the day before (or week(s) before) and decided that today you were going to make up for it by being “good” and planning a 1/2 grapefruit for breakfast, a tiny salad for lunch, and a dry chicken breast with broccoli for dinner… only to find yourself starving by noon, hitting the Taco Bell drive thru for three chili cheese burritos for lunch (because, come on, they’re delicious!), then wallowing in self-pity and pounding down half a pizza and three glasses of wine for dinner.  Can you tell I’ve been there??? [Tom here: Guilty as charged!] 
  • When doing your 24 Hour Plan review, remember to go back and log your water consumption and times you ate your meals.  If you find yourself overeating at dinner, maybe it’s because you had lunch at noon and dinner wasn’t until seven and your were ravenously hungry!  Think about what you could do the next day to avoid an overeat.  Maybe you can plan a light snack around 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon that will help tide you over.  Little wins, folks!

That’s really all there is to it!  Remember, this is YOUR 24 Hour Plan.  Meet yourself where you’re at and over time you can level up from there.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, restrictive and horrible.  Don’t tell yourself it’s not enough and you have to do something drastic.  Repeat this, over and over:  Small changes, compounding over time, add up to HUGE RESULTS!

Happy planning, Lifers!  And as always, we would love to hear from you.  Share your tips, tricks and experiences in the comments or with the other Lifers in the Small Scale Life Facebook Group.  Community is key!

Listen: How to Complete the 24 Hour Plan Podcast

Julie and I recorded a podcast that provides you instructions about how to complete the 24 hour plan. Click the player below to listen or click the link to download the podcast! You can listen as you read the article above!

Click the Player to Listen

Download MP3 (32.9 MB)

Also, listen of the following podcast apps:

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