The 8-Week Plan, Week 0

“The Plan” is the latest, and perhaps greatest, attempt my roommates and I have made in our usually-on-again-off-again attempt at fitness.

But “The Plan” is not merely a fitness plan. No, “The Plan” is a way to organize one’s life so that one may do all of the things one really means to get done.

“The Plan” does not require fancy exercise equipment, or gym memberships, or self-help books. “The Plan” is so fiendishly simple, you probably remember doing it in kindergarten. In fact, all the plan requires is this:

The 8 Week Plan

Yes. A piece of poster board. This is our new hope, our panacea.

OK, seriously. It’s just a new angle on forming good habits, and the accountability to keep those habits going. And it’s probably not going to be a 100% success. But it’s some measure of organization, which is better than nothing. So here’s the plan.

To start out, each of us named several items that we wanted to make a habit of doing, or that we wanted to give up. For each day we perform one of the selected tasks, we get a reward sticker. For each time we do something we want to give up, we get a punishment sticker. And for 8 weeks, we pledge to stick by this, or shame ourselves in front of the rest of the house.

Personally, I chose gold stars, the stereotypical standard of pointless rewards. Note that these stickers don’t get me anything, nor is there some reward for getting over X stickers. There’s just the public record of my failures or successes.

And here’s the list:

The 8 Week Plan

  • DDR, 1 hour – Dance Dance Revolution is basically the only form of workout I can do consistently, as it doesn’t require going outside, and it requires some sort of mental activity so it’s not mind-numbingly boring.
  • Walking – Since this is on both Nathan and Crystal’s lists (well, actually, as “cardio”), this is going to get done at least 4 times a week.
  • Junk Food – OK, this is vague, but here’s my one “punishment sticker” item. My inhuman appetite must be controlled for the exercise to matter at all.
  • Programming (personal projects) – Here’s where I force myself to rewrite my website in ASP.Net, and also do some work on WebSessions.
  • Blood Pressure and Weight – OK, here’s where I break the mold a bit. Rather than earning stickers, I write these down on the board as public record, at least once weekly. Plus, there’s been concern about my blood pressure during my yearly checkups, so here’s where I actually keep an eye on it as recommended (since you can take it at pretty much any Walmart pharmacy.)

This actually came at a pretty good time. I’ve spent the last month trying to eat better because of my yearly checkup last Thursday. And during that checkup, it was reiterated that my weight was a problem, as well as (potentially) my blood pressure. But, I happen to be at the lowest weight I’ve been in years–around 260–so I feel like I’m continuing a trend by doing this rather than making a pointless gesture. So hopefully I make some good habits, and even if I don’t, hopefully I make some headway on the fitness thing.

To further enhance my pride/shame from “The Plan,” I may post my results here as well.