Going into the gym without a plan is like walking aimlessly trying to get somewhere. Going into the gym with a plan but without tracking your efforts is like walking to a destination in mind, but wandering through the hills and valleys thinking you'll get there, and sometimes you get lost. Going to the gym with a plan, and with you actively tracking your fitness, gives you enough knowledge to adjust accordingly as you move towards your destination. You have Google maps in the palm of your hand and you are able to determine if you are moving in the right direction.
1. You Can Start Here
You have a starting point. You know where you are as you start on this fitness journey and this is where you always return to to see if you've improved or gotten worse. It is a good place to be honest with yourself to see if you are in a good terrible state of fitness. This starting point allows you to determine what your next step of action will be.
2. You Can Budget
Understanding your baseline, you'll want to look at budgeting your nutrition, the kind of workouts you'll do, and the amount of time you'll want to move. If your goal is to lose fat percentage, then you'll want to figure out how many calories you need to go into deficit each day against how many active calories you'll be doing per day. Makes it a lot easier if you know your basal metabolic rate.
3. You Can Adjust
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Rita Mae Brown
As you track your results over the weeks and months, you'll be able to have an understanding of what works and what doesn't. The good thing is, you can adjust your nutrition, your workouts and your lifestyle when you find something that moves you in a different direction. Maybe you've eaten too many calories, or expanded way too many calories that has caused your body to burn muscle instead of fat. You can adjust when you know the figures. Trying to do the same things over and over again and expecting something different to come out of it is as Rita says: INSANITY.
4. You Can Be Motivated
As the days turn to weeks, and the weeks turn to months, there will be days where you wonder WTF you are doing and if you're going in the right direction. This is where you pull out your journal or app to look at your progress and give yourself a pat on the back for the job well done.
5. You Can Stay Committed
With the finishing goal in mind and you seeing your progress, you will be more determined than you'll ever be to reach your fitness goals. By tracking your progress over time, you remain committed to completing what you started.