Creating an Action Plan for Success

Growing up, I struggled with my weight. I was on every diet you can think of. I was counting calories, logging my weight, and keeping a food diary before I was in middle school. I tried the Zone diet, The Atkins diet, the cabbage diet, the starvation diet, the color diet… you get the point. On top of the food roller coaster I was on, I also maintained a crazy, unsupervised workout regime. I was a competitive dancer, an avid runner and went to the gym 5-7 times a week with no reprieve. 

What I learned before I graduated high school was, being in awesome shape wasn’t going to happen to me. 

Maybe you have tried a million different diets and get fit quick schemes. You may have lost weight in the past and been disheartened when it came creeping back. You may have been overweight your whole life and have come to a point of acceptance. These are all stories that I have lived, heard and no longer accept. 


Achieving the body and health you desire has a lot more to do with mindset than fitness. Exercise is one piece of the puzzle to sustainable health. As we take on adulthood, life becomes even more of an unachievable goal. We shift into this 'we can’t have it all’ way of thinking. I am here to tell you that is just not the case. You can have whatever you feel you deserve. All you need is a solid plan and a positive attitude.

When you are ready to make your wants into musts, achieving your goals becomes realistic. You must first plan for success. This is where mindset comes into practice. Once you decide that you are going to achieve your goals, it is time to make your action plan. 

The first step to creating a plan is to make a list of non-negotiables. These are the things you need to do every week without exception. This could look something like this:

Non Negotiables:
1. Work
2. Family Time
3. Grocery Shop
4. Little League
5. Laundry
6. Ping Pong Championship Prep 

Next, take this list and implement it into your week: 

When you look at this, it can seem overwhelming. This is how we sabotage ourselves before we even start. That is why I am going to share with you my game changing secret. 
First, I want you to give each step an allotment of time:

With a working time-frame we can then start to manage our time a little better. This is how we learn how much actual “free time” we really have. There are 24 hours in every day and for at least 8 of them we should sleep. This allows everyone 16 hours every day to work with. With this is mind, add up the amount of non-negotiable time in each day and subtract it from 16 to find out how much free time, or better said “me time” you have every day to achieve your desired health and fitness goals:


Truth is, there is enough free time to get to the gym for an hour and still have plenty of time to spend time with friends, go on a date, cozy up to Netflix, scroll through Facebook, read your favourite blogs, etc.

Once you have established the days that you can dedicate to self-love and improvement, put it in your schedule. This is also a great time to contact a professional who can create a plan catered around your life. If you aren’t ready for that yet, look at different fitness classes in your area that run when you are ‘free’ or just head out for a walk around your neighbourhood. 

Congratulations! You have just achieved your first step toward creating a habitual pattern of change. As you become more accustomed to your new schedule, play around with it. Try new activities, contact a nutritionist and look at your eating habits. Do these things in a slow progression. Remember every step forward, no matter how slow is still leading you in the right direction.

Do not accept a life that is not your best life. We are all here for a short amount of time, so why not make the most of it? You are capable of greatness. Once you believe that, you can achieve anything. 

Jenn Saunders Personal Trainer Vancouver

Jennifer Magnuson
ACE Certified Personal Trainer

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