How to improve on our iso plan

We had such good intentions when the world went into lockdown.

We were going to read, exercise, journal, meditate and eat well.

We would come out of isolation looking trim, toned and terrific with a mind to match.

Instead, we have eaten more sugar and carbs then we did through the holiday period.

There is an indent on the sofa from hours of Netflix as work has decreased, or we are now working more than ever as we deal with the myriad of issues that Covid-19 has brought.

Our glutes are sore from the terrible office chair we bought cheaply or your back is sore from the dining chair that is not made to be sat on for 14 hours at a time.

Below are three examples of where we went wrong, and three solutions to help rectify them.


Plans without actions are a dream.

I am a planner. I like to write lists.

I have a diary where I schedule my day.

First day of lockdown I watched countless videos on best workout apps and then created a spreadsheet to analyse which was best. Then, I decided which workout in the app I would do on what day. I created my meal plan starting each day with a nutritious green juice.

Then, guess what happened.


First day of the new me and I wake up with a pulled muscle in my neck, cannot turn more than 10 degrees in one direction. That fabulous green juice, it wasn’t green, it was brown. It tasted like dirt and it looked even worse.

I think life does this on purpose, to show us who’s boss. It laughs at me while I sit there with my excel spreadsheet, thinking, I will show you.

Don’t give up, don’t start on the following Monday, don’t use it as an excuse. Change tact, pivot, re-route whatever word you want to use but continue in a different manner. Instead of high impact, I went for a walk (still allowed in Singapore as long as you are social distancing and wearing a mask). I drank as much of the green juice as possible (between you and I that consisted of 2 mouthfuls) and then I ate an apple.


Give yourself time.

One benefit of the lockdown is it has taught us to slow down. We have time to sleep in, extra playtime with the kids (some would say too much), time to cook rather than rushing home from work and grabbing UberEats.

Our plan was great, but slow down.

We do not need to do everything perfectly or immediately.

BJ Fogg, a world-renowned expert on habit formation and New York Times Bestselling author, recommends we start small rather than completely overhauling our life.

Instead of trying to run 10 kms, the first day, put your running shoes on, that's it. I have never been the most fit nor the most coordinated. I am so bad in fact, when I told a girlfriend I was trying a fitness dance class, she asked the husband to record me so she could have a giggle.  The husband responded with ‘it is going on Facebook’, (they are so good to me).

When I got angry at myself for not knowing the steps after the first class, I had to remind myself to slow down. I have never done dance in my life, nor am I a prodigy. Why would I immediately know the steps and why would I look as graceful as a professional, who has been doing it for years.

Give yourself permission to learn and to take time. I have decided to do the introduction dance class as many times as it takes, until I am comfortable. And if that is never, I may just try kick boxing.


Be Kind to Yourself

Don’t doubt yourself, don’t berate yourself, don’t be mean to yourself.

If things don’t work out, accept it and move on. Negative self-talk is our own worst enemy. We wouldn’t allow our an enemy to talk to us that way, so don’t allow your brain to do it either.

Now, there is a big difference between a little self-criticism that helps you re-focus, to calling yourself names.  There are many exercises online to assist if you are more of the latter.

Yet, the easiest way to think about it is, would you talk to a friend, the way you are talking to yourself?


Wrapping Up

We are not perfect, start somewhere, start today.

Don’t expect miracles or perfection.

We are not robots. Although robots may rule the world one day, that day is not now. And even they make mistakes.  Just like a robot, when things don’t go to plan, reboot.