Why Your Workout Plan Doesn’t Have to be Perfect

By April 14, 2014General


Note from Kat: Today’s post is from #HelloExercise contributor Amanda Holland.

I started working out again recently. I’ve been unhappy with my weight since I graduated from college in May, and I promised myself I would do something about it. Eventually. After this week, or after that event, or after vacation. I finally ran out of excuses, so I downloaded a Couch Potato to 5K app, got my workout clothes ready, shopped for new running shoes, and hit the local high school track one Monday after work to get started.

It was sad. Beyond sad, really. I shared the track with a senior lady. She outpaced me – and she probably thought a psycho stalker was coming up behind her, the way I gasped for breath as I ran. Which wasn’t for long. I’m in the “run 60 seconds/walk 90” portion of my training, running a whopping non-stop 1/8 of a mile. I’m going to be in the “couch potato” portion of this plan for a while…

At first, I was discouraged. Before returning to college at 30, I spent 4 1/2 years as a trainer and manager at a women’s gym – how did I get to this point? My discouragement was short lived, though, because I reminded myself of an important fact.

Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect to work.

Start with a small change, then add to it each week, or each month, or when you’ve made your change a habit.

Need inspiration? Here’s what I’ve been doing the past few weeks:

1. Change your drinks.

Are you hooked on soft drinks? Switch to a diet drink – or better yet, switch to water. Love drink mixes like Crystal Light? Change to a variety made with Steevia instead of aspartame. (Right now I’m hooked on Crystal Light Pure tropical blend and Minute Maid Drops raspberry lemonade.)

2. Add a mini-workout.

Starting a new workout program doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start with a few minutes of exercise – stretching, Pilates, a few push-ups or crunches. Download the Sworkit app – it’s free, and filled with short workouts you do anywhere.

3. Track your habits.

Sign up for a free online nutrition and exercise tracker, such as My Fitness Pal. (As an added bonus, many of us from Hello Exercise have also joined together on MFP for even more encouragement.)

Starting small still means you are starting! Doing something – even something small – means that you’re already beating the excuses. Those small decisions will add up to big change!

Join us for the HelloMornings Challenge and be a part of a community of women working to maximize their mornings through Bible Study, fitness and a simple plan for the day.

20140414-162059.jpgAmanda Holland is a pastor’s wife, mom of two boys and a Yorkie, registered dental hygienist, and children’s pastor. She shares her passion for living in God’s grace at her blog Grace In Our Moments . She is also pursuing her dream of writing fiction. Her first fictional story was published in February, and her second story will appear in June’s Splickety magazine.

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  • LuAnn Braley says:

    Even a single step in the right direction is progress. I seem to have to break down goals into very, very small steps a lot of the time. But otherwise I get overwhelmed. So I try not to get jealous of the progress of others.

  • Ohmygosh. So true. Just start! And then one foot in front of another. Thanks for your candor.

  • Anita Ojeda says:

    Good for you, Amanda! We all have to start somewhere :). Pretty soon you’ll be running your 5K and feeling fabulous. Small, positive changes DO add up!

  • Laura says:

    You can do it! I’m on week 6 of Couch to 5K and I remember being at the run 60 seconds/walk 90 seconds portion and feeling like a total loser. Now I’m running for 8-10 minutes at a time. It’s still not easy for me (how I’m going to run 30+ minutes without stopping is still a mystery) but I’m encouraged knowing that I could barely run for a minute just a little while ago!