What do you do when you recognize your plan isn’t going to work out?

Things are “easier” when your intended plan is falling into place.

How do you respond though when that early indicator is there that it won’t?

Backstory: In my training on Wednesday, I got to do a workout from the CrossFit Open that I didn’t get to do a few weeks ago. The workout was: 21 Dumbbell Snatches with one arm, then 21 Burpees over the Dumbbell, then 21 Dumbbell Snatches with the other arm, then 21 Burpees over the Dumbbell. Then, 15 DB Dumbbell Snatches with one arm, then 15 Burpees over the Dumbbell, then 15 Dumbbell Snatches with the other arm, then 15 Burpees over the Dumbbell. THEN 9 Dumbbell Snatches with one arm, then 9 Burpees over the Dumbbell, then 9 Dumbbell Snatches with the other arm, then 9 Burpees over the Dumbbell.

Believe it or not…this is my kind of “fun!” I love dumbbell snatches and I like burpees (crazy, I know!). In my mind, I was going to be able to finish the workout within the allotted time.

I outlined a tentative plan on my white board (the photo below). The times to the right were where I expected the clock to be when I got done with the particular reps of that movement.

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I ended up not fully completing the workout within the 15 minute time period. I did not get to the last 9 burpees.

I’d say it was somewhere in the rounds of 15 dumbbell snatches or burpees, I kinda knew I wasn’t going to finish it.

In that moment, I had a choice to make. I had options: 1) sandbag it and move slow knowing it wasn’t going to last longer than 15 minutes, 2) quit the workout, or 3) continue to push as best I can and let’s see how far I could go.

I chose option 3.

In the photo below, you see my plan on the left versus my actual results on the right.

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I of course would have loved to have finished the workout, but happy that I continued to push through to see what I could do.

Unfortunately, when it comes to health, fitness, or nutrition, many people choose options 1 or 2 when things aren’t going according to plan.

My encouragement for you in those circumstances is to keep moving forward despite the obstacle and just do your best. You never know what you might learn in those circumstances.

For example, my remarks to my Coach regarding the workout were: “dumbbell felt heavier in the left arm, dumbbell snatches one arm straight through is a different feeling than alternating arms, breathing caught up with me in the burpees, I paused more than I anticipated, my legs felt fine throughout, in later sets of burpees I could feel my arms fatiguing more.” I closed with “opportunities for improvement. Glad I got to give it a try.”

I never lose, I only learn

Think of how much I wouldn’t have learned about my opportunities for improvement had I taken options 1 or 2.

It’s likely that when we set out to improve our health, fitness, or nutrition, we will strive to have a plan. Sometimes though, even with the best of plans or intentions, the writing might be on the wall that it won’t work out. We get to choose how to respond in those circumstances.

What might that look like?

Maybe instead of thinking “I already ate poorly today, may as well just eat trash the rest of the day,” maybe it’s trying to make a better choice at the next opportunity.

Maybe instead of quitting the gym because I can’t quite seem to get my schedule right, l try to plan better for tomorrow and just focus on getting in a walk today.

As the saying goes, “you just can’t beat the person who never gives up” (thank you Babe Ruth).


In closing, my encouragement for you is to not give up. Keep pushing even when it seems like your plan isn’t unfolding as you had intended. Reflect on ways in which you could improve for next time. Consider what you learned from the experience, and do better next time.

I look forward to the next time I get to do that same workout. I feel confident that I will finish it next time because next time, I will be going in with greater knowledge and experience than I had the first time ; )

You can do it. I believe in you.

Your friend in wellness and fitness,

Coach Candice

P.S. I actually wrote a book about how Failure is not Final. Click the button below to check it out on Amazon!