The Importance of Backwards Planning… A Challenge!

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By: Jeremy Warner

Backwards planning is a valued concept when planning even the most important military missions. Can we, regular people, utilize this idea to help us plan out our daily lives? Of course we can, and I will argue that it is actually beneficial for you to do so!

A common excuse for people in any situation, is that they do not have enough time. Well what if I told you this is simply because your failure to plan out your life (daily ritual) is hindering your ability to task organize and stay focused on what you hold as truly important. Instead of continuing to complain about how you cannot attend a class, mobilize more, eat breakfast, or even get an appropriate amount of sleep, why not try to eliminate some of the meaningless things you do on a daily basis and organize the important items to ensure mission completion? I know, I know it is easier said than done, however what could it hurt to try?

An earlier blog I posted hit on a similar topic concerning excuses we all make, titled “The Cost of Health” found here http://crossfitmaxkane.com/2015/07/the-cost-of-health/

So what is the challenge all about? Well I challenge each of you to backwards plan 1 full day this next week. Start with one that is not over eventful, but not one so easy it defeats the purpose of using the backwards planning concept in the first place. Then as you start to feel at ease with the idea, move up to a long weekend, then tackle a full week. An example would be like this.

Sunday Tasks: Mow the grass, grocery shopping, clean the bathroom, clean the kitchen, weekly food prep, visit with friends, start week with 8hrs of sleep, watch favorite tv show that starts at 5pm, be at gym for 5:30am class Monday.


5:30a – WOD

4:45a- Wake up / Drive to Gym


9:00p- Bed

8:30- 9:00p Sleep prep

7:30 – 8:30p Relax and Read

6:00-7:30p Cook and Eat Dinner

5:00-6:00p Tv Show

4:00-5:00p Cook Dinner

2:00-4:00p Friends visit

1:30 – 2:00p Clean Kitchen / Food Prep complete

12:30 – 1:30p Start Cleaning Bathroom / Continue Food Prep and package as needed

12:00 – 12:30p Lunch / Check food prep Cooking

11:00 – 12:00p Yard Work / Food Cooking

10:00- 11:00a Begin Food prep / Cook all Meats /Set timer

9:00-10:00a Grocery Shop / Food prep list

8:00- 9:00a Cook and Eat Breakfast

8:00a- Wake-up

As you can see I started with the class time on Monday morning and worked my way backwards. I know what tasks need to be completed at certain times, for example watching a scheduled TV show, going to sleep and waking up at scheduled times to ensure adequate sleep is obtained, etc. so I start with those. As I continue, I fill in the gaps where possible allotting enough time to get each task accomplished. I also make sure I stack them in a logical order. You would not want to start the day by cleaning the kitchen, knowing that you have 3 meals and a week’s worth of food to cook / prepare throughout the day. I used a weekend day due to the variance of tasks I needed to complete. The same sequence can be followed on a weekday although your work day will eat up the majority of your day.


9:00 – 4:45a Sleep

9:00p- Bed

8:30- 9:00p Sleep prep

8:00 – 8:30p Relax and Read

6:45 – 8:00p Free Time / Catch up on tasks

6:30 – 6:45p Package food for next day

5:30 – 6:30p Cook and Eat Dinner

5:00 – 5:30p Drive Home

5:00 – 1:00p Work

12:00 – 1:00p Lunch

8:00 – 12:00p Work

7:30 – 8:00a Drive to work

5:30a – WOD

4:45a- Wake up / Drive to Gym

In this example I used a typical single source of employment with the gym time still in the early morning. Play around with your specific schedule and see what you can achieve! Just remember, a failure to plan is planning to fail! Good luck!

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