I have a friend who wants to start running.
He's out of shape and overweight. He hasn't run in a decade. He's tired of feeling like shit and he wants to do something about it.
We talked for about 15 minutes about running, and I can already predict with 90% certainty that he will fail.
Why? Because he was asking me about shoes, watches, plans, and shorts.
You Don't Need a Perfect Plan
My friend wants the perfect plan. He wants the best shoes. He wants to know about the watch I use. The meal plan I would recommend.
He wants a perfect plan.
But for a dude who hasn't really exercised in about a decade, the perfect plan is to simply get his ass moving. He doesn't need a high tech running watch with GPS tracking and heart rate analysis.
He isn't going to go that far to start with!
He doesn't need to spend $200 on some running shoes, he just needs a comfortable pair to support him during a few runs per week.
He doesn't need me to prescribe a meticulous meal plan with perfectly calculated macros.
He just needs to cut out sugar and fast food for a few weeks and see how much better he feels.
Plans Are Not Wins
Plans are not wins. Wins are wins.
There's nothing wrong with putting together a solid plan, but don't mistake that for an actual win and don't overdo it.
Haven't run in a decade? Running a half mile is a win. Planning to run a half marathon is not.
Eating a shitty processed foods diet? Eating 2-3 fresh veggies is a win. Planing out the perfect distribution of calories is not.
You need to be honest with where you are so that you are piling up wins. For most people, especially the sedentary, action is going to beat planning.
Plans Have Their Place
If you're an Olympic caliber athlete, you need every minor advantage you can get. A .01% improvement matters at this level.
You need a plan to be the best. So many factors have to align to get on that podium. Rest and recovery, training stimuli, nutrition, inflammation, skill, and maybe a little luck now and then all have to converge at once.
At this level, planning matters.
Even if you have not Olympic aspirations, as you get fitter, you will need to plan out your training better to keep making progress.
Plans definitely have their place, but if your coming off the couch, the only plan you need is to get moving.
You need to recognize when coming up with the perfect plan is actually a form of procrastination, keeping your from just getting after it and changing your life.
Remember what I said earlier, wins are wins, plans are plans.
Go out there and get some wins, even if they are small ones.