Basic Training (take 1)

Basic Training, as with many of the best things in life, is implemented through the use of a very basic spreadsheet.

Using such a spreadsheet can change your life. Your life may then revert back to how it was before, but you can reinstitute another spreadsheet as often as is needed (and for some, like me, that might just be forever).

And you don’t have to take it from me, I have one reverberating testimonial:

Thanks for telling me about your spreadsheet. I made one too. It was really helpful” (paraphrase)
— Angie

What does Basic Training include?

Basic Training lasts 4 weeks.

It focuses on preparing the individual to be stronger, healthier, and more resilient so that we can get to the superhero stuff down the road.

It follows the Jenny Goodguts principle: Do More Good. In a nutshell that means it does not focus on things you should not do or on what you might be doing that is ‘bad’ for you. It focuses on adding more good things to your life, on ways to spend time and energy that will support your vision of what you want to be instead of focusing on what you don’t want to be.

Basic Training is something that can (and probably should) be completely modified for any individual. I’m sharing the actions that are part of my own spreadsheet as an example but feel free to adjust in any way you like! I will provide more guidance on how to select Basic Training tasks in the future, but I’m in desperate need of it myself, as well as of some accountability, which public blogging provides, so I’m rolling it out barebones to start with.

Basic Training includes five aspects:

1) Nutrition/Energy
2) Movement/Strength
3) Clarity
4) Spirit/Soul
5) Rest/Restoration

For my purposes,
Spirit = What is bigger than me?
Soul = What am I?

As an example, my Basic Training Tasks include:
EAT MORE SUNSHINE: Drink a green smoothie every day (my basic recipe forthcoming but you can check out Simple Green Smoothies for good ideas).
GOOD GUTS: Eat 2 Tablespoons of cultured food, 2 times a day (kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha are my current sources, sometimes pickles but you have to read labels).
MOVE: Dance to 3 songs every day (this was on my original list, I have not succeeded with doing it. I’m reconsidering).
MOVE: Attend 1 exercise class every week.
CLARITY: Meditate for 10 minutes each day. I’m trying Headspace but am actively seeking recommendations! (Recs from readers include Calm app and Insight Timer).
SPIRIT: Spend 10 minutes outside every day.
SOUL: Play a musical instrument for 10 minutes every day.
REST: Out of bed by 6:30 am every weekday (consistent wake time makes it easier to fall asleep at night and see below).
RESTORE: Enjoy screen-free activities after 9 PM. 

The mechanics of the spreadsheet:

It is a printed piece of paper. There are a number of small daily actions listed. They are slotted into a timezone (breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc). The sheet is taped to the wall in my kitchen. At the assigned time of day, I look at the sheet and try to make sure all relevant tasks are complete.

Originally, this spreadsheet was mostly used to help me remember to take certain supplements, breathe before eating, consume cultured foods (more on this later) so it was a perfect system for those tasks. I (almost) didn’t miss checking a box for 8 weeks, and that is REALLY saying something for me.

The tasks in Basic Training don’t fit as easily into the original time slots, and are not quite as simple to complete, so I am experimenting with a new spreadsheet and will modify (Jenny Goodguts Basic Training Program, take 2) once I see how these different types of activities work within this system. Instead of waiting until it is perfect, I’m sharing as I go.

My rules are that I can get the tasks done at any time during the day, the timezones are just useful guidelines of when something might fit. I predict that rest/restore will be the most consistently challenging element, but making time to play music will be a close second.
Note 1: If you have a really bad day on Basic Training and don’t get anything done, or let’s say you get sick, just start again wherever you left off! If you miss three days, you don’t have to stop and think you failed. Just start again in the next column! 
Note 2: If you start Basic Training and realize, for example, that you just aren’t going to dance to 3 songs a day and it isn’t really that important to you that you do, just cross it off the list! Or change it. This is for you. Your rules.
Note 3: You could also try one week and then change the activities and start over. This is what (at least one) reader has done with success. It is a learning activity! No one is grading you. Unless you like to be graded in which case — you get an A for waking up today and making it this far.
Note 4: This spreadsheet is just an example. Delete all of these actions and add your own (or don’t – feel free to share mine). I will at some point upload an updated version that is easier to reformat to include some monthly actions as well, as this has been requested — but you could do that yourself if you are so inclined.


Basic Training Spreadsheet Is Here!