Tony Horton’s Staying Motivated Checklist: Fitness and Productivity Intersect


March 10, 2016


Tony Horton, fitness instructor, best known for his groundbreaking P90X workout routines, recently put out a post on his blog entitled Staying Motivated. Fitness aside, Tony Horton’s no-nonsense straight talk is enough to get anyone pumped – about this thing called life. Today’s post takes us on a brief show and tell of where productivity, fitness (if you will) and WorkFlowy intersect. I’ve also got 2 shared lists for you: Tony Horton’s “Staying Motivated” checklist and a P90X template – the layout concepts of which can be adapted to any routine you wish. We’ll also take a look at one of WorkFlowy’s brilliant little search operators which helps to juxtapose what needs juxtaposing.

First off, here’s a screenshot of Tony Horton’s Staying Motivated checklist, captured from his most recent post, Staying Motivated

Here’s that shared list you can add to your WorkFlowy account. You’ll see that I’ve highlighted the points above where WorkFlowy comes into the picture. So… I’m not going to instruct you on how to “partition your projects and break them off into bite-sized pieces”… because that’s all at once intuitive. I think the mere mention thereof is sufficient to get us all to don our thinking caps and fire things up. Instead we’re going to take a glimpse at a template which brings, at the very least, the highlighted parts of that list into focus:

Having a plan keeps you accountable.

That’s what makes P90X (and similar such fitness programs) so successful. They hand you a plan on a silver platter. Part of that is a workout routine to follow. You just have to keep hitting the play button. Here’s what a typical P90X workout sheet looks like:

… and this is what it might look like in WorkFlowy:

As you’ve noticed, we’re going vertical with the “Week” columns. For sure, paper and a clipboard does have it’s advantage when working out. But on the irksome occasion I have been caught without ink or paper. Here are the (classic) P90X templates I can just duplicate any time I’m ready to start a new 12-week program.

“Baby steps” and “bite-sized pieces”

One of Tony Horton’s catchphrases is, “You can do anything for 30 seconds!” And you really can – no matter how grueling (Jump-knee tuck anyone!?). Knowing what’s next, as with anything in life, is mighty helpful. My dinky little iPhone 4S is still up to the task:

  1. So we have a neat, chronological list of a variety of push-up and pull-up exercises. Each of those exercises is a baby step in the grand scheme of things. Here’s another phrase of Tony Horton’s I’ve heard many times over: “How do you know what to do if you don’t know what you did?” This is not only the value of recording exercise metrics – but also “Don’t Break the Chain!” routines, keeping track of word counts, etc. We know what we’ve done before – so we know we can do it again – or even attempt to one up on our previous best.
  2. Filtering for “W01 OR W02” in WorkFlowy’s search box allows me to whittle down my list to bring specific information into sharp focus. I juxtapose my previous week’s workout metrics with what what I’m hoping to achieve today.
  3. If I juxtapose Week 1 and Week 11 (W01 OR W11), I can see how far I’ve come from humble beginnings. Those were my metrics (part of a much longer list)… from over a year back. I need to get with the program again! Having those metrics logged somewhere, I know I have it in me.

Half the battle with anything in life is building the confidence to tackle what you know you’ve done before. It could be a 2nd book, a 2nd baby a 2nd bride. For some of these things, having at least a rough plan, making a start on your baby steps and focusing on the bite-sized pieces might help tremendously. You might want to keep Tony Horton’s Staying Motivated checklist handy somewhere for those times when you’re trying to summon the motivation to get cracking.

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7 years ago

I agree with the comments on the mobile version. I am always tied to my mobile and the ability to do simple things like select multiple lines, delete whole lines, keys for # and @, would all really make it so much easier to use. At the moment I have to fire up the laptop to do any heavy lifting.

Jeff VC
Jeff VC
7 years ago

Are there any plans for a more complete mobile version of Workflowy? The drag and drop and sync are phenomenal right now, but will the mobile app ever give us: (1) ability to delete a line without backspacing through everything, (2) a drop down list of previously created tags, (3) better text formatting? Many of us aren’t tied to our desktops or laptops, and a more complete mobile experience would probably increase usage of Work flow as a whole.

7 years ago
Reply to  Jeff VC

Yes to all those things, especially the tags thing.

Charles C
Charles C
7 years ago
Reply to  Jeff VC

4) on-screen ‘#’ and ‘@’ buttons to make typing in tags easier. (Alongside « and »).

7 years ago
Reply to  Charles C

Also the ability to duplicate items on mobile, please

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