PLANNING AHEAD TO REACH SUCCESS
For many of you reading this, getting on a more organized routine for diet and exercise is something very new, something very frightening, and overall completely foreign. So foreign that it is even more important to Plan Ahead.
Making good choices to eat less and move more requires a lot of willpower because, after so many years of building up less than favorable habits, we would rather do the minimum amount of movement and do the minimum on diet preparation. I’ve been through all the cycles it feels like. You would rather wake up and say “I might be able to work out today” and when you eat you might say “wherever I’m at I’m sure I can make the best of their menu”. Unfortunately, this can lead to early and constant failure of moving less and eating too much.
You MUST make your diet and exercise automatic. It’s the time you set aside and plan around to ensure that you will put in an hour of weights at the gym or in your garage. It’s the time you set aside and plan around to ensure you will meal prep healthy and lower calorie options to eat at home and at work. If you didn’t do any of this and just said you will go about your day, making decisions about how you feel at the moment, you might as well throw in the towel. Because LIFE HAPPENS. You’re a student, you’re a mother, you’re an employee or employer, you’re a spouse. There is a lot of curve balls life throws at us. Which makes it more important to control and plan our diets and exercise so we know how to function and react better when the rigors of life begin to mount on top of us.
When life begins to add on as it does from week to week, month to month, you have 1 less thing to worry about as far as eating well and exercising if it’s automatically planted into your regular routine. When I was in college like many of you, and I was also working 4-5 days a week, I had to decide at the beginning of each semester (including summer sessions) what time I would be going to the gym. Would I need to hit the Student Rec Center up at 5 or 5:30 am, giving myself enough time to work out, shower and walk across campus for 8 am Anatomy and Physiology? Would I need to meal prep cold meals to carry in a lunch bag so that I could eat anywhere on campus while walking from one class to the next? If I were to get out of class at let’s say 3 pm and had to work at 4:30 pm, did I need food prepped and ready at home so I ensured enough time to eat before or have my work clothes in the same gym bag I had packed up before an early morning gym session? For you moms and dads out there, it’s usually what you do when your child gets out of school at 2:45-4pm and you have to take them to soccer practice. You more than likely have their clothes ready to go so they can change in the car, or have time to change when they get to practice. Hopefully, you also had set aside dinner either already made or chopped up and set aside so it wouldn’t take long after practice to have dinner made, your kid showered and onto their homework. Because you prepared and thought ahead, fewer decisions had to be made on your busiest, jam-packed days, creating less time wasted, and less error. So why are you not doing this for your health and weight loss goals?
Many people prep 7 days ahead of time. Some 3 days ahead of time. They have their workout clothes for different days hanging up or folded up, ready to be put into their gym bag as soon as they take out the dirty ones. They have a strong estimation about what time they’ll work out or be home to meal prep. Like I said, life happens, it’ll mount up, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to survive and succeed in your end goals if you have taken the time to plan ahead. Failure to plan ahead, even 3 days ahead, will ensure you fail altogether. If you want something (better health, weight loss, fat loss, strength, etc) you’ll do what it takes.
You don’t have to spend hours creating a “perfect, fail-proof” system either. You just have to put some positive and proactive thought into getting started and getting going. After that it’s staying consistent, making small changes as you go to keep you sharp more times than not.