We do it all the time. We make a plan for the project at work which is supposed to be completed by next week. We sit down and figure out the perfect route for the cross state trip next weekend. We determine how much paint we’ll need to paint our living room before we go to the store. We create a plan. So why wouldn’t we do it for or health?
I’m not talking about scheduling a minute-by-minute agenda and menu for the next six weeks to get you bikini-ready, although that is the general idea. A six-week plan might be a little overwhelming and to be honest, I have learned from my own history that I’d get lost somewhere around week three and end up somewhere in Mexico.
Plan. I know it doesn’t sound exciting, but it helps. It’s one of those things that sounds like a good idea but we rarely do it because, come on … can creating a plan REALLY help? Yes. The answer is yes. When you sit down to write down your intentions, you are more likely to follow through with them. You are prepared and are ready. You aren’t leaving it up to fate.
- Plan your weekly meals: There’s a fear that often spreads over me on a Monday night when I open the fridge and realize nothing is defrosted, we are out of fresh produce and the only thing I can make with the items left would be cheese and pickle sandwiches served with a side of ranch dressing. I only recently began meal planning and realized how much of a time saver it is. Sundays are my day to sit down and think of meals to make for lunch and dinner. I grocery shop and tend to actually stick to my list since I know exactly what I need for each week instead of wandering around buying things that just look good. When I get home, I spend an hour or two prepping. I boil pasta and sauté vegetables. I prepare meals so on weeknights when I get home, I just have to put them in the oven and wait for them to bake. I package my lunches so in the morning, as I’m rushing around, I can just grab and go. If I didn’t do this, I’d go out to eat, which leads to its own dangers.If planning weekly meals seems a bit overwhelming, take it slow and try just doing lunches or dinners first, separately. If you have children, get them involved. Have them decide what vegetables will go with what dinners.
- Organize your workout bag: I’d like to pretend I wake up every day and casually sit down to watch the news for a few minutes while I sip my coffee before taking my time to get ready for work. The truth is, I wake up on the second (or third) snooze alarm, jump into the shower before I take my first breath, and rush through my morning routine with just enough seconds to pour a cup of coffee before I run out the door for work. Every night before I go to bed, I spend five minutes putting my workout clothes, shoes and a magazine in my gym bag. By planning this the night before, I avoid the “I’m late for work and don’t have time to pack a gym bag” excuse I’ve used so often before.
- Plan your weekly workouts: I use excuses. A lot of them. Planning what days I’m going to work out helps to prevent me from relying on excuses like “oh, I’m too tired because it was such a long day at work” or “I’ll just go tomorrow.” Tomorrow never seems to come and it tends to be long days at work every day. By planning my weekly workouts and having my workout bag with me, I just have to go. I’ve already planned on going, I have my workout bag in the car, and the only thing left to do is to drive to the gym.
Healthiness takes work. It isn’t as easy as others make it appear. Taking a few minutes out of every week to plan on how you’ll be healthy can make all the difference in the world. You are equipped and organized so when it comes time to actually be healthy, it’s easier. Plan to be healthy; don’t leave it up to chance.