Planning to Succeed

In our society, our technologically-centered lives don’t let us lose a second of time. It seems we’re always behind, always playing catch-up, and we strive to improve our “time management.” And we all know this doesn’t stop when we become parents. Actually, it seems to increase. By having children, you inherit a responsibility that never ends, even when you work or sleep. The life of every parent is inherently busy and, at many times, stressful.

So when it comes to getting in shape, many of us are always planning to get in shape but allow those plans to remain in the future instead of choosing to make them right now. We must, instead, begin setting aside specific time in our daily lives for exercising and eating nutritiously. Work-out time and time to prepare healthy meals do not magically appear: We have to create them, and the only way to do so is to plan.

Studies show success when people follow healthy routines. By establishing time for home responsibilities, it’s easier to prioritize and figure out time to dedicate to our fitness. And then we have to commit. The regimen of the plan shouldn’t allow room to “cheat” on the program because decisions about exercising and eating are already in place. If one area of life (work, i.e.) intrudes on the work-out for the day, then the work-out must happen another time that day or the next day; this is how we need to start thinking. Consistency is very important -- take the example below:

Nathan, a client of mine, exemplifies strict adherence to regular exercise and good eating habits. A popular stylist at Elan Salon of Nashville, Nathan doesn’t have time between clients to decide what he’s going to eat and when he’s going to exercise, so he sets aside two days each week to work out with weights and two days to work in his yard. If he didn’t plan his healthy snacks for the day, his choices would be either sweets or nothing at all and his body’s metabolism would not operate optimally. Instead, he chooses to plan his meals the same way he plans his day: Each morning he makes arrangements for every meal, which leaves him no decisions to make when he’s hungry.

For those of us who already plan, we know it’s no big deal and it takes much less energy than thought it would initially. For those of you who don’t plan yet, this may seem a bit overwhelming. While it takes effort at first, the rewards of better health, fat loss, less fatigue and stronger bodies greatly outweigh the small sacrifices of planning.

How has it worked for Nathan? He’s lost 13 pounds of fat (perhaps more but the muscle he’s added deceives the scale!). He’s also completely changed his body, giving it more lean definition.  He eats three meals and two snacks a day and drinks lots of water. Lastly, his healthy regimen has kept him from smoking for over a year now.

Take the time to plan! It’s worth it.