Thursday, March 28, 2013

Plan Ahead for Success

You have probably heard that it takes 21-days to create a habit and good habits, along with consistency, are what you need to help you reach goals in all areas of your life.  That is so true for your fitness and nutrition goals as well.

Here are some habits that can help you stay on track and reach your goals.

1) Plan your week

First, plan your workouts.  Whether you exercise at home or go to a gym or yoga studio put your workouts on your calendar.  We plan our vacations but rarely do we plan our everyday activities that we are so motivated to do, until something else more fun presents itself.  When you have it on a calendar, it just makes it easier to stick to it. 

2) Plan your meals

 The first step in being successful with your diet plan is to plan your menu for the week.  Write it out on a calendar or other form that works for you.    I have a magnetic pad that sticks to my refrigerator and has two sections.  The top section is an area to write down your meals for that day (I just plan dinner because I have several different options that I always stick with for breakfast and lunch) and the bottom half is perforated with an area to make your grocery list, because that is the next important step.

3) Make your grocery list

As you plan your menu for the week,  look to see what you have in your pantry, fridge or freezer and go from there.  Double check to make sure you have all the ingredients, including spices, and also scan the recipe to make sure you don’t need a certain tool or gadget that you might need to pick up.   There’s nothing like getting half-way through meal preparation and finding out you need a garlic press or food processor.  Save yourself the frustration and make sure you have what you need.

4) Prep your food

If you bought fruit for snacks (and I hope you did) , wash and peel or slice fruit and put it in clear, BPA free  container so you and your family can see what there is easily.  Otherwise, you tend to clean out the fridge the following week and through away a lot of good food.  Also, when you’re hungry, don’t you always walk to the refrigerator, open the door and stand there, expecting something quick and yummy to pop into your mouth?  By planning ahead you can make sure you are ready so that you don’t sabotage all your good work.

Also, if you’re making something with lots of fresh vegetables for dinner, prep them ahead of time too.    You can store them in prep bowls or zipper bags so that cooking dinner will be simple and easy.  You can even measure your spices ahead of time and have them ready to add to your dish.

5) Enjoy! You will be amazed how easy it is to eat healthy when you spend a little planning time and get into the habit every week of planning workouts, meals and grocery shopping. 

Remember, if plan A fails, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet so be flexible if plans change at the last minute.  You don’t have to give up your success that you have attained.  Just go to plan B, C, and D and so on.   In 21 days you will have a new habit that will help you be successful in reaching your health and wellness goals.



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