Plan to succeed or you plan to fail. You need to have a plan. I’m talking about planning your breakfast, your day, your week, and your year. We all juggle multiple things in life – home, work, children, spouses, chores, exercise and……. Scheduling it out takes a little time but saves a lot of time. This isn’t to restrict your freedom, but to ensure you make non-negotiable appointments with yourself to do the work you need to do to move in the direction of your goals. Be specific with your goals. Is it to lose 20 lbs.? Is it to lower your blood pressure or blood sugar by your next Dr. appointment? There are tons of scheduling tools and apps to choose from if you like. Many people use scheduling apps. I personally prefer a simple pen and paper in a notebook with a calendar. Not being plugged in helps me not waste time. Find something that you like and use it – consistently.
Plot the Milestones
Now that you’re scheduling things, plan out the milestones needed to get to the goal. When working with nutrition consulting clients, I use the end date of our time together and work backward to where they currently are. I work with them in mapping out the steps needed to get to the next milestone and eventually the end goal. Steps are scheduled in and we get started. We work toward checking off each one as we go. This helps me and my clients know as soon as we look at that calendar or look ahead to the next week, what has to get done so we can continue to plan and make necessary adjustments. Goals can be as simple as cooking dinner at home 5 nights instead of 2. It could be packing lunch everyday instead of eating out. It could be hitting the gym for ½ hour before getting groceries. Pencil it in.
Every week I hear someone tell me that they are sooooo busy that they don’t have time to eat well or prepare their meals or exercise. Honestly ask yourself where your time being hoovered up… really? Facebook, EBay or Snapchat? – Fine if your job is to cruise social media all day –if not, you are wasting time. Time that can be spent actively working toward better health. Make time to do the planning (or hire a nutritional consultant to plan for you). It comes back to discipline for what is important. Do as much for yourself and your health as you do for others in your life. Building health through proper nutrition and exercise takes time and effort. It’s not easy, but it is worth it every ounce of effort. Once health is lost or diminished, your time (and money) ends up being spent in less desirable places like medical clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies.
Stick to Your Health Goals with Integrity
It can be tempting to be lured away toward a perceived quick fix. This happens with diets all the time. There is no one size fits all and there are no short cuts. The choices your friends or family make in chowing down French fries over a side salad do not affect you. Make your own nutritious choices and let others choose for themselves. Consciously make decisions that support your individual health goals and maintain that integrity with every choice. Commit to being in it for the long haul. You can exceed your own expectations! Give it your all and stay true to your goals. Your optimal health is best built on a solid foundation that can support you for the rest of your life. You only have one body. There are no exchanges or returns. Take care of it like you would a precious or expensive luxury item, because isn’t it really just that?
My last point is this: You just have to start. Start. Commit. Continue even when it is hard. Celebrate the milestones. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up. Acknowledge it, accept it and let it go. Get up, dust yourself off and move forward. You will get there!
By Lisa Turan