You’ve probably heard the old adage from Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Not only does that quote hold true across all aspects of life, but it’s especially true in the diet and fitness arena.
The key to success is preparation. This is never more true than when dieting, working out and living a healthy lifestyle. So, how should you prepare yourself for success? Just follow these few simple tips and you’ll be way ahead of the game when it comes to making progress toward your health and fitness goals.
- Plan your meals—this means taking sometime each week, usually on a Sunday or at the beginning of your week, to plan out what you’re going to eat for the week. Make your shopping list according to this plan, and stick to the list when you get to the store. This typically means you’ll be shopping around the perimeter of the store and filling your cart with fresh organic vegetables, fruits and meats.
- Schedule your workouts—just as you would any other appointments. This solidifies the importance of your exercise program in your mind. It’s a legitimate commitment that must be kept. It will also help you develop the habit of going to the gym “no matter what.” Keep your workout gear handy and a gym outfit ready to go so you have no hold-ups and no excuses come workout time.
- Plan for obstacles—take time to address any potential events coming up in your week that might make it difficult for you to stick with your plan. Decide in advance how you’re going to handle such things. For example, if there’s a big party on Friday night and you want to go, but your cheat day is usually on Sunday, maybe you can plan to move your cheat day to Friday night so you can enjoy yourself without guilt.
- Cook in bulk—take a time that works for you and cook several things at once so you can make meals for 3-4 days. This will ensure that you always have a prepared meal right at your fingertips, and you won’t have the urge to reach for junk food when you’re hungry and short on time.
Being prepared doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but it does require a small amount of advance planning. Just by doing these few small things on a regular basis, you’ll set yourself up for continued success and progress.