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Plan, plan, plan

There is a definite theme running through the successes achieved by my clients – planning.

When you’re working on improving your diet or increasing the amount of exercise in your life you need to plan ahead to ensure that you have the resources available to enable you to stick to your plans.  Those resources can be a kitchen full of fresh fruit and vegetables, a batch of quick but healthy recipes, clean gym kit, a ready reply for the next person who tries to persuade you to have one more drink, or a stash of healthy snacks kept in the office for when hunger strikes.

Without planning, things go awry.   Take the example of healthy snacks at the office – you’ve eaten healthily all day, been to the gym at lunchtime, but unexpectedly find yourself working late – you get hungry and the local sandwich shops are now closed.  What do you do?  If you have no healthy snacks to hand, you’ll go and find a vending machine and end up with crisps and chocolate.  With a little planning, you can ensure that you have nuts, fruit, protein bars or whatever you like to snack on to hand – eating crisis averted.

Take another example – you know you want to fit in three workouts in a week, but you’ve not planned when.  Monday night comes along and you’ve got that Monday feeling so you say to yourself you’ll go to the gym tomorrow.  But you then realise you’re meeting friends on Tuesday, which means no workout, and you’re going away at the weekend, so opportunities to fit in your three workouts are disappearing fast.  If you’d looked ahead and diarised those workouts, you’d not get halfway through the week and realise you’d lost your opportunities.

With a little planning, you can build your own contingency plans, and prepare to overcome any upcoming obstacles.  Sunday mornings seem to be the most popular time for a look ahead at the forthcoming week.  You then have the rest of the day to get to the shops and stock up on healthy food if that’s what you decide you need.  You can diarise your workouts, and wash your gym kit if necessary.  And if you’re cutting down on alcohol you can decide in advance which nights you will drink and which nights you won’t.  All of these things will make a big difference to how likely you are to succeed.

So what do you need to plan for the next week?

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