Planning for Success – Making Things Easy
For the first few days after you set a New Years Resolution, you are generally pretty motivated to accomplish it.
But as early as a week later, that initial motivation has already dwindled.
And things that seemed easy to do, like cook meals and eat clean, stop seeming as easy because you aren’t as motivated to do them.
If you don’t have a solid plan in place and haven’t done the proper preparation, you are going to slip back into old habits.
We will find any excuse to not make changes.
Therefore we have to make things as simple, and as idiot proof, as possible for ourselves.
So if you want to make some healthy changes to your diet this New Year, how are you going to make your plan excuse proof?
These tips below may just help….These tips are meant to help us create healthy habits so that we don’t have to think or use as much self-control to stick with the new program.
Because our self-control gets depleted as the day goes on, especially if we’ve had a stressful day. And the more things are in place so that we don’t have to use self-control, the more likely we are to stick with our plan and accomplish our goals!
5 Tips To Make Changing Easier
1. Meal Prep (Make Lots of Leftovers and Cook When You Have Time) – The easiest way to change-up your eating habits is to have healthy foods already cooked when you get home tired from work. The last thing most of us want to do when we are tired and hungry is spend even 10 minutes making food. That is why meal prep is so important. Pick a day when you are around the house anyway. It can even be a day when you are around the house RELAXING because if you pick a few recipes for the oven or crockpot, you don’t even have to stand around and stir them or anything. Find a few recipes that allow you to make meals for a couple of days. For instance, bake a chicken or some chicken breasts. You can simple throw them in the oven and go do something else while they cook. Or make a chili in a crockpot. You can throw in all the ingredients and even go out and do whatever you want all day. You will come back and have numerous meals! Eating clean really doesn’t have to be a horrible chore. Make it easy and make it work for you.
2. Don’t Keep Temptations In The House – When we get stressed or upset, we are going to reach for comfort. And if we have those old comfort foods around, we are going to reach for them EVEN if we can resist on a normal day. When you are trying to create new habits, don’t keep things around that may derail those habits. Out of sight, out of mind. Very rarely will you make an effort to go get those unhealthy foods when emotional. And if you do, then accept it and move on. Just make yourself have to really work for it in hopes that it will give you time to reconsider. (Because more often than not, you will simply do what is easy and stick with the clean food you have around.)
3. Don’t Wait Till You Are Starving To Eat – While I do believe in intermittent fasting and that you don’t need to eat a certain amount of meals everyday, you also don’t want to just starve yourself to lose weight or wait to eat till you are super hungry. We tend to make horrible decisions when we get super hungry. We tend to not care what we eat and we tend to eat too much. Listen to your body and recognize when you are getting hungry. Then eat!
4. Always Have Healthy Snacks Around – For one, like I said above, you don’t want to get to the point of starving so that you seek out ANYTHING to eat. Plan and have snacks around for those times when you may need a quick little bit. Also, many people are emotional eaters or eat when they get bored. Most of us are guilty of it at some point at least. And while that is an issue we do need to deal with, a great way to prevent our emotions or boredom from derailing our new healthy habits is to have healthy snacks around so that we don’t munch on something worse. At least then we are reaching for something healthy and not something that may make us feel even worse, which could lead to the binge eating cycle.
5. Know Your Restaurant Options – While yes, often the healthiest option is to eat something homemade, that isn’t always an option. Plan for having to go out. Know the restaurants near your home and work so that if you do WANT to go out or get asked to eat out, you know the healthy options. Prepare yourself with go-to eating out options so you aren’t taken off guard or persuaded to eat something that derails your progress when you don’t want to cheat. I have a few restaurants that are my go-to when I want to eat cleaner but either have to go out to meet people or my meal prep wasn’t perfect and I need a meal in between. (Note: You can also choose not to eat out at all. While often this isn’t something we want to do, you can give yourself permission to join people out and then go back and eat the meal you planned to eat. It is just good to recognize this is an option even if people may make you feel guilty for wanting to stick with your plan.)
SET AN END DATE! I’ve been harping on this a lot with people lately, but even when you are trying to create habits for a healthy lifestyle, you need to set an end date. We don’t mentally do very well with FOREVER. So maybe set up a reward at the end of each month. Maybe you go shopping or do something special with friends and family. Or maybe you simply switch up the recipes you use every 4 weeks. Whatever it is, make there some sort of “end date.” Some time where you can pat yourself on the back for completing what you set out to do. And then at that time, you can adjust your plan a bit for the next month or so to keep you moving forward!
Once healthy habits are in place, you may find you don’t need to be as diligent with these tips because the ideals are engrained. Till then though, make it as easy as possible for yourself to stick to your new habits.
The more you prepare against the excuses, the more likely you are to create habits that LAST!