Planning and Prioritizing
I don't know how many times I have fallen victim to my own lack of planning. Not to mention the horrific repercussions of out-of-whack priorities. And I'm not just talking about the world of weight loss! These two P's can make or break you.
Here are some things that I can (and should) always do to plan and prepare for success:
1. Plan an entire week's worth of meals before that week begins.
2. Make a grocery list from those menus and stock the house with healthy foods for the week.
3. Consider upcoming restaurant visits, parties, etc. and write down what I plan to eat. (visit restaurant websites for menus/nutritional info. if applicable)
4. Line up childcare ahead of time when needed for exercise.
5. Wash, chop, divide all produce, etc. immediately when I get home for store.
6. Prepare several meals at once and freeze or refrigerate for later in week.
7. Keep healthy snacks in purse & always in the pantry, "just in case.
8. Make sure all "danger foods are locked up, out of sight, or gone from the house and workplace.
9. Set goals and lists steps to take toward reaching those goals.
Salad is my go-to meal for busy afternoon lunches or low-key dinners. Having all the components chopped and ready to go is so helpful! I make little bags of turkey, cheese, black beans, tomatoes, etc. and keep them all together in the fridge. When it's salad time all I have to do is fix my plate! If you have access to a fridge at work this would be a great way to do lunch everyday! No lunch-packing!
Always wash and portion out fruits and veggies before putting away in the fridge.
This week I made some homemade HV Ranch dressing with olive oil mayo and skim milk. It was great and it was nice to have on hand if I didn't have time to make a vinaigrette (which is healthier).
In addition, setting new priorities is important. I say "new " priorities because in order to change an old lifestyle, the priorities of your "old" lifestyle are most likely going to need to change, drastically. You know--"If you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you've always got!" kind of thing...
For example, one of the most important parts of my day has become my morning quiet time. It is a time for me to get focused on my priorities (what i need to accomplish) for that day, study God's Word, pray and just get mentally prepared for the challenges that are ahead. I play relaxing music, sip my coffee and find my happy place ;) I have gotten to the point that if I miss it in the morning, something just feels off and usually my day is not that great. It is a relatively new PRIORITY in my life. I have to take steps to make sure it happens every single day.
Making this a #1 priority has had an impact on other parts of my life (and even members of my family) in a great way. In order to have this time, I have to wake up at least an hour before anyone else in the house. In order for this to happen, I have to get to sleep at a decent hour. In order for this to happen I have to get the kids' in bed at an even MORE decent hour. I have to have my little quiet time area (in the bathroom, ha!) ready the night before. I find that coffee makes this time even more *special* so I try to have the coffee pot all ready to go the night before also. You can see the domino effect a shift in priorites can have. This is a good thing.
When I began to purposely prepare for this time, it became so much easier. Now it's a very doable way to make my day go smoothly. I just use this as an example to encourage you to take whatever steps are necessary to do the things that help you avoid temptations and keep you going in the right direction all day. I encourage you to think of what your priorities are and how they may need to change. Even though it may not seem natural, try to honor what you realize needs to change.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
I love this verse! God is so very faithful to provide a way out when we are faced with temptation. He has helped me out of sticky situations more times than I can count. However, I think it's important for us to remember that sometimes the "way out" is using the tools of planning and prioritizing to avoid temptation all together. We shouldn't always find ourselves knocking on temptation's door just because we think God will answer.
All the planning and prioritizing in the world won't amount to a hill of beans unless we follow-through. What are you doing to help set yourself up for success? Have your priorities changed? Do they need to?