In fitness and in life, you have to meet challenges head on. Hoping that luck will come your way with a winning lottery ticket, a rocking body and a metabolism that allows you to eat anything and everything – probably isn’t the recipe for success.
If you dodge the important things for too long, they will come back and bite you in the behind hard and fast. When it comes down to fitness success specifically, there may be even less wiggle room here. You can’t bank on lucky super human genetics or just finding healthy food prepped, cooked and plated on your table when you get home from a crazy day.
Quite straightforward, but extremely important, when trying to change and sustain new choices in your life ‘be prepared’ is a very broad statement but here it is aimed at everything from week planning, meal preparation, training routines and anything else that can be put into a system or incorporated into a routine.
There are two major benefits of being prepared:
1) By being prepared you will stay on track and are less likely to make the ‘wrong’ decisions but also, if there comes a time where you do need that break (or cheat meal), being prepared will become a major component of ensuring you get straight back onto the correct path and do not plummet into the abyss and undo all that work.
2) Being prepared also gives you the ability to get more enjoyment out of life by limiting the time spent on the day-to-day requirements and increasing the time available to do all the things you enjoy.
Some people are against having day-to-day routines and think that this might get boring or repetitive but if viewed from the correct angle it can be quite the opposite. Life can simplistically be divided into ‘things of requirement’ and ‘things of choice’. Things of requirement are for example work, shopping, chores, errands, appointments and can even include training and healthy eating (although most people enjoy these once they have started). Whereas things of choice are all the activities you want to do and enjoy doing outside of the requirements – your free time.
Now the majority of people are happiest when doing the things of choice as opposed to those of requirement so why not create routines and limit time spent doing all the ‘requirements’ of life so you can enjoy more free time doing the things you enjoy.
A few quick tips to help you become prepared:
1) Batching – this means leaving all the small minuscule errands and chores until there is a large amount to make it an efficient activity. Group similar tasks together and ‘batch’ them.
2) Create routines – creating routines for certain times/activities through your week can increase productivity, reduce stress and free up time for more enjoyable things. Create lists and guides that you can follow until they become a habit. Day-to-day activities like getting ready and packing your lunch/bags in the morning will go from one hour to 30 minutes allowing you to sleep, read or relax for longer.
3) Prepare, cook and package your day’s meals (or just a couple of meals) as opposed to relying on your ability to choose the healthiest option on the café menu. This may not be as quick as ordering of the menu, but plays a major role in helping you achieve your goals.
4) Plan your workouts ahead of time. Don’t just wing it and hope you have some extra time in the day to make it to the gym, that’s a recipe for disaster. Book it into your schedule just like an important business meeting and ask your spouse and coworkers to hold you accountable to going. They will love to help.
Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and the owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.