Losing weight and getting healthy consistently top the list of most popular New Year’s resolutions. While becoming more organized nearly always makes the top 10, it should actually be your first priority. Why? Achieving any goal requires strategic planning and a systematic implementation. Losing weight and improving your health doesn’t happen overnight; for many people, shedding excess pounds can be a long process that needs to be broken down into small, manageable steps. If you don’t approach it in a deliberate, organized fashion, you’re setting yourself up for failure. This is precisely why the majority of people abandon their resolutions and give up on their initial fitness objectives.
If you’re determined to make 2015 the year you finally get fit, your first focus needs to be on getting organized! Here are some of the biggest organizational stumbling blocks that cause people to abandon their health and wellness resolutions (and what you can do to avoid them and stay on track).
(Meal) plan yourself svelte. Everyone knows that fast food isn’t healthy, so why is every McDonald’s drive-thru lane wrapped around the block? It’s often assumed that people who backslide into poor eating habits do so because they lack the willpower or education to make good nutritional choices. However, more often than not, the true culprit is convenience. Planning and cooking healthy meals on a daily basis demands some of your time and energy while pulling up to the drive-thru and ordering a #2 requires none. When you’re tired and stressed out, the choice is a no-brainer – convenience wins out every time.
You’re going to have days (probably many of them) where you’ll need to prioritize other tasks above what’s for dinner. That is why planning ahead is so critical when it comes to staying on the fitness wagon. In addition to determining what you’ll be eating for the week, you will also need to schedule time for grocery shopping trips and cooking the food. The best meal plan in the world won’t do any good if your pantry is disorganized and you can’t get to the grocery store.
Be rigid about your fitness regimen. There’s a reason why they call it a fitness regimen or an exercise routine instead of “do whatever you feel like when the spirit moves you.” The latter is ineffective, does not produce results, and can even lead to injury if you fail to condition your body properly. Going from 0-60 is a surefire way to sideline yourself from the gym and bring your weight loss progress to a screeching hault. To avoid injury and start seeing results, you need to plan your workouts in advance. What days and times will you work out? What activities will you do on each day? If you prefer classes or intramural sports, you’ll need to do some research to find facilities that are near your home or office and are conducive to your schedule.
Once you have a handle on the main components of your fitness plan, analyze what you will need on a day-today basis. Oftentimes it’s the little things, like making sure to put your running shoes in the car before you head to work, that end up being your undoing. If you planned on going to a fitness class near your office right after work only to discover that you don’t have the gear you need, your workout is probably not going to happen. The devil is in the details, so scrutinize every aspect of your regimen, anticipate your needs, and fill in the gaps. Bonus points if you can develop a “Plan B” in case the original plan goes south.
Establish a system for tracking your progress. When you’re trying to achieve a long-term goal, constructing a procedure for tracking and measuring your progress at regular intervals is imperative. Without milestones and short-term goals, it’s easy to lose motivation, become frustrated and give up, or hit a plateau when it comes to your health and wellness goals. As with meal planning and exercise, an organized approach can make all the difference. Unsure where to begin? Start by identifying key milestones. If your primary goal is weight loss, set up “checkpoints,” such as first 10 lbs lost, under 200 1bs, or 25% to goal.You can create similar milestones based on your fitness objectives. If you’re focused on improving your cardiovascular health and your goal is to run for 60 minutes without stopping, your checkpoints might include running for 20 minutes straight, 30 minutes straight, 45 minutes straight, and so on.
Once you’ve established these milestones, you need to schedule them at appropriate intervals and record your progress at each juncture. Besides keeping you motivated and on track, this enables you to see what’s working and adjust accordingly. There are a million programs available to assist you with these tasks, but you need to choose whatever works best for you. If you already use Google or Outlook calendars to keep track of your professional and personal obligations, consider adding your health and wellness milestones. If you prefer paper, simply print out the upcoming months, mark your milestones, and post them somewhere you’ll see them every day.
The bottom line? Organization is the key to achieving your health and wellness goals in 2015 and beyond. Set yourself up for success with methodical meal planning, a well-designed fitness program, and a clear system in place for tracking and measuring your progress at regular intervals.
How has organization impacted your health and wellness goals?
Do you have a tip for getting organized in the new year? Please share your thoughts!
Command Your Clutter is a professional organizer providing services in Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs and Tampa. For more information, go to our web site www.CommandYourClutter.com
or call (727) 420-1746.