Setting your environment up for success!

26 05 2011

Do you ever find yourself feeling unorganized, not knowing what you’ll eat for lunch, thinking about exercising after work but not having clothes with you, or having no clue what you’ll make for dinner? Well we’ve all been there, and those situations often lead us to make unhealthy choices like stopping through a drive through or not exercising. The good news is that with some thought and planning, we can set our environment up for our success so that we can overcome barriers of inconvenience that we’ve fallen a victim to so many times in the past, and finally move forward toward healthy living.

Getting to the gym 2-4x/week can seem overwhelming when you have a family that needs your attention; but planning for it ahead of time can make it so much easier for everyone! The first step will be to identify the days and times that you can fit exercise into your schedule. Sunday night may be a great night to sit down with your calendar and simply schedule exercise just as you would any other appointment (see the exercise time finder in the handouts section). Discuss with your family the days and times that you will be exercising so you can make plans ahead of time for dinner, childcare, etc. Getting everyone on board with your plan will help you to feel much more organized, and will be a great way to involve your loved ones in your journey through healthy living.

What about nutrition? How can we set ourselves up for success in that department? The answer is to make it a point to grocery shop to stock up on all kinds of healthy foods that you enjoy to keep at home, work, and even in your car. We make some of our worse decisions when we’ve gone several hours without eating and find ourselves having hunger pangs. Ever feel that way? We need food now, and we don’t care what it is, which often leads to stopping by the drive-through or snack machine, and leaves us feeling miserable. If we have plenty of our favorite healthy foods on hand however, we can avoid those quick-fix food choices. The next time you are at the store, take a few minutes to stock up on healthy items that you like so you can successfully have a healthy breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and dinner without having to wonder where it is going to come from. Eating every 3-4 hours through our day will keep us satisfied and help us avoid making unhealthy and unplanned choices, and not to mention keeps our metabolism in high gear and blood sugar levels regulated.

Let’s be creative in how we can continue setting ourselves up for success. As you clear out the unhealthy foods from your fridge and cabinets, replace them with healthy and enjoyable foods. Plan out your exercise and reward yourself for sticking to it by acknowledging yourself as strong-minded and committed. Involve your family and friends in your plan, and ask for help when you need it. As we continue on our journey to good health, we will come up against barriers, but most barriers can be combated with some thought and planning.

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2 responses

28 05 2011
Terri Wentz

I couldn’t agree more. If I don’t plan out each day for meals and exercise I find that I make bad choices. Every night before going to bed I decide what I will be having for dinner the next evening and pack my workout/gym bag for the next day. I take my bag with me so I don’t have to stop by the house after work and be tempted to stay home. For me, if I go straight to the gym it works out much better than stopping by the house first.

1 06 2011
Amy Blackshire

You’ve got it, Terri! While healthy living requires a bit of effort, structuring our efforts ahead of time allows for them to flow a lot more smoothly and in the right direction! Imagine a small lake where the waters are being thrown in all directions as a result of wind, etc. It is difficult to say where that water will flow; but if we set up a dam, rocks, etc. we can allow that water to continue to flow, but in the direction that we desire. We aren’t controlling the water per se, but we are setting up its environment so that it flows in the right direction. The same goes for our behavior; we can set up the environment we are living in so that our behaviors will flow in a healthy direction.

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