No matter what your goals in life it is very important to plan. Developing a plan helps you stay consistent, establish a routine and helps maintain focus. Planning requires evaluating goals and identifying steps to help keep these goals on track.
I am not a planner, naturally. I am what most would call “a rebel without a cause” and I definitely “do what I want, when I want”. Planning has a way of limiting spontaneity, which is something that is needed or an exciting and thrilling life. However as I became more focused on my goals, I found I was more willing to plan. Perhaps it is maturity, but planning helps me be more successful.
Although I value and urge each of you reading to find balance, planning is a necessary evil. Planning is needed to:
- keep goals in perspective
- stay focused on goals
- limit excuses
- reduces anxiety
- develops success
I am currently preparing for a vacation with my family to New York City. Despite my excitement about this trip I am 5 weeks away from my first bodybuilding competition and there is no room for error or mistakes. Planning for my trip is essential to my success when I step on stage on July 5. I had to plan ahead. Here are the steps I took to plan for my trip.
- Found an accountability partner. I have notified my coach of my trip. There will be lots of eating good and “dirty” food and there will be lots of activity and visiting with loved ones. I notified my coach of the days I will be working out. I plan to wake up early to complete my workouts for the day. My coach is aware of this plan so that he can check-in and ensure that I did what I said I would do.
- I did research. I needed as much information as possible to determine how I would work out, when I would work out, and what food I could bring with me. I researched my hotel and I called the hotel to request a refridgator. I also inquired with the hotel about the workout facilities available. I know arriving in New York I will have a way to keep my food cool and a place to work out. I also asked what equipment was available in the workout facility so that I knew what workouts would be available to me. I researched the TSA so that I knew how to prep my food and what food I can carry with me on the plane.
- I have prepped all my meals for the week. Meal prep really does not take very long. 1-2 hours max. I have prepared all my food for all 6 meals for all 7 days. Solid food is OK to carry on the plane. Each meal is placed in a small Ziploc bag. Each Ziploc bag is placed in a tupperware. I have pre-cooked my chicken, broccoli, sweet potatoes, turkey burgers, and asparagus. My breakfast makes great waffles, so I have made all my waffles for the week and each day is placed in a Ziploc bag. Protein powder can be carried on to a plane as long as the Ziploc bag indicates “Protein powder” and flavor on the bag. I have scooped each days worth of protein into an individual Ziploc bag and then all will be placed in Gallon Ziploc bag. The same was done for supplements. I have labeled each bag with the day. I purchased a Six Pack Fitness bag. This will carefully hold all my food for the week. Condiments and liquids cannot be carried onto the plane, however I purchased a couple of things I could not live without, like Stevia for example. Unopened containers will be placed in the bag that I check. All I will have to do each day is grab the food labeled for the day, and go. I have packed a bag large enough to carry my food, but comfortable enough to tote around the city.
All this preparation has eliminated my excuses. I know I have a gym to get my workouts in. I know I have enough food for each day. I do not have to worry about being hungry, stuck in a show, tour, or museum, and that I am hungry. I will have my food on me. I have asked my coach about eating out while on vacation. I know what is on my meal plan and will check the menus of restaurants. I can still enjoy the food but know what I can and cannot have. I am not worried about what I will eat. I am not worried that I will not be able to continue to prep for my competition. A couple phone calls, a couple internet searches, and a little time will keep me 100% focused on my goal. And this will allow me to have fun and enjoy the city and my family. I will not have to feel guilty that I missed a workout or that I ate off plan. I can relax. I know that my preparation will help me stay focused and lead me to success for my goal.
A little planning is all you need for your success. Planning is necessary for success with any goal, not only fitness or weight loss goals. Know what you want. Research how to get it. Tell a friend/coach/professional about your goal and elicit their expertise and support and ask they hold you accountable. Read and learn what others have done and follow their path.