You can forgo all the BS excuses. Believe me, I've heard them all! Some people are great at coming up with excuses as to why they can't get to the gym, stick to their goals of a nutritious diet, or go to bed at a reasonable hour . I may or may not have tried a few of these excuses myself. But excuses don't matter! No one cares about your excuses! Excuses don't make you feel better about skipping your workout, eating junk, or staying up until 2 when you know you have to be up for work, or have an especially challenging workout the following day.
Drop the excuses and take action!
Healthy, fit lifestyles don't just happen, they are planned, scheduled, and deliberate. There is also a back up plan for the backup plan!
What steps can you take to ensure that you are armed and ready for success?
1. Stay hydrated - Have a water bottle with you at all times! A great reusable water bottle is a must have for a healthy lifestyle! The human body is 70% water. Not only is hydration important for our skin, and organs, but thirst has a tendency to disguise itself as hunger. So the next time you feel hungry ask yourself, "When was the last time I had something to drink?"
2. Prepare your meals - Meal prep can be a big game changer when it comes to health and fitness. There are several ways that you can prepare for the day or week ahead of you.
- Plan your menu. If you are able to cook daily, sit down and plan out your healthy meals for the week. Have your recipes ready to use when it's time to cook. Create a detailed grocery list to ensure you aren't forgetting any ingredients! Having your meals planned out for the week saves time and energy by removing that nagging question, "What do I want for dinner?"
- Prepare your meals in advance. If you have a busy life and don't have time to cook every day, carving out a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday for weekly meal prep can ensure that you have healthy, properly measured food that is easy to grab and go.
- Prepare your snacks in advance. Snack bags are your friend! Measure out the suggested serving size of your favorite fruits, veggies, nuts, popcorn etc. If you're looking for something to dip those fruits and veggies in, small containers are great for yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus, and nut butters. Now you have quick and healthy snacks that are easily accessible, and portioned to prevent mindless overeating!
- Prepare those shakes in advance! There are some weeks that I will measure out protein into clean, empty shakers so that I can grab them in the morning on my mad dash out of the house for later in the day. Just add water and you have your pre or post workout shake. Another suggestion would be to keep a tub of protein and clean shakers in your trunk for those days when you may have forgotten to bring your food or snacks.
3. Pack your gym bag in advance - If you lay out your workout clothes, or pack your gym bag you have no excuses to not roll out of bed and be ready for the gym. I've even heard of people sleeping in their gym clothes so all they have to do is wake up, throw on some shoes, and go for their morning run. If you have a workout, or personal training session scheduled for the next day it's easier to pack your bag the night before to ensure that you don't forget anything the next day! *Just don't forget to grab your bag on your way out the door!!!
4. Set alarms or reminders - Use that alarm feature on your phone or your calendar to remind you to complete those healthy habits you're trying to build! I have a friend who has 15 alarms to remind her what she needs to do at various times throughout the day. I set my calendar with reminders for stretching in the morning, journaling and meditating at night. So not only can you set an alarm to get you started in the morning, you can set reminders to drink water, to eat, to get up from your desk and take a brief walk, make it to your workout on time, and go to bed at a reasonable hour!
5. Schedule your workouts - When life gets busy workouts are the first thing to go. Believe me I am just as guilty about this! Get out your planner, your google calendar, or whatever you use to plan out your life and schedule in your workouts. Make them a priority. Make yourself a priority. When you schedule your workouts you know they are non-negotiable. Sometimes you are tired, you are cranky, you just have NO desire to go to the gym, for a run, or to get off the couch and get your sweat on. So what? You're not alone. But I assure you that you will feel better when you are done! You will feel accomplished, happy you didn't skip it, and even happier that it's over!
These are just a few ideas to help you brainstorm ways to make it easier to stay on track. When healthy options are easily accessible, you set yourself up for success by removing excuses for bad choices. It may seem overwhelming at first, but making the time to plan for your week based on your goals, will make the rest of your week a breeze!