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Friday, September 11, 2015

The #1 Secret How Lean, Healthy People Stay Successful

Fail to plan or....?
During my two decades as a personal trainer, I’ve become very curious about why some people succeed while others veer off course.

Initially, I took quitters personally. You know the insecurities, like, had I been too much of a drill sergeant during our training?

But I dove deeper, and over time something revealed itself. One significant thing separates winners and losers:

The winners plan ahead.

They leave nothing to chance. That might mean prioritizing an hour workout on a crazy day, or packing raw almonds with protein powder for a three-hour layover.

Mind you, these tasks require forethought. You can easily neglect them among juggling kids, demanding jobs, and unsupportive significant others: Perfectly valid reasons to neglect planning ahead.

At the same time, successful people – those who show up for 3 p.m. lifting workout but still get a healthy dinner on the table –
could use those exact excuses for not doing these things.

They don’t. They aren’t superheroes, they have the same hectic schedule, but they make it happen anyway.

The old cliché Failing to plan is planning to fail goes quadruple to become and stay lean, healthy, and happy.

Manufacturers, fast food establishments, and coffee shops know most people don’t plan, so you’ll sheepishly succumb to their stale overpriced pastries and vending-machine sugar bombs. You might as well stamp “sucker” on your forehead with these guys.

Planning also means you have more time to do things you enjoy. When you make your own lunch the night before while you’re watching that silly YouTube video your girlfriend sent, you’re not wasting 30 minutes standing in line at the deli counter or waiting impatiently for your salad to arrive.

Talking about planning isn’t the same thing as doing it. That’s why I create an action plan with my clients to make planning easier with these five strategies:

1.     Prep ahead. On Sunday evening, grill and cut up chicken breasts for the coming days. Hard-boil a dozen eggs for easy breakfasts or snacks. Prep veggies and store properly so they don’t spoil. Measure and sort almonds into Ziploc bags. Basically, any food you can prep for the coming days that won’t spoil, do it.

2.    Keep an emergency stash. Healthy snacks and mini-meals become like manna when you’re stuck in traffic, in the airport, or any time you won’t eat for a few hours but need something to sustain you. My favorite travel stash includes nuts and seeds, apples with those little packets of almond butter, and grass-fed jerky.

3.    Make lists. Brainstorm checklists for grocery shopping and meal planning. Otherwise, a quick grocery store run becomes a $100 junk-food cart disaster.  Write down essential foods and don’t deviate when you get that last-minute temptation.

4.    Journal. One intriguing study found people who wrote everything down lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. If you’re particularly vulnerable to impulsively change plans, write down your meal choices ahead of time and stick to them. If you’ll have grilled pork chops with broccoli and quinoa for dinner tonight, write it down and don’t veer. That way you’re not tempted at the last minute to blow off your healthy meal when your girlfriend invites you to tequila and tacos night.

5.    Go easy. Life happens even to the best of us. Rather than beat yourself up, evaluate what you could do differently next time. Remember you’re always in control. Maybe it’s 8 p.m., you’re getting off work, and there’s nothing in the fridge. Rather than succumb to a thin-crust pepperoni and a few beers, stop by your local hot bar. Do your best, margin for error, and remember, “There are no short cuts to any place worth going.”

Once you get the hang of it, planning ahead will become a breeze. You’ll probably discover how much easier it makes your life. What strategy would you add here to plan ahead and optimize success? Share yours below or on my Facebook page.

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Fitness expert and strength coach Jini Cicero, CSCS, teaches intermediate exercisers how to blast through plateaus to create incredible transformations. Are you ready to take your fitness to a whole new level?  Find out now!
© 2015 Jinifit, Inc.

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