Dec 20, 21
5 to 7 minutes
Prepare yourself to succeed
Succeeding to completely change your routine can be a challenge. This must be made into a priority and followed by the right actions. But remember, this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.
When comes the time to make some lifestyle changes, there are two things that we obviously like to emphasize : food and training !
Regarding training, you just need to find yourself a gym space, a trainer, a workout program and you are good to go. When you have that done, all you need to do is show up and surpass yourself at the gym, which I consider a ‘‘safezone’’. Once you are there, the environment can only push you to make the right choice : To train !
However, when the time comes to change our eating habits, the challenge is steeper since we have to cope with a transformation of our daily routine at home without having any direct supervision. It then becomes difficult to build a new nutritional and food logic, especially if we live with other people. We cannot force our new ways onto them, they will be able to make those choices on their own when the time is right. .
It’s essential to understand that the environment in which we operate is the most important factor of success. Look at it this way: if you are a smoker, but those around you are not and you are not in a smoker friendly environment, it’s quite likely that lighting a cigarette in their presence would risk making the atmosphere very unpleasant. It will be easier to stop this harmful habit in this kind of context.
Control what you can !
Make a serious point of identifying all the elements that are under your control in order to prepare an environment suitable to changes but also to move away from those that are not.
For example, if you have the urge to eat something and you have to choose between a raw chicken breast in the fridge and a tender bar in the pantry, I would be shocked to see you take an hour to season, cook and eat your chicken breast. You will probably be done with the tender bar in a record time and maybe even grab a second one to satisfy your hunger. I have a few tips to help you avoid this:
How to get organized ?
To prepare myself, I usually start with the two following points :
- Each week, allow two blocks of two hours in your agenda to prepare and cook what you are going to eat in the following days (6 meals of meats, vegetables and starchy foods plus a few snacks in advance). To maximize the freshness of my meals and vary the different seasonings or culinary inspirations, I personally prefer to divide this preparation over a few days instead of just one for the whole week. In addition, preparing 6 meals twice a week allows me, for example, to still have a day to go to a restaurant or to cook a meal for two with my significant other. I get it, starting with two hours, twice a week, seems overwhelming, but you’ll notice that if you really incorporate this habit into your routine, that it may not take more than an hour per session. I choose to do it at supper to prepare my meal of the night at the same time. As for breakfasts, I recommend getting up a few minutes earlier than expected to make them every morning. Take this moment as your ‘me time’: to wake up well and to enjoy it before you start your day. If the program of the day doesn't allow it, you can do it the night before going to bed ! It becomes much less stressful the next morning.
- Always do your groceries the same day, and do it only to buy your meals and snacks. This is the best way to gradually eliminate the unnecessary things that have been lying around in your pantry, and let’s be honest, that are certainly not helping you reach your goals. The fridge should be nearly empty before you go to the grocery store, then filled back up when you get back.
As for me, I go shopping on Sundays without even spending more than 15 minutes there. Don't waste your time hanging around in the grocery store, grab what you need and get out. Keep in mind that grocery stores are designed to encourage consumption.
To sum up, this is all about creating a routine around these elements. It’s quite normal that it does not seem natural to you at first and that there is a certain effort to provide compared to your current routine, but don't panic, change does not come about with a snap of a finger. In order to transform your routine, you have to really think about this change and make it a priority in your life, otherwise your old habits will take over again.
It's not a sprint, it's a marathon !