Planning is the sixth principle in our Think and Lose Weight series, and we’ll specifically look at how to plan for weight loss success, as well as how to plan for failing at weight loss.
Yes, that’s right. We’re planning for failure, just the same way we will plan for success. Both are very important.
And so far in our weight loss journeys, we’ve learned about sparking our own desires, we’ve found faith that we can accomplish great things, learned how to use self-suggestion to keep ourselves motivated, gathered knowledge, and sparked our imagination.
Through all of these steps, we’ve crafted the most amazing end result to aim all of our energies toward.
Now, let’s talk about how we’ll actually get there by planning for weight loss success. Don’t feel overwhelmed or anxious. We’ll walk through this part together.
What Is A Plan?
A plan is the designed steps to reach a destination or goal.
That seems simple enough, right? Just plan for weight loss success, and you’ll get there! But making plans in reality, I mean, really sitting down and making the plan for success, is like building the blueprints for a brand new house.
If you’re a licensed architect, that’s an easy thing to do! You’re familiar with the rules and the goals in mind.
If you ask me to build the blueprints for a brand new house, you’re going to get a really, really rough drawing of four pallets put together, and I’ll probably forget even to draw a door.
I don’t know how to plan for building a brand new house. And I have no idea where to start, in fact.
See, up until 2015, I had no idea how to lose weight. Even though I’d tried every diet out there.
I had no idea how to reach my wildest dreams! Why would someone assume I could just plan my way to the impossible?
It should be so easy! What’s wrong with me? Am I stupid? Am I not disciplined enough?
I think many of us feel this way.
How Do We Plan For Weight Loss Success?
We plan for weight loss success the same way good businesses plan for success, through the four standard plan types.
The 4 types of plans we need to consider to be successful:
- Operational Planning
- Strategic Planning
- Tactical Planning
- Contingency Planning
Operational planning focuses on HOW we will get to our destination.
We identify that we need a Meal Plan/Diet, Exercise, Portioning, and Setting Meal Times. All are important plans in reaching our goals.
Strategic planning is WHY these things need to happen.
We must choose the meal plan/diet we want to follow. Then, we need to decide how we personally want to exercise. We must determine how much we’ll eat at each meal. We’ll decide how often we want to eat every day.
This may look different for everyone, because the best plans for weight loss success are personally tailored.
Tactical Planning is WHAT will happen.
We pick a day to prepare any foods ahead of time so that we can follow our diet/meal plan. then, we go to the gym and set up a membership, so that when we are ready to work out, we just have to show up.
We buy the right Tupperware containers, and pack our food into pre-proportioned meals. Then, we just grab a Tupperware from the fridge on our way out the door to work.
Contingency Planning is our plan for what we will do when we fail.
This type of planning is done by routine by good businesses in the corporate world. None of us are robots. We are humans. Experiencing failure comes with the territory. We know this. So, we should plan for it.
The other plans are for when everything goes right.
The contingency plan is for when something will inevitably go wrong. We don’t know which variable in our plans will go wrong, otherwise, we could plan for it and prevent it.
So, by nature, these plans must both be flexible and provide us opportunity to pivot quickly in response.
Why Are We Expecting Failure When Planning For Weight Loss Success?
In the Principle for Autosuggestion, we talked about only focusing on the positive things we do, and ignoring our failures completely.
So, why then, would we expect we will fail? And isn’t it even weirder to plan for failure? Isn’t that counterproductive?
When we are working on clawing our way out of addiction, we must learn to have grace for others and for ourselves. Part of having grace means that we recognize that we are not perfect.
Part of learning, itself, recognizes that we will not get it right all of the time.
When we offer ourselves grace and recognize that we are learning, then we must allow for failure. It is a vital part of the entire process of learning. We can’t skip it.
If we know we will have failure, then we should plan for those failures.
Weirdly, if we don’t plan for our failures, we are setting ourselves up for further cycles of failure.
In my real life experiences, this kind of failure presented itself as a food binging episode.
Once we accept there will be a bit of failure during the learning process, we understand the need for tools to help us decrease the failure and increase the success. Let’s look at them now.
What Are The Tools For Planning For Weight loss Success
- Your Day-Planner
- A bathroom scale
- Weight Tracking Spreadsheet, freebie from This Authentic Life
- Daily 30/70 Strategy Checklist, freebie from This Authentic Life
- Meal Plan Printable, freebie This Authentic Life
How To Use Your Day-Planner and Bathroom Scale
This was something I never fully appreciated until I moved into a management role in accounting, and really learned the power that comes from a collection of good data. Data collection is so important, probably the most important thing you’ll do in planning your own weight loss success.
Here’s a great option for your day-planner, if you’ve never used one before. I love that there is enough space to track everything, and the bookmark really comes in handy, mostly for keeping it closed in my messy purse.
But tracking meals or weight is presented like it’s just data collection. Being told to track your meals or weight feels like it is a school assignment, and we’ll get a pass or fail grade at the end. Or a really nasty atmosphere in the doctor’s office.
Remember, this is your data. And you’re only collecting it for yourself. There is no right or wrong answer, it is just a reflection of the day. Not a reflection of your worth.
Or an admission of guilt.
If we don’t reflect accurately what is happening, we have no idea how to make improvements.
Check out the post How To Use A Bathroom Scale For Weight Loss to see exactly how to use this day-planner with your bathroom scale along with the free, downloadable Excel spreadsheet to track everything.
30/70 Goal Planning For Weight Loss Success
When we are considering changing lifestyles in order to create a healthier you, the most important thing is to take baby steps. Going cold turkey works for some folks, but I don’t know how to do that. So, we’ll take small steps.
The 30/70 Goal Planning strategy is a 30% success rate, and 70% failure rate.
Why such a high failure rate?
For most of us, we feel like we fail more than succeed. It’s why we either slip into a binge episode or stop following the diet plan altogether.
So, if this is our normal pattern anyway, why not acknowledge it and use it to propel us toward the success we want.
How To Use The 30/70 Planning Strategy For Weight Loss Success
So, if we have ten goals each day that we want to achieve, the 30/70 strategy allows for three achievements and seven misses.
In order to make this easier, on the downloadable template are ten examples of healthy goals to achieve daily. Just print off this template, and circle three that are the most important for you to achieve today. Just three.
Then, highlight the ONE that is the non-negotiable for you to do.
That highlighted goal is the one you will focus on achieving today. If you happen to complete more on the list throughout the day as you find you have the opportunity, that’s wonderful! And completely encouraged.
But the goal you are aiming to achieve is the highlighted one today.
This seems so easy, so simple.
And some days, it is. Some days, it is a challenge. And that’s why we highlight the most important, and circle the next two important items. The rest are bonuses.
Why The 30/70 Planning Strategy Works
As you complete these easy goals consistently, you will start to see real change.
The secret isn’t the goals themselves, but in consistently doing the small things. The small things are where the real change occurs and how the big goals are achieved.
You see, if we try to tackle all ten goals every single day without fail, we will likely fail. Life inevitably comes up, and pushes our priorities around, like ships in a storm.
But by focusing on one priority item every day, we make room for life to happen around us without completely destroying all of our plans.
The win-win we’re searching for is that if we only get one goal done today, it’s likely going to be our top priority. If we achieve more than one goal today, we are doing amazing! If we achieve all of the goals on our list today, we’re blowing things out of the water.
We are planning, though, to do at least one thing consistently EVERY day. So, remember that it’s more important to do a small thing consistently, than to do many things sporadically.
Now that we know how to plan for weight loss success, let’s get a little more detailed and look at how to meal plan for our weight loss success, too.
How To Meal Plan In 10 Easy Steps
1 – Get out your day-planner, and decide how many days you’ll plan in advance. I go a week at a time. Look on your day-planner for any up-coming known events.
2 – Count out how many dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and snacks you’ll need
3 – Pick the number of each from your recipes (Click Here to Jump to This-Authentic-Life Recipes)
4 – Create your shopping list from your recipes. Put EVERYTHING on the list, down to the pinch of pepper
5 – Shop in your pantry and your fridge, and cross things off the list as you find them.
6 – Then, adjust any recipes now. You may have found something that needs to be used up, or something made you hungry and you want to add that to the list. Do it now, and then start at step 4 again.
7 – Fill in your weekly meal list on a planner menu, or download the template below. Stick it right on the fridge, so everyone can see it easily.
8 – Go grocery shopping. You can upload your list to your favorite online grocery store for delivery or pickup. How easy! Or, you can go squeeze the tomatoes in person, but don’t forget your list!
9 – At dinnertime, pick from the list mounted on the fridge and make dinner knowing you have everything on hand.
10 – Cross off the meal from your list, so everyone knows that option is done for this week. You can even make notes for yourself if the meal was awesome or needs improvement. I like to keep these in the back of my cookbook binder for future reference.
Don’t forget, you have a toolbox full of recipes to use that follow the healthy eating guide of proteins first, then vegetables, a small helping of complex carbs, and only using fats and sugars for cooking.
Try picking out your list for the week from the recipes! You can follow along with me on the YouTube channel to learn how to cook many of these recipes as well!
I’m excited to see you succeed!
Happy weight loss <3
"No Excuses Chili" is my Go-To weight loss recipe when it is cold outside, or I know I'm in for a busy day.
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