Deciding to lose weight or stay fit is a goal worthy of praise. The benefits to one’s health, body, mental focus, and social status cannot be emphasized enough. The first recommendation is a good diet plan and exercise routine. Have you ever wondered why? Let’s look at five reasons.

  1. Self-discipline is the key, and a routine is the foundation of discipline: Undeniably, self-discipline is the key to reaching any goal and creating a better life. And self-discipline requires a clear strategy. A clear plan helps to outline the action steps that will guide you to achieving your goals.
  2. The power of a deadline or landmarks: A good plan always has definite dates and checkpoints. Having an exact date in mind to reach a particular milestone is often a powerful incentive, even for the most unmotivated of people.
  3. A powerful picture in visualizing the end: Visualize yourself meeting goals and reaping the rewards. A plan helps us focus on the long-term ‘significant ‘ Imagine yourself sweating it out as you complete three sets, 12 reps each of barbell curl. Real compelling vision there!
  4. A plan is a guard rail: Orderliness serves as a defense against temptations. We all have those days when we don’t feel like doing anything at all. Days when we would happily claim to have dysania (a condition of finding it difficult to get out of bed early in the morning). Or plain old inertia. Or any reasonably valid excuse whatsoever. It is on such days a good plan stares us in the eye and nags us until we get up and do something.
  5. Recover from setbacks: It only takes one moment of weakness to convince ourselves to cave to temptation. One day inevitably, you may convince yourself to skip your workout or indulge yourself (come on! You deserve it). Failing is part of the process to become better. The key is to acknowledge your mistakes and move on from them. And a plan represents an excellent restart point. Just get back on track with the next meal or scheduled workout time.

Common wisdom nuggets such as “he who fails to plan, plans to fail” may sound trite, but they are true. Eating right or staying committed to staying fit is easier when you know what to do. Get a plan!

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