Plan Ahead for Success

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Planning ahead is a common key ingredient to a successful story, no matter what the goal may be. Having a plan will not only help you reach your goal(s), but it can help you stay on track with your goal(s) a lot easier. Something that I have experienced and greatly believe in is having a plan, along with having alternative plans for those times of "just in case." Similarly, Coach Nicole has blogged about developing a Plan B, which has helped numerous people, including myself when times get busy or tough. I'm sure many of you have experienced those times when unexpected things come up and catch you completely off guard. When you have a plan, plan B, and maybe even a plan C, you are more likely to stick with your goal(s), which will make you happier in the end and you will have given yourself a perfect recipe for success.

I have always been someone who plans out just about everything and it is something that I recommend for everyone to do, especially with weight-loss related goals. From planning my meals ahead of time to planning out my workout schedule, I know that I will continue to be successful in continuing with my healthy habits and maintaining a healthy lifestyle -- no excuses. I think many other people have found this to be true as well! As I look through the Secrets of Success page on SparkPeople, I see numerous members have posted that planning ahead allows them to be successful, regardless of what their goal is.

Please click here for tips on successful planning to help you reach your goals!

Do you plan ahead? If so, how has it helped you be successful? Do you have any tips for others to help them get started in the planning process? If you don't plan ahead, will you be giving it a try?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
See more: excuse busters goals


KHALIA2 5/21/2019
I am not a planner, but willing to give this one a try. Report
KHALIA2 4/3/2019
Thanks! Report
I always have a plan and a goal. I just keep working at it. Report
I love the new planner at the start. It is very helpful. Thanks. Report
Thanks for the encouragement! Report
Whenever I decide on making a change, I have to put it in my head, analyze it and prepare myself. This is good info, SparkFriends. Report
thanks Report
It's great to make plans. We should try to be organized. Report
Great article. Thanks. Report
I always plan ahead and that is where I plan to succeed and ~DO ! And that is how I KNOW I will succeed on this weight loss journey!! Interestingly, nobody plans to fail ,BUT people fail when they fail to plan! Report
I have a flexible plan each day to help manage my anxiety and stress. Basically just a list of what I want to get done based on the day of the week whether it's exercise, chores, or projects. That way I'm not seeing millions of things that 'need' done and ending up not getting to any of it. If I have extra time and want to get something additional done I can, but I can relax and have fun too without any guilt. Report
I find if I don't plan my eating, I just wander around the kitchen and eat everything! Report
I do think it is easier to plan your meals ahead. It might take up more of your time but it is worth it in the long run. You will be less in a hurry to eat something that's not healthy. I always have nutritious snacks in my car. Nuts, protein bars, fruit. I can't tell you the times that has really helped me stay on track! I use to freak out when my workout schedule changed due to working late or something unexpected come up. But you just have to plan around that & still stick to working out at a different time. Happy Training! Report
When I first started in January, I planned everything and I lost consistantly. I have slacked off lately, and my weight loss as slowed down considerably. Time to start planning again. Report
just starting a new journey this sounds like something i need to incorporate to make success more imminent Report
it just makes things easier Report
Planning is important, but, you also need to have an alternative to your plan or be able to accept changes to the plan. I plan all the time, some times it works other times I have to change the plan. Planning keeps you accountable to yourself. Report
Planning and organization are key to whether I succeed or not. Report
I have started to become a much better planner, I think since starting SparkLive! classes. And it has helped in so many ways and in so many areas. Talk about a criss-cross effect! Report
As we step into summer vacations, that's a great reminder! Thanks. Report
I call it the 5Ps - "Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance." Report
I am an organizing junkie. I try to pre-plan everything which is both good & bad. (I don't dodge wrenches well. lol.) My best tip is meal planning & shopping every Sunday. I know what we're having all week and can minimize last minute trips to the store for 1 necessary item. Plus I make sure that there is plenty of healthy food options in the refrigerator like carrot sticks, yogurt & apples. I also stock up on emergency items like fruit strips & granola bars and hide them in my purse & glove box (works better in the winter than the summer though.) I *don't* do hunger well & when I want to chew my arm off, I will grab a granola bar instead of fast food. Report
My executive skills sets SUCK. Planning and organizing are a challenge. So I am moving forward one step at a time. Once I get the one behavior under control it is on to the next important item. Slow and steady wins the race! Report
I always get up and hour earlier every day to get in a workout before getting ready for work! I know at the end of the day I will not be motivated enough to workout so this is the best time for me! Also, I take lunches with me to work so that if what we are having is not healthy enough for me, I can have alternative choices! Also, it's good to go to restaurants where you know they record their nutritional values on the internet or they can give them to you in person. I have eaten at many places that don't give out this information which makes it very hard to calculate accurately the number of calories you have consumed. Report
I try to plan my meals ahead of time, but it doesn't always work. My husband eats 2 weaks worth of food in 3 days ! Another thing I plan ahead is exercise. I decide which days I will do what & if I wake up feeling bad, I might have to switch what i'm going to do. Report
I find that I need to have a loose plan, or possibly just a list of "things I need to get done", but trying to stick to a rigid, "I'll do this at this time on this day and eat this for this meal" doesn't work for me at all. For instance, I will plan what I intend to have for dinner, but realize when it comes time to make it that I definitely do NOT want that to eat right now. Or like today, when I forced myself to go to the gym because I had planned it (and I'm glad I did), but the chores I had planned to do when I got home changed because I just didn't feel like doing what I had planned. When I get into "ought to's" with things like chores, exercise, or eating, I don't only not get whatever "that" is done, but don't accomplish what I felt like doing because I was focussed on the "what" rather than just doing Something. Something is always better than nothing. In other words, I'm glad it works for you and a lot of other people, but I can't see it ever being what works for me. Report
One time I make sure to plan ahead is the rare occasions we go out to eat. I will go on the website of the restaurant the day before. Make my selection and enter it into the tracker...then I plan the other two meals around what calories I have left and to balance out the types of food for the rest of the day. I also have to plan all my meals carefully not in the house to account for not eating gluten. Report
Awesome Blog. I need to pay more attention to this and start planning the things I want to accomplish on things. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Report
Planning is a big part of my diet and exercise program. I usually plan my meals for the next day in my mind and enter them on the day that I eat them. Having the main food laid out, I can modify it if I want to.
Planning which exercises I'll do the next day, where my walk will take me, where I'll ride my bike, makes it a no-brainer. I don't even have to think about it, just leave the house and do it. When I think about it, I might make excuses. Just doing it works better for me, and planning makes that possible. Report
Great advice, great blog. Thanks.
Yes, I plan ahead. It is easy to get distracted and wander with no plan so I usually have a few things I can work on so I don't get bored. For example, if I plan to work in the yard one day and it rains, I have two other things I could be doing instead so I wont just sit on the couch and eat. Report
I do a lot of planning, but at the same time I'd call it very loose planning.

For example, instead of meal plans that are written out with every food I'll eat on which day at what time, I know I need five breakfasts and lunches at work, and at least 3-5 snack items through the day - and shop for that. I know if I get a hot chocolate and pastry in the morning (like today) instead of my usual breakfast that I have to eat a little lighter through the day, but also need a fiber or protein snack earlier in the morning. So I plan for those, but there's nothing written and nothing rigid.

One thing that really helps me plan is to think about what I absolutely 100% can control. I can't make buses run on time and sometimes I get stuck at work 5-10 minutes later than expected. So I never make a plan to be at the gym at a set time. Instead, I plan to go directly to the gym from work - without the time being specific - and have yet to miss a day that they were open. Report
I plan ahead and journal cardio, lifting and food. It has helped me to be able to look back to see what was working if I stop making progress. Report
Planning is one of the keys to being successful for me. My goal is to always plan my meals in advance. Quite often there are changes, but it keeps me focused. If I plan in advance, and run the feedback report, I know if I'm at the percentages I need to be at, or if I need to make some changes. Huge key to success for me.
Just the very act of planning helps you recognize what other plans would work. If you don't plan, life is really a surprize because you have no clues. You are just a leaf on the waves. Report
I guess it's all about staying motivated... I'll give it a shot and see what happens Report
When I plan ahead I feel much more empowered and therefore more likely to stick to my plan. I still struggle with long roadtrips. Even when I bring my own healthy snacks, the allure of the convenience store bounty is often irresistible. Oddly, I NEVER buy anything at convenience stores/gas stations on a daily basis. Only on roadtrips. It's possible I associate the whole experience as a treat and therefore buying snacks is also a treat. As I have a roadtrip coming up in a month, I need to figure this out. Report
If I'm traveling or just going shopping I always have a snack available if I need it. Report
Planning ahead has helped me by seeing what I eat and what effect it has on how much calories, carbs, fats, and proteins that I eat on a daily basis with each meal. With playing around with my meal before I eat it I can keep those things down where they need to be. Report
I am going to make my plan today while eating lunch. I read all the links off this article and have seen the success people have had using it and its something I for sure need to do. Thanks for the blog. Report
I love to plan everything ahead of time. It has been so helpful to me in tracking my food, also. Report