Think Two Steps Ahead

The house is a mess, the kids need a ride somewhere, you haven’t sat down in hours, and you have 10 minutes to eat something.

It’s 1 p.m., you’ve been working non-stop to finish a project because your boss is breathing down your neck, and it’s time for a quick, 20-minute lunch before getting back to the grind.

We often face situations similar to these two. Normally, we choose to think one step ahead. “I am tired, hungry and stressed out. I need to eat something quick. I don’t care what it is!” Unfortunately, those decisions come back to haunt us in the future, only adding to the stress already in our lives.

After a long day with the kids, doing laundry, reading books, and working on night school homework, you might have to decide between exercise and a couch that is screaming your name. Another difficult decision we face on a regular basis, and once again we often choose to think one step ahead. “I need to rest – I’m so drained!”

The difference between one step ahead and two steps ahead can mean the difference between staying on the fitness roller coaster or achieving your goals. Two steps ahead, we are still tired, stressed and cranky, BUT also determined, committed and able to see the big picture.

What is the BIG PICTURE? It’s different for everyone. Having a few thoughts that motivate and inspire you will help fight through step one and see that vision. Here are a few:
  • “My self-confidence is going to be so much higher because I’ve struggled through a difficult situation and found a way to conquer it!”
  • “I’ve had to find a way to deal with things during a very stressful time in my life. I can’t wait to see what I can do without all the stress!”
  • “I’m going to be able to keep up with my kids and be a part of their lives for a long time!”
  • “Why shouldn’t my health be the most important thing in my life – it doesn’t make me selfish, just smart!”
  • “If there is one thing I have complete control over, it’s my health. I am going to do whatever it takes to figure out a way because I have pride in who I am!”
"Step Two" reminds us how important consistency is in reaching our goals and helps us envision that beautiful feeling you get when you work hard to achieve something.

Start practicing now. Step One - “Oh, what a great idea. I should try that sometime, but I really have to go clean my oven.” Step Two – “What a great idea. I’m going to come up with three things that will motivate and inspire me each time I have to choose between a healthy and unhealthy decision, and I’m going to write them down so I see them on a regular basis! Now, I’m going to go clean my oven!”
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Member Comments

thanks for sharing Report
Step two rewording is great. Thanks. Report
Many good points in this article. A few clueless ones too. Report
very good article Report
You can tell this was written by a man in 2004! A man who really does not “get it” about having a completely stressful family life, being pulled from all directions! Report
good article Report
Thank you for a great article! Report
Good article Report
Good advice! Report
This article provided me with the right advice at the right time. Wrote down the ideas provided in my journal. Report
Thank you so much Report
This is a great article! It reminds me that I can't take care of anyone else if I don't take care of me first. I have a lot of responsibilities and tend to get overwhelmed quite often. Just like most of you reading this, I suppose. :-) Report
Lately, with the advice given in this article, I think I would have to be writing all the time! It seems temptation is there every minute of the day. So I am going to do this! I know that each time I resist, it will get a little easier the next time to make wise choices. Report
I love this article, it reminds me I can have a moan about my lack of time etc, BUT then, it's time to move forward, past that to step two! Just remembering there is a step two is a big victory for me. I am going to train myself to look for step two's this week! Report
I have started down this path of "two stepping", (hee)... I was buying lunch right before my shift. I was generally getting something not particularly healthy, but fast. Husband suggested, hey, you have all these veggies you are growing, can't you make soup and freeze it? I pondered this for a while. I then made up a batch of soup, froze it in pints, and tried taking it. I have saved a few pounds from the waist line, the guys I work with are always asking what I brought for lunch because it smells so gooooood, (large grin), and I have more $ in my pocket! Not bad for about an hour or two of work about once every week or so! I am still working on some other areas, but at least this is one I can cheer about! Report


About The Author

Joe Downie
Joe Downie
Joe, an exercise enthusiast, is a certified physical fitness instructor and high school soccer coach.
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