ANR Health: Plan for Success

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Plan for Success

True success doesn't just drop into our laps.  It usually follows a great deal of hard work which is why we need to admire those who can run marathons or wear a size 6 or stand tall at age 86 rather than stoop. Admittedly those are the people I sneer at and secretly hate - well, not the 86 year old.  That person I honestly admire for having good posture for their entire life and now looking  at the world rather than the pavement.

Health success does not come out of a bottle, as much as we at ANR would like you to believe.  Supplements are called that for a reason.  They are supplementing what we should already be doing not substituting for poor eating.  While building successful health practices, supplements will offer strong support. The key, however, is planning for successful health practices.

Every coach, be it weight loss or basketball, has a plan for winning.  Most of the plans are similar, be observant, plan and practice.  A player watches the game film and notices a flaw in delivery. He and the coach come up with a plan to correct the flaw and then the player practices all week to correct and improve.

Be observant.   We often don't know ourselves as well as we think. We think we only ate 10 M&M's, but actually the bowl is almost empty. It feels like we walked 5 miles today, but what would a pedometer say?  Whatever is your Big Picture (refer to yesterday's blog), take notes about things that are impeding your success.
  • Carry a small notebook or use a smartphone to record what you eat, when, who you are with, and how you are feeling.
  • Using a pedometer or gps, write down how far you truly walked/ran.
  • Put a large calendar in your bathroom and every night jot in that day's square whether you worked out/how far you walked/how many veggies you ate/whether you flossed.  Whatever healthy behavior you are working on, make a note. We are gathering data.

Plan for success.   Look over the gathered data and figure out the triggers.  When do I overeat? Why do I roll over and skip the gym?  Do I not floss at 10pm because I'm too tired?  These are obstacles to health success.  Now identify what to do when faced with those obstacles by designing if-then statements.



  • If watching tv is a trigger for overeating, then I change what I eat.  Instead of buttery popcorn, I'll have air popped popcorn lightly seasoned with olive oil.
  • If I'm too tired to floss at 10pm, then I will floss at 8pm and eat nothing more.
  • If I roll over and skip the gym, I'll find a workout buddy who is expecting me to show.
Practice.   By practicing healthy behaviors we can build healthy habits. The routine of the Little Steps (again, yesterday's blog) such as flossing at 8pm every night will eventually become habitual and our bodies will miss it if skipped.  We just won't be able to sleep with grit between our teeth. Trust me when I say that after a year of air popped popcorn lightly covered in olive oil, I cannot eat movie theater popcorn.
Identify behaviors and triggers, plan for them and then practice. 



"It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations,
if you live near him."  
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

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