The Magic of Making a Plan for Your Health (And How to Set Yourself Up for Success)

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The New Year is finally here, and with it, likely all sorts of thoughts about what you’d like to accomplish in the coming months, and how you’re going to get your life—and your health—back on track this year.

And while you might have some big goals and resolutions in mind, the reality is that aspirations without an actual plan aren’t going to get you very far.  You need to know how you’re going to take action, because that’s what is ultimately going to get your head in the right place.

Why You Need a Plan

So let’s start by talking about why you really need a plan.

Because I think that for a lot of us—especially those that have struggled with our health and weight for a long time—we have this idea that we should just be able to fix it all on our own, right? That we should be able to eat healthy and lose weight without having to follow some specific program.

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And I totally get that. I’m a pretty independent person, and the idea that I would need to rely on someone else’s “system” to get healthy would normally kind of make me bristle a little bit. I like to be in control. I like to do things MY way.

So I can totally relate if that’s how you’re feeling. But the cold hard truth is this:

If you could have fixed it on your own, you already would have.

Seriously.

If all it took to get healthy and lose weight was to eat less and exercise more, then NONE of us would be overweight in the first place. That’s the old conventional wisdom that has been drilled into our heads for decades, and it’s a LIE.

It’s a lie that’s been propagated by the giant food industry and by pharmaceutical companies and by a medical system that makes more money the sicker we all are. It’s a lie that’s backed up by the USDA and the American Heart Association and by so-called “experts” who are paid millions of dollars to keep telling us the same thing—to eat more carbs and less fat and to move more and count our calories.

And it’s a lie that has made us SICK.

So if you’re feeling frustrated, and like you’ve been lied to, well, then you should be. Because you HAVE been lied to.

The Importance of having a proven process

And I think that’s why it’s so important to have a plan—a REAL plan—that’s not based on any of that old conventional wisdom, but is instead based on the TRUTH. A plan that’s based on understanding the science of what’s really happening in your body. A plan that’s based on the REAL data.

So that’s the first reason why I think having a plan is so important. Because you need something that WORKS, and that will actually set you up for success. You need a plan that’s sustainable and that you can stick with long term, because honestly, if you’re just going on a diet—a temporary fix—then as soon as you go back to the way you were eating before, you’ll end up right back where you started.

And that’s why the plan you choose needs to be something that is a true LIFESTYLE plan, not just a diet. It needs to be something that you can actually see yourself doing for the rest of your life, because honestly, it’s likely that you will need to, or at least something very close to it.

So that’s the first reason why having a plan is so important—you need a plan that actually works for your body, and that is sustainable long term.

The Importance of Accountability

But there’s another reason too—a big reason—and that’s because when you have a plan, it’s a lot easier to stay accountable.

Because the truth is this—the best laid plans in the world won’t do you a lick of good if you don’t actually follow the plan.

And that’s where accountability comes in.

Because if you’re anything like me and the thousands of women I’ve worked with in my programs, then you’re probably really good at lying to yourself.

You’re good at making excuses. You’re good at saying you’ll do it tomorrow. You’re good at avoiding the scale. You’re good at justifying the little “cheats” you allow yourself. You’re good at making yourself believe that it’s not that bad.

And when you don’t have a plan, or if your plan is just some vague idea of “eating healthier” without any real structure, then it’s way too easy to just keep on doing what you’ve always done. It’s way too easy to keep on making the same mistakes, and the same bad choices, because there’s nothing in place to keep you on track.

And that’s why having a plan with some built in accountability is so important.

Having actual numbers and metrics to track, and clear guidelines for what those numbers should be, actually does make a big difference. It lets you know you’re making progress. But it also gives you cold hard facts, rather than just feelings. And honestly, it shouldn’t just be ONE number because that one number isn’t going to tell you the whole story.

Because it’s a lot easier to justify it in your head, or to say “it’s not that bad” when you don’t really know the number. But when you SEE the actual numbers that are having an impact—your macro breakdown, your glucose reading, your body measurements, and the number on the scale—it’s a lot more motivating, and it’s a lot harder to make excuses.

That’s why having a plan that includes some built in accountability–and actual metrics to keep track of–is so important.

The Importance of Purpose

And then there’s a third reason why having a plan is so important, and it’s a little bit more intangible, but I think it’s probably the most important one of all.

And that’s just the fact that when you have a plan, it gives you something to focus on. It gives you a goal to work towards. It gives you a reason to keep going, even when it gets hard. It gives you a sense of PURPOSE.

And for a lot of us, that’s what’s been missing.

Because when you don’t have a real plan, then you’re just kind of going through the motions every day, and it’s easy to get off track. It’s easy to get derailed. It’s easy to let life get in the way. It’s easy to give up.

But when you have something that you’re working towards, it changes everything. Suddenly, every choice you make becomes important. You have a reason to say no to that donut, or that sugary margarita or that Chik-fil-A drive through on your way home from work. You have a reason to get up and go for a walk. You have a reason to change your habits.

And that’s why having a plan is so important.

Because a plan really is just a way to set some GOALS, and to create a roadmap for achieving those goals, and that is what will keep you motivated and on track.

Creating Your Health Plan

So then the question becomes, how do you actually go about creating a health plan that will work for you and your life?

And the truth is, that’s a pretty big question.

Because there are a lot of factors to consider. You need to figure out what your goals actually are, and what you want to achieve. You need to figure out what kind of plan will work best for your body and your lifestyle. You need to figure out if you have any underlying health issues that need to be addressed. You need to figure out what kind of support you’ll need, and what you can actually afford.

And all of that can feel a little bit overwhelming, especially if you’re brand new to this whole world of health and wellness, and it all feels a little bit foreign.

Do your research

So I think the first step is really just to do your research.

And honestly, that’s probably why you’re here, reading this blog post. Because you know that you need to make a change, and you want to know what your options are.

And that’s a good thing! It’s a really good thing to get curious and to start learning more. It’s a really good thing to start educating yourself on what is actually available to you, and what might be the best fit for you.

And if you’re just starting out on this journey, then I would say don’t get in a big rush. Give yourself a little bit of time to read books and listen to podcasts or other blogs to get a sense of the different programs and plans that are out there, and to start thinking about what might be the best fit for you.

Because the truth is, that while there are a lot of options out there, not all of them will be a good fit for YOU. We are all unique, and what works for someone else might not work for you, and vice versa.

And so that’s really the first step—to get curious and to start doing your research, and to start learning as much as you can about the different options that are out there.

Get honest with yourself

And then, once you’ve done that, I think the second step is to get honest with yourself about what you’re actually willing to do.

Because the reality is this—if you choose a program that’s not sustainable for you, then you won’t be able to sustain it. It’s why I always say that the best program in the world is the one that you’ll actually DO.

You have to be honest with yourself about what you’re willing to change, and what you’re not. You have to be honest with yourself about the kind of support you’ll need, and the kind of support that is actually available to you. You have to be honest with yourself about what you can actually afford, and what you’re willing to invest in your health.

And I know that for some of you, that might be a sticking point. You might be thinking this all sounds so great, but I can’t actually afford to sign up for a program or to get help or to buy new supplements or whatever it might be.

So can I just address that for a second?

Because honestly, I think that if you’re in that boat, then you’re not alone. I think a lot of us feel that way, like it’s too expensive to get healthy, and it’s a big reason why we’re often willing to just keep on doing what we’ve always done—because it feels FREE.

But the cold hard truth is this—it’s not actually free.

You’re paying for it. Every single day, in big ways and small ways, you’re paying for your health. You’re paying for all the medications you have to take, and the doctor’s visits and the medical tests. You’re paying for the days you have to take off work because you’re too tired to even get out of bed. You’re paying for the bigger clothes you have to buy, and all the food you’re wasting because you can’t eat it fast enough. You’re paying for the impact that your weight and your health is having on your relationships, and for all the opportunities that you’re missing out on because you don’t have the energy or the confidence to do the things you want to do.

It’s not free.

So you have to get honest with yourself, and ask yourself what’s actually more expensive—to keep on doing what you’ve always done, or to invest in your health and in a program that can actually help you get healthy and lose weight in a sustainable way.

Because the truth is, that doing it on your own and without a plan probably won’t work. You’ll just keep on doing what you’ve always done. And the only way to get different results is to do something different.

Commit to making a real change

And so once you’ve done your research and you’ve gotten honest with yourself, the third step is really just to commit. To make a decision, and to actually get started.

Because here’s the thing—you can keep on researching and keep on learning and keep on thinking about it for as long as you want, but if you never actually make a decision, then you’ll never actually get started, and nothing will ever change.

And that’s a shame.

So once you’ve done your research and you’ve gotten honest with yourself, then I want to encourage you to make a decision and to get started.

And that might mean signing up for a program like the Thin Adapted System. Or it might mean finding a local doctor who can help you with a more sustainable, not-some-crazy-diet-plan. Or it might mean finding a health coach. Or it might mean just changing the way you shop and cook and eat, and doing more of your own research on how to do that in a way that will actually be good for your health.

The path you choose is ultimately up to you, but I think that the most important thing is just to choose a path and to actually start walking on it.

Aim for Consistency, Not Perfection

And once you’ve done that, once you’ve actually made a decision and gotten started, then the final and most important step is just to commit to CONSISTENCY—not perfection.

Because the truth is, changing your health and changing your life is not a destination, it’s a journey. It’s something that you have to commit to working on every single day. It has to become a priority. It has to become a habit. It has to become a part of your normal routine.

And honestly, that can feel really hard, especially at the beginning. Changing your health can feel overwhelming, because there is so much to learn and so much to do and so much to change.

But the key to getting through that overwhelm is to just focus on taking it one day at a time, and to focus on forming good daily habits and disciplines that will help you stay on track.

Because the reality is that you won’t be perfect, because no one is.  And so if you set yourself with the expectation that you have to change everything all at once and that you have to do it all perfectly or you’re not going to do it at all, then you are setting yourself up for failure.

And I say this all the time, but it’s worth saying again and again, as many times as it takes—big goals NEVER happen all at once—they are only the result of small steps taken consistently over time.

If you truly want to be successful in reaching your weight loss goals and getting healthy for life, then allow yourself the time to make changes that you can stick to.

Don’t go crazy trying to drastically cut your calories AND start going to the gym AND drinking all the water AND cutting out alcohol AND taking all the supplements and and and…

Because often that’s what we do, right?  We try to do it all, and we try to do it all at once, and we set ourselves up for failure with a crash diet that’s not even a little bit sustainable.

So just don’t do it.

Don’t crash and burn this January.

Let this be the year you embrace progress over perfection.

Let this be the year that you make sustainable changes you can build upon.

Let this be the year you finally get a handle on this piece of your life.

Reading this blog post is a great start.  So keep reading.

And if you haven’t already, go watch our helpful on-demand video—Happy, Healthy & Free in 2024.  It’s really good, and will help you actually map out your own personalized health plan for the next 12 months.  You can find it HERE.

Here’s to you, and to having a real plan to crush your health goals in 2024.

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About the Author: AZ