Posted on January 18, 2017 by Meghan Eggleston
Want a healthy lifestyle on cruise control? Use Guardrails!
Forget those memes about it just being a choice or just a decision – that’s not real life. It’s too simple. It’s not a choice, it’s a lifestyle.
The Guardrails for Healthy Lifestyle Success
We can apply this concept of guardrails to put our healthy lifestyle on cruise control. There are three different guardrails you can put in place so that you can be on cruise control. We all want to be those people who exercise every day and make good choices every day. How do we get ourselves on cruise control like those people?
Have a plan. A fitness calendar and a nutritional plan are tools that tell you exactly what to do and what to eat. Don’t expect that you’re going to do well without a plan. You can’t wing it. Make a meal plan and a shopping list. If it’s not on the list, you don’t get it. If you don’t have a list, you’ll grab things that are bad, or you’ll grab things that go bad because you don’t have a plan on when you’re going to eat it.
How many of us face this common scenario? “We don’t have anything, so we’re going to hit the drive thru.”
No. Not acceptable.
Know what’s on the menu, and have a plan.
Don’t buy CRAP. I don’t assume that I’m going to be smart and this will be my treat. No. I don’t bring treats in my house. I don’t do moderation well. If I have oreos in the house, I’m going to eat them all. So don’t bring the junk into the house. I don’t want those things in the house. If you want ice cream, go out and get ice cream. Plan a special night.
Don’t bring it in your house assuming you’re going to have will power. Know yourself.
Schedule workouts on your calendar. As you’re trying to make this a lifestyle, putting your new lifestyle on cruise control, you have to schedule it and mark it down, put it in place. The same way cruise control in a car keeps from you going over the speed limit, setting your lifestyle on cruise control will keep from getting out of control, and set you up for success. Make it easier for yourself to succeed!
How will we prevent getting off track or knocking down the guardrails?
Pack snacks. If you know you’re going to be out and running around, pack almonds, fruit, and baggies of things so you won’t just grab junk while you’re out. Put the guardrail up to keep you from making poor decisions. I still have to do that because if I’m hungry, I will eat whatever is closest.
Find accountability. Find someone who will work out with you, check in with you, support you. This can be a Facebook group, a friend, or someone else who is on the same journey who will hold you accountable. You have to have someone who will keep you in check when you want to stray, and cheer you on. Some of us will always need accountability
Meal prep. This takes real effort. Meal prep is so underrated. Take the time on the weekend to schedule that meal prep work. Put it on the calendar and schedule that time. We do this in the clean eating challenges. Check out this post for meal prep tips!
Every month, I host a free 5-day clean eating challenge. We start with the meal prep and do it on the weekend so that when the week is so crazy and you’re busy, it’s already there and it makes your evening so much easier. Most people aren’t making right choices in those crazy times. Meal prep is the BEST guard rail.
Some things will be more challenging for you, so you might add guardrails to this list for your particular situation. Maybe a co-worker keeps candy on her desk. Maybe you have a hard time drinking enough water. What can you do? Be proactive! Stay away from your co-worker’s desk. Keep water bottles in the car.
It’s not about willpower, it’s not about how badly you want it. You have to take the time to set yourself up for success and plan, so that when you’re in the moment, you don’t have to make a decision. You already made a plan, you just need to follow through!
What are some other detours you might run into?
Friends who give you a hard time about eating well all the time? You’ve heard it before: “Aw, come on, you’ve been so good. You deserve t…” No, I can’t. I deserve to feel by best.
Work lunches? Look up the menu online and preplan what you can choose at the restaurant before you go.
Think of all the possible detours and decide ahead of time how you will make sure the guardrails are in place.
Get rid of that failure mindset: “Well, I didn’t meal prep so, oh well… I’ll get back on track.”
You won’t. It’s not because you don’t have willpower or you don’t want it bad enough or you’re not disciplined. It’s because you didn’t have a plan. That mentality is not serving you, it’s not helping you, it will only bring you down. It’s only going to contribute to you slipping off track.
Remember it’s not about how good you are at this or how much you want it. It’s all about what you do to set yourself up to be the best that you can be. Baby steps. Do little things one at a time to improve. You can do it!