It’s the beginning of the year and most of us are working towards our New Year’s resolution. Not surprisingly, two of the most common goals are: loose weight and get organized. As an organizer and someone who has had “lose 20 lbs” on my list for the last 10 years (even though I was 15 lbs lighter back then) I always think about how doing both together might be the right combination to finally achieve my elusive ideal.
I can be organized about many things in my life: paperwork, household chores, party planning and running my business but somehow the key to weight loss is the brass ring I’m still reaching for. I do not like the idea of a fad diet or starving myself so I stick with the traditional approach: to burn more calories than I eat.
Here are seven tips that you can follow to get started on your weight loss plan, whatever that may be:
- Schedule your exercise for regular days & times: If you try to get exercise in whenever you have time, it’s probably not going to be a routine. Instead, look at your typical week and decide when you can exercise, then put it in your calendar. Better yet, find a buddy to go with you so you can motivate each other! My schedule fluctuates so I do this on Sundays. I look at the week ahead and find 3 one-hour slots or 5 half hour slots where I can go to the gym or do exercise at home. I know I’m better in the morning so I try to do it before work. But if your only option is after a full day of work, have a standard time to do this so you create a routine.
- Plan your meals: Go food shopping once a week but plan out your meals before hand. You may only want to do dinners but you can also plan what you will have for lunch each day, especially if you eat at home or pack it. Only buy what is healthy and on your eating plan. Create a list and stick to it! Resist those impulse buys at the supermarket.
- Put healthy food at eye level: Let’s face it, when we’re hungry we grab what is closest and easiest. So, after food shopping cut up celery, carrots and fruit and have them at eye level in small containers in your refrigerator. Or put a bowl of fruit on the table. It’s decorative and appetizing. With nuts or granola bars – put them in easy grab containers in the cabinet or pantry.
- If you can’t see everything in your refrigerator or pantry – clean it out. This may happen once a month or just before you embark on a new way of eating. Take everything out and categorize it: proteins, veggies, fruits, dairy, drinks, etc. Then wipe down the shelves and toss anything that has expired or that you know is not a fit for your diet. Put everything back in categories so all your choices are healthy!
- Create a medical file for every member of the family. It starts with immunizations for the children, and should include all test results, doctor’s recommendations, treatment descriptions and MRI’s and x-rays. Put the latest papers in front of each file so you have a chronological history of all your medical ailments and procedures. Keep medical bills separate. This file is for medical history, not cost. It should be a permanent file, as long as the person lives in your home.
- Make follow-up appointments while you are at the doctors and put them in your calendar right away. Put any prescriptions that have to be filled or test requests in your TO DO bin.
- Use apps or a FitBit to track your progress on movement per day, heart rate, calories consumed, weight, etc. There is no sense in setting a goal if you are not going to measure it.
For more tips on how to organize your health, check out my booklet, 52 Practical Organizing Tips for Busy Moms sold on the Products page of my website.
How do you organize your health? I’d love to hear your suggestions.