3 Organizational Strategies for Weight Loss

Lately the universe has hammered home to me the lesson that in order to succeed in any number of ventures, including weight loss, putting certain organizational strategies into place multiplies the chances of success.

Tidy Up.

How can you create a masterwork if you can’t even find your paintbrush? How can you plan a delicious new meal if you don’t know what’s in your fridge—or, for that matter, what that moldy item lurking in the crisper drawer is? Throw out things that are past their eat-by date, sort through your coupons, organize your tupperware. Figure out what you’re working with.

planner2Sometimes you need to tidy up your calendar rather than your physical environment. Blackberries and iPhones are great and I’m certainly no neo-Luddite, but sometimes nothing can compete with an old-fashioned hard-copy day-planner with half hours blocked off.

Do The Prep Work.

A post on Abundance Blog about mise en place or “to put in place” reminded me that doing the nuts-and-bolts legwork in advance makes it possible to execute a plan with ease, whether you’re making a recipe or going to the gym.

Doing the prep work—the veggie chopping and utensil-locating—ahead of time makes preparing a meal more relaxing. Laying out your gym clothes the night before gives you one less excuse to put off your morning workout.

Visualize All The Angles.

If you’re a visual person, brain-storming the various elements of your particular goal in advance can give you the reassurance you need that you have all your bases covered, which in turn bolsters your confidence in the plan and in your chance of success.

Here’s just one example of a diagram you might draw to help you consider all the angles:

Click on diagram for full-sized image

Click on diagram for full-sized image

An itemized list might suit some people better, because we all have our own way of assessing where we are and where we want to be. Laying down the structural foundations for success enables us to focus more on the present once we set out on the pathway toward our goals.

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10 Responses

  1. Hi Liz: I like the diagram you prepared; I think that having all of the elements of a weight loss program neatly diagrammed in one page where you can see it all at a glance is very helpful and can help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed. I would add getting enough sleep, and adopting a stress reduction method (like meditating, yoga, warm bubble bath each evening . . . ) I know that when I’m stressed and tired I reach for the chocolates. Thank you for the link :-)

  2. Hey Liz, Thanks for visiting my Blog. I think Balance is a great anchor word! :) Hope you will come back and visit me regularly. I’m adding you to my blog roll! :)

  3. I love the diagram! Tidying up the calendar is such a good idea- sometimes it gets overloaded with so much stuff that it just gets silly.

    Right now I need to clean up both my calendar AND my physical environment, though! :)

  4. I love this!! It is so true with me. Another weird thing (and I am weird, so it’s probably just me) – I eat healthier when my room/house is tidy. When there’s a lot of clutter, it just makes me anxious and can sometimes lead to binges. So…I need to get a maid, huh??

  5. Wow! I am such a huge fan of your organisational skills! I love making little charts and graphs to monitor my weight loss, and you’ve just given me ideas for about 100 more!!!

    Also, you are going to HAVE to give me the recipe for those Snickerdoodle cookies you mentioned on my blog – never heard of them, but they sound gooood!

  6. Hey Liz, dig the diagram. I like these kind of mind maps for planning things. This reminds me that I really need to be more organized. For a while there everything worked like clockwork, but I’ve had to change up my routine due to injury/life stuff. As a result, I haven’t done my core workout in over a week. If I don’t plan it, I don’t do it. Time to hit the GoogleCalendar!

  7. I *love* mind-mapping! It’s such a great way to get all the potential factors of a problem or issue out in the open.

    I just have to work on that ‘tidy up’ step. :)

  8. Hi Marelisa! I’m so glad MizFit linked to your site—I’m loving it :). There are definitely lots of other elements that could be added to a diagram for a weight-loss goal. I’ve definitely heard that some form of yoga or relaxation technique can make a big positive difference.

    Natalia: I’ve added you to my blogroll as well and I will absolutely be checking back in on how things are going over there.

    Sagan: I am in the same boat! It’s a lot easier to write about organization than it is to implement it sometimes ;). But I’m motivated now to make some headway.

    Holly: There have definitely been some connections made between clutter in your home and/or work environment and clutter in your body (so to speak). I think that I’m simply more relaxed when I’m organized and have a plan, which helps me to eat more healthfully.

    Emma: I think Snickerdoodles are a uniquely American abomination—not healthy but definitely tasty ;). Here’s a link to a recipe:

    Monica: It can be tough to revamp a routine when something like an injury throws a wrench in things. They say it takes several weeks to make a good start with a new habit, and then *it* slowly because the new routine. I’m sure you already know all about that, but I also want to wish you luck and say I hope you recover from your injury soon!

    Cammy: Good luck with the tidying; you have lots of company in that challenge!

  9. Those are some great ideas! I especially like the weight loss diagram, what a good way to get organized. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Great advice,
    I have always said that getting in shape is not something you do for a while, but a lifestyle choice. Getting thing organized in your life and environment is a logical first step in making a change.

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