Motivational Monday – Planning Ahead

One of my hopes for the Motivational Monday series is to offer tips and tools for your healthy, balanced lifestyle tool-kit. One of the biggest concerns I hear from people who want to get healthy is that they don’t know how to fit a health and wellness into their current lifestyle.

“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done,

you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.”

– W.L. Bateman

It’s true, transition is difficult.  And it’s easy to get caught up in the lifestyle we’re currently living.  But trust me, as time passes, you’ll create a routine and schedule that works for you.  With such a busy schedule myself, one of the things that helps me most is to plan ahead.  Here are a few tips to help you plan for nutrition and fitness:

1. Schedule Time for Wellness.

I literally take out my planner each week and find spaces to fit exercise, journaling, and meditation into my life (mental wellness is just as–if not more–important as physical wellness).  Some days are busier than others, and often times I need to prioritize (sleep always comes first because a tired Haley will not get anything done.)  I write specific fitness plans into my calendar in pen [3 mile run, 15 minute walk, teach TurboKick, etc.] and treat these plans just like any other appointment I make.  The point of this exercise is to be accountable to myself.  Some days I can only find 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening (15 minute strength training/15 minute walk).  Other days I find I have over an hour to dedicate to myself (longer runs or teaching TurboKick).  As you create more time for yourself, you’ll find that you want more time for yourself… and that somehow, you make more time for yourself.


[At-home videos, podcasts, and self-led yoga are great for crunch times!]

2. Prepare for Anything.

You may remember the overwhelming number of bags I carry with me every day.  Well, I always keep an extra pair of workout clothes and my swimsuit in my workout bag (and always keep my workout bag in the car) in case I find the time to fit in an extra workout session.  That way, if my evening class gets cancelled (wishful thinking) or a meeting finishes early, I don’t have any excuses.

3. Cook Food for the Week.

Bringing your own lunch ensures quality, healthy meals and reduces spending (along with your sodium intake and cholesterol).  I always create big batches of food and snacks on the weekends so that we don’t have to spend much time in the kitchen during the week.  I freeze portions and refrigerate the rest for the next few days.  Because I eat five small meals a day, I like to make a few options.  A few ideas (click names for recipes): mini veggie frittatas, cacao nib seeded banana muffins, lentil bulgur salad, vegan black-and-blue enchilada bake, and my Dream Bar.


[Tip: make up a few servings of low-fat protein foods to help your muscles recover and keep you full.]

Because I’m gone most days from 7 am to 10:30 pm, I put my meals together the night before (relieving a bit of the morning stress and making early morning workouts possible!).  I tend to give myself more food than I think I’ll eat –and keep almonds in my desk–because I really don’t like spending money on impulse meals.


[Today’s meals: 1) steel cut oats with chia seeds and peanut flour, 2) chicken soup with brown rice and won bok cabbage, 3) lentil bulgur salad and shrimp, 4) protein shake, and 5) roasted veggies and shrimp.]

Planning ahead for both fitness and nutrition will create less stress throughout the week and give you more time for wellness.  Plus, scheduling your needs into your every day activities will help you prioritize.  After all, we have nothing if we don’t have our health.

If you are catching up on the Motivational Monday series, here’s what you’ve missed:

1) My tips for taking control of your own destiny

2) Caitlin’s post on eliminating negative self-talk and fat talk

How do you fit fitness and good nutrition into your every day life?

What would you like to see for Motivational Mondays? Would you like to be a contributor? Comment or email me at and tell me your motivational story, who motivates you, and/or your tips.

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!


15 thoughts on “Motivational Monday – Planning Ahead

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