Not long ago, everyone that I knew seemed to be going on vacation, except me! Friend after friend, family members, co-workers and celebrities were all going to the beach. Years ago, I extricated myself from a very controlled relationship. I had always been a beach person, but my significant other decided that we wouldn’t be going to the beach anymore. We would go to the mountains. I learned the Smokie Mountains like the back of my hand and it would have been wonderful except for the constant bickering, yelling and cursing from said significant other. I still longed to see the beach again. After almost 20 years, I made the executive decision that I was going to take a beach vacation. Within an hour, I had the condo of my dreams booked and paid.
Although I had gone to the beautiful beaches of Panama City, Florida many times, for some reason I listened to Google and took a turn off of the main route. I think you know the rest. I drove through Deliverance Country for hours when I could have been on a well-traveled state highway. It flooded the whole time on those backroads. It seemed that my life was in danger and it was the middle of the night! The gracious hostess of my condo had told me I could check in early and within 4 hours, I was on the road. Darkness was not going to keep me from soaking up every moment of salt air that I could get. The moment when I heard the roar of the waves was magical! It was the best vacation of my life. I planned for greatness and it was. No, I couldn’t afford it but the money would be spent anyway. It might as well be spent on magic. What do you really miss? What do you want to do?
Usually when people go on vacation, they toss healthy choices to the wind. That only makes you feel bad on your trip and intensifies the letdown afterward. I knew that I would cook most of our meals but I did plan to get some fresh seafood while we were there. Upon arrival, we shopped for healthy groceries and in the next couple of days I began searching for a fantastic seafood restaurant. Much to my dismay, I discovered that the seafood restaurants were mostly buffets and they were priced to accommodate gluttony. The best buffet close to our condo was $50/person. There was NO WAY we would eat THAT much seafood! We really only wanted some fresh shrimp. I kept looking and found a small deli-style restaurant where you can either eat your steamed shrimp there or carry it home to steam yourself. Since we got there too late for them to steam it, I took it to the condo and steamed those Ruby Red Shrimp to perfection. We were stuffed for a total of about $40.
I knew that we would not be making this trip frequently so I had a plan for everything! I knew that I wanted some beach chairs and a great umbrella. The condo rented them, for way too much money! I went to Walmart, bought a fantastic, HUGE umbrella that tilts to protect you from the sun and used the beach chairs stashed in the closet. We lounged on the beach in style for again, $40. I have the umbrella for the next trip. It’s a plan.
What does all this have to do with you? A vacation is just representative of needs. I NEEDED to go back to the beach. I also needed to eat healthy and be able to afford the trip. Planning was essential.
Every day we have NEEDS. We have to eat, move and live around other people. In order to be healthy, we MUST plan for our needs to be met in a healthy way. Failure to plan is planning to fail. If we do not plan our meals, we will succumb to the office cupcakes or the chips in the cupboard. If we do not plan our exercise, we will skip it. If we don’t plan how to repel the food pushers at events and special occasions, we will find ourselves caught in their crosshairs with no escape strategy. Planning is the key to success.
It’s interesting that most people have no problem planning negative behaviors. There is a phenomenon called “Present Bias” which simply means that most people will choose instant gratification over long-term success every time. I have learned to play the long game. Instant gratification is over…in an instant! Planning and long-term success will always create a much more rewarding life. When we opt for instant gratification such as spending our money on nonsense instead of something beneficial, like good food or a vacation, we are setting ourselves up for misery multiplied many times over. That’s what causes obesity, addiction and ruined relationships. Plan for a good life.