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TWM 39 – Sabotage Thought Number 5 – Planning to Succeed, but Arranging to Fail


Sabotage Thought Number 5 - Planning to Succeed, but Arranging to Fail

Today's Will Power Moment - 39

with Dr. James Meschino

In this willpower moment video, I want to talk to you about sabotaging thought number 5, which is “planning to succeed, but arranging to fail”. Many people claim they are trying to adopt more wellness steps into their life, but in actual fact, they arrange their life, either consciously or unconsciously, so they have a much better chance of failing rather than succeeding. In many cases, people fool themselves as to their real intentions about wellness, declaring that they are getting on track with wellness plans, but at the same time, arranging their lives in a way that gives them the perfect excuse for failure.

Here are some classic examples of planning to succeed with wellness, but arranging to fail:

Buy cookies, cake, ice cream or potato chips to keep in the house for your kids or for when company comes to visit. Guess who ends up eating them? Remember the saying, “out of sight out of stomach”? 

Or you overbook yourself so there is no time available to exercise. – “I really want to get going with exercise…”, but you purposely book as many meetings as possible in the day, so you have a valid excuse as to why you weren’t able to fit it in. This goes on day after day.

Or you plan to exercise tomorrow with friends or go for that long bike ride, but you stay up really late, so you don’t have the energy to exercise or eat healthy the next day.

Or you plan to exercise tomorrow with friends but have too many drinks the night before, so you’re too zapped of energy the next day to follow through.

Or you join a fitness club on the other side of the town that is too far to get to, so it becomes impractical to actually get there enough. It looks good on paper, but you are arranging to fail.

Or you, or someone else, designs a fitness program that is way too complicated and time-consuming, and you are actually mentally defeated before you start.

Or you have incongruent exercise goals: you want to enter a body building competition, run a marathon, and you joined a yoga program 2x per week, and signed up to take tennis lessons. As a result, you become so overwhelmed you don’t do any of it. Remember, keep it simple and straight forward (less is more).

Or you overeat in the moment because you are planning a great big workout later.

Or you go from one fad diet to the next in search of the”holy weight-loss grail”, rather than working with the tried and true scientific principle of healthy eating and exercising consistently.

One clever way to arrange to succeed with exercise – if you joined a gym – involves this approach:

Bring your workout clothes to work and put them on at the office or workplace. Then you have no excuse not to go to the gym and exercise. In the winter, as your gym clothes are not cold from sitting in your car, the mental obstacle of having to go to the gym and change clothes can block your success. And if your co-workers see you in gym clothes you’re practically shamed into working out, especially if they ask you the next day how your workout went the previous day. It would be very embarrassing to have to say, ” I just went home instead and ate a loaf of pound cake and watched TV”.

With wellness, it’s something you have to plan to fit into your life. You have to make time for the following:

  • Time to exercise,
  • Time to shop for health-promoting foods and prepare them,
  • Time to locate and get to restaurants or other establishments that have healthier food choices,
  • Time to watch my LMU videos and WPM videos to keep wellness top of mind,
  • Time get your annual physical and bloodwork done and preventative screenings, etc.

When you divide your life up into sections: family plans, financial plans, career plans, holiday plans, socializing plans, continuing education plans, you have to also include your plan for wellness – and it has to fit into the rest of your life plans for that particular year. Make sure your plans are realistic and that you are not arranging to fail – and kidding yourself that you are trying to follow a wellness plan when your life is actually set up, unconsciously or on purpose, to sabotage your wellness efforts – at every turn.

Make sure you PLAN to succeed with wellness, and that you arrange your life in a way that enables you to succeed with your plan.

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great!

Dr. James Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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