Our 12 Month Transformation, Month Four: Prep & Plan!

You know what they say, April showers bring May flowers! And while I am sure this is true for Mother Nature, it actually applies to so many areas of life. This is one of my favorite simple reminders that the work we put in now will lead to incredible benefits later, and all that rain will soon be so worth it. As summer closes in on us, and we find ourselves already 1/3 of the way through the year, I’m turning my attentions this month to putting in the hard work now to receive results for months to come in all areas of my life. 

It is so easy to ride the “I’ll do it tomorrow” train, but more often than not, “tomorrow” never comes, so taking action now is vital in achieving your goals—large or small. So you want a beach ready bod? Better start working on it now! Want to have an amazing family bucket list for the summer? Start planning now because the kids will be out of school in no time! Need to get your finances on track? Start a budget today! Want to cook healthier meals? Now’s the time to start!

This month’s theme is all about prepping and planning because we know all too well that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” No matter how hard we try and get around that truth, it’s unavoidable. ANYTHING we want to accomplish—that summer bod, learning a new skill, working out more regularly, eating delicious AND healthy meals, quality family time, writing that novel that’s been swimming around in our brain for years—takes prepping and planning! Whether it’s something you want to accomplish in one day or in one year, you have to consciously plan and prepare yourself for the achievement.

And I’m totally with you guys—prepping and planning is about as fun as…well…it’s not fun. However, like with anything you strive to accomplish, it’s all about taking those baby steps…one after another, and actually STARTING with that first little step. It’s about making and keeping those small, simple promises to yourself…one after another. So to get you started on making your summer dreams and beyond come true, here are some of my favorite prepping and planning tips and ideas to start NOW in April:

Let’s start small…

Meal planning: Try planning one meal (breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner—whichever is easiest) each day for 3 days of the week. I like to repeat meals—it makes planning and meal prep super easy! Write them down some place where they won’t get lost, make sure you’ve got what you need, and move on to prepping. Once you’ve got 3 days down, move on to planning more meals each day or more days of meals!

Meal Prepping: Once you’ve got your plan in place, choose a day of the week and prep the foods for those three meals you planned. Get them ready to go as much as possible. I love the Grab N’ Go options from The TRANSFORM App! They are literally grab n’ go to you right out the door (even if your kiddos are pulling you in a million directions). But since every meal can’t be grab n’ go, plan and then prep some that are super quick to put together right before mealtime, like in 10 minutes or less.

Chop, cut, and cook (we use the slow cooker a ton!) everything you’ll need to put those meals together. You’ll feel great, and your family will think you’re Rachel Ray!

Family Schedule: Oh my. This one can be tough! With 4 kiddos going in so many different directions, plus our crazy busy work schedules, our family calendar seriously looks like a huge, beautifully colored kaleidoscope. (That sounds much nicer and way less stressful than an overwhelming bunch of colored boxes on my screen 😉 ). But Chris and I have learned the hard way that if it’s not in iCal, it’s not gonna’ happen—no way, no how. And we’ll inadvertently end up with multiple things going on at the same time! #itshappened… So take a few minutes each night or first thing in the morning to map out that day’s activities, and take a few seconds to add anything new to the calendar RIGHT when you find out about it! Sticky notes can fall off of the fridge, papers with your kids’ sports schedules can accidentally get thrown away or lost in a mass of emails, science projects will all of a sudden be due TOMORROW, and remember—you’re not the only one who needs to know where everyone needs to be! When everyone knows what’s going on, there’s a lot less stress and anxiety in your family. Trust me on this one.

Exercise: Put this at the top of your to-plan list! Have a Plan A, a Plan B, and even a Plan Z if necessary. Have a contingency plan for anything you can think of that might happen (because, darn it, it will!) so you WILL be able to get in your workout. And remember—even four or five minutes of movement at a time can really make a difference!

Nutrition: If eating veggies is not really your thing, buy some of your faves, prep them, and then promise yourself you’ll eat X number of servings a day. Remember…keep it totally doable. If drinking water is hard for you, set alarms on your phone to remind you to drink, get a cute new water bottle, try our 10-gulp rule, or fill up your water bottles first thing in the morning and then don’t go to bed until they’re empty! Whatever part of nutrition is hard for you, work on that—in small and simple steps.

Me Time: Yes. I’m including this one. Because if you’re not taking regular care of yourself, how are you going to take care of everyone who counts on YOU? With littles around, it’s hard to even go to the bathroom alone, so grab on to and take advantage of those few minutes where you can be alone and just breathe. Plan a few minutes here and there to work on that new hobby you feel passionate about, take a walk, meditate, write in a journal, or simply. just. breathe. Whatever will help you fill that often-empty bucket even just a little bit.

Your #1 goal—that thing that you feel passionate about achieving: Don’t try and bite off more than you can chew for this one—that’s way too overwhelming! Which is why you probably haven’t crossed this one off of your list yet. 😉 Plan one small, simple thing you can do three days this week to take a teeny, tiny step towards this goal. Often, beginning is the hardest part, so let’s get you started!

I know there are so many other aspects of life I could include in this list, but I hope I’ve got you thinking and brainstorming. Choose ONE thing to work on, make a plan, do any needed prep, and go!

Are you excited about April yet? I know I am! Let’s work together on this one! Share your planning and prepping tips below—I don’t think you can ever get too many of these! And when you keep those small, simple promises to yourself, share it on social media and use the hashtag #prepandplanwithHeidi It’s going to be an amazing month!

xo,

Heidi

Related reading:

Prep, Plan, and Party: 4 Tips for Diet Success At Every Event
5 Breakfasts Made Easy || Getting serious about CEREAL!
Sharpen the Saw || Unplug and plug IN to LIFE!
Reignite Your Fire to Achieve Your Goals! (Check out the amazing quotes in this one!)
Our 12 Month Transformation, Month One: Self-Love!
Our 12 Month Transformation, Month Two: Giving Love to Others
Our 12 Month Transformation, Month Three Hydration!


23 Comments

  1. Tara - April 14, 2018

    Love this. I can’t explain enough to my clients or students how this is THE most important thing you can do to achieve success. Being a mom of 4 plus one that lives with us, any new insight is greatly appreciated on this subject. One of the most difficult, but most rewarding things is being planned;)
    tara_danks

  2. Alice Fairweather - April 14, 2018

    The messages in all your posts are actually everything to me, everything that I need to hear and remember when I am being so hard on myself. Sending you love. ❤️
    @alicearwenjane

  3. Whitney - April 13, 2018

    Best post
    Insta: whitneyweber

  4. Nicole - April 13, 2018

    This is something that can be very helpful and I can’t wait to start! When I planmy meals it really helps me make healthier choices! The food looks amazing too!

    @nicoleazadian

  5. Casey - April 13, 2018

    Need to meal prep on a weekly basis so I’m not wandering multiple stores during the week!

    @cegiles

  6. Katie - April 13, 2018

    YAS! I love this! It’s seems so overwhelming sometimes when we’re faced with so many things that have to get done!

  7. Hayley - April 13, 2018

    Your blog posts are always amazing, but I found this one especially helpful this week. Thanks for all you do! And please send me one of those amazing booty bands! 😘
    Insta: @withrealintent

  8. Allison - April 13, 2018

    We are in FULL ON spring cleaning & transformation over here too! Meal planning is ALWAYS my go-to and since having baby it’s gone by the way side.. excited to get back to prepping & back in the gym!

    Insta: allisonbellfit

  9. Christy - April 13, 2018

    Yes planning is everything!!!! Thanks Heidi!!!! Also, I had to come check this out after seeing your AMAZEBALLS bands and I may just have to request that you get some for sale if I don’t win. Your TEAM is lucky. Thanks for helping us all stay motivated! PS my social media handle is msfitcpa

  10. Allison Armstrong - April 13, 2018

    When I don’t dedicate a chunk of time to prep my week falls apart. Thanks for the tips! I tend to drive the meal prepping in our house but when the list is especially long my husband is great about jumping in. Our home motto “Many hands make light work.”

    insta: the_alley_cat

  11. Jeannie - April 13, 2018

    Yes! Thank you. It definitely makes a difference planning and prepping. Even though it seems like a lot of work, in the long run life is easier.

    [email protected]_kosmin

  12. Amanda Yingling - April 13, 2018

    I love this post! Prepping is key to staying on track! Thank you for all of your tips! With yours and Chris’s help through the app I have had more success than I ever have!!
    Instagram- @mandyyingling

  13. Jennifer Wright - April 12, 2018

    This is soooo where I need to work…fail to plan, plan to fail. Thanks for all the great content Heidi! @jenniferfay23 IG

  14. Becca - April 12, 2018

    Thanks for all the great tips Heidi!
    Favorites post Instagram @beccawillcutts

  15. Arlem Gomez - April 12, 2018

    Love this ! Definitely meal prepping helps me with my fitness goals @beastmodetransformation -instaname

  16. Megan Prasal - April 12, 2018

    My favorite blog post is this! I eat so much better when I meal plan but then I fall off the wagon and start eating bad again. Having food allergies add to this issue so meal planning is key for me to stay on track and keep losing weight.
    Thank you for all of your encouragement and always keeping it real.
    Megp_5

  17. Missy Schwimer - April 12, 2018

    Great tips! Thank you for continuing to inspire!
    My social media handle on IG is missyschwimer 🙂 #bootybands

  18. Brittney robb - April 12, 2018

    Love love love!!!
    Instagram – @brobbin

    💕💕💕🙏🏻

  19. Emilie Henrichsen - April 12, 2018

    Favorite post! @emiliehenrichsen

  20. Margaret Taitano - April 12, 2018

    You inspire me to be more happy and healthy!
    My instagram name: BonitaTaitano

  21. Kirsten sutor - April 12, 2018

    I love this and I really need to start getting back on board with meal planning been a little lazy but with active lifestyles and busy jobs, and kids it just makes like a little less chaotic!! Thanks for the reminder
    Insta @ksutor22

  22. Emily - April 12, 2018

    Now I need to sit down and actual do this!! I have the workouts down. The food not so much. 🙁

    Insta @emilyrado

  23. Paige Deathe - April 12, 2018

    I recently completed a 12 week workout plan and it kept me on track because I had a set schedule and goals! I need another one as I can tell I have been slacking on my workouts without a plan.

    Insta: @pdeathe

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