Preparation and Luck

What are some things that separate someone who reaches a goal and someone who tries and fails? Three things.

  1. Preparation
  2. Preparation
  3. Preparation

Some people think it’s motivation, perseverence, luck, or some other thing. Ultimately, no matter how you slice it, preparation is what set you up for success, regardles of what it is you’re aiming to accomplish.

In the military, we say that you make your luck. Case in point: a Soldier gets shot and the bullet impacts his chest, but his body armor stopped the round from entering his body and wounding him. Some would say he’s a lucky guy, but it’s got nothing to do with luck and everything to do with preparation. He put that plate into his plate carrier before heading out on the patrol because it would improve his chances of survival if he were hit. He exercises five days a week or more to make his body resilient and tough, able to withstand the impact of the round (because while a plate will stop a round from entering your body, it does not stop the force with which you’re hit which can also wound a Soldier). He inspects his equipment before every patrol to make sure it’s in good, working order. He practices discipline to keep low, to be quiet, to listen to orders from his NCO’s. Making your luck is doing all the work up-front to give you the greatest chance to succeed.

I’ve been told countless times, “You’re so lucky that Paleo worked for you.” Those people go on to tell me that they tried it and found it didn’t work for them so they gave up. While I will admit that not every diet is for everyone, giving up will never solve the problem. Preparation means setting yourself up for success. If Paleo isn’t working, then set yourself up for success by doing the research to find a diet that will work better for you and then preparing yourself, your kitchen, and your meal plans in a way that will help you on your healthy journey.

Before my wife and I did our first Whole30, I researched diets for three months. Once we decided on Whole30 and Paleo, we made a plan for getting rid of non-compliant foods, we picked a start date, and we then filled our pantry and refrigerator with Whole30 compliant foods. We prepared ourselves mentally for the lifestyle change and we embraced it fully. When we started our Whole30, we had the best chance possible for success. In the end, the results speak for themselves; I lost 20 lbs that first month, and Sherry lost 10 lbs. A year later, I lost an additional 110 lbs and Sherry lost an additional 55 lbs. Five years later, we’ve kept the weight off, stayed healthy, and we’re now physically fit as well.

You wouldn’t leave on a cross-country roadtrip without filling up the gas tank, a map or GPS, and some sort of plan. Well, you can, but you won’t get far. If you’re looking to undertake a new healthy lifestyle or fitness plan, do proper planning and give yourself the best chance to succeed. Without a plan, and without preparation, your chances of success are greatly limited.

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