Why Planning For The Short Term Matters

This is part three of a series I will be writing about things I’ve learned during my 26th year as I prepare for my 27th birthday.

I think I’m going to be a vegetarian now. Literally can’t count how many times I’ve said that this year. One time, I think I called my mom to tell her that I was going to be a vegetarian on my way to Five Guys to get a bacon cheeseburger. Pretty pathetic, right? I know.

I never imagined how hard it would be to make a lifestyle change until I actually tried making a lifestyle change. I don’t think I’ve ever made it through a full day of practicing vegetarianism until recently. Monday, Nov. 28, to be exact. The day after I devoured a Zaxby’s Big Zax Snack Meal. #SueMe

The thing about my diet is that I love vegetables. A lot. I prefer them over any other food group, and because of this, I figured my will to sustain from the temptation of meat would be a breeze. That is, until the moment I would crave buffalo chicken wings, or chicken tacos, or a medium-cooked steak, or a bacon cheeseburger with two quarter-pounder patties, or a meat-lovers pizza, or lamb, or even a turkey burger.
Damn, I’m more of a carnivore than I thought.

What I’m trying to say is that although, in my head, self-proclaiming a vegetarian lifestyle seems easy, it takes a strong mind and determination to make it happen. More importantly, it takes planning.

I’m a planner. Always have been, but for me, planning has always taken precedence in my life when it came to long-term goals and desires. For instance, I mapped out a plan to complete my MBA by Spring 2018. I have a plan for what I’m going to do to become a mom should I not be married by the time I’m 32. I even started planning my birthday, which is December 15, back in October. Clearly, planning is not a difficult thing for me to do.

The thing I’ve learned during my 26th year is that it’s important to plan for the short-term just as it is for the long-term. I admit that sometimes I can be a procrastinator. I thrive off of the pressure of doing something at the last minute for whatever reason, but this approach cannot be applied to every situation in life. Trying to become a vegetarian is one of those situations where a lack of planning will result in a trip to the grocery store to buy non-meat products only to get home and then order a stuffed-crust pepperoni pizza because you’re famished and cooking anything would take an incredibly long time. I have realized that there was no way that I could become a practicing vegetarian in the long-term if I didn’t first plan to make lifestyle adjustments for the short-term.

On Monday, Nov. 28, I did just that. I reached out to a practicing vegetarian who sent me a cookbook and provided me with insight on how to make the change. I made a food menu for every day of the week and based my grocery shopping list on the menu. Although I’m still in the first week of me trying to make this change, I am happy to say that planning everything out has helped me conquer the week with no meat, even when Jen’s Cheesesteak Food Truck came by my office on day 2.

Lesson learned in my 26th year: Plan for the short-term

*I’ll post another blog shortly that will include meals I ate over the first four days of my journey to become a part-time vegetarian!