Battling Attrition

It happens all the time. You start with an excellent plan. You do the research, collect all the required details and lay out a nice workable system and you set it into motion. Then you see magic. This is the pattern for almost every good thing, from healthy diets to healthy financial plans. From car maintenance to career maintenance, we rely on our finely thought out plans to keep many of the major aspects of our lives off the ground and at steady elevation.

I’ll give you an example. I created a pretty good strategy for my eating habits back in early 2009. I came up with the things I would eat over a month and where I would buy them. I also roughly estimated how often I would buy them and using that I was able to deduce my total expenditure for food per month. Uncharacteristic to my nature, I stuck with plan too. I followed this strategy for a few months at first, made some minor tweaks and followed the revised strategy for a few more months until I completely internalized it. It got to a point where I was not even thinking about it anymore, and the plan was so good that even when I stuff myself to the brink in the few instances when I go outside to eat, I was able to maintain my body weight and BMI. The system was able to compensate for my stupidity. I ate the same lunch almost every working day. I did that for two years.

The sad thing, of course, is that eventually it fell by the way side. I don’t remember the exact moment when I threw my awesome plan out of a running train over a cliff side by the ocean, but somehow what has happened to it in 2011 is a case study on extreme abuse. I started eating outside a bit more, stopped paying attention to what I was buying, lost track of how much I was spending for food every month and how often I did it. Since coming back from India this past August, the condition has worsened. There have been too many trips to the coffee shops and too few swallows of fruits. And it all came home this week, when I ate out for lunch every single day of the workweek.

So, why do even the best laid plans eventually fail ? It’s not like we don’t like them or are against them for some reason. we actually like them. I liked my food strategy. It saved me a bunch of money and kept me mostly healthy. But why do we let our plans wither away almost unnoticed ? When does it happen ?

Do we tweak our plans so much that over time they simply morph into something unrecognizable or is it that we simply stop caring about them?

Or is it all just me ?

[Post: 153 of 365] [Days Missed: 55]
I am on a blog-a-day-for-a-year crusade. Keep me motivated with your comments. Or tell me the best plan you came up for something. I won’t plagiarise them, unless it’s very important.

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