5 ‘Fit Steps’ To Getting
The Most Out Of 2008
optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist
stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”
Quick: do you believe in New Year Resolutions?
OK, let me wish you a great, prosperous 2008 before I jump into this…
It’s not surprising that “Starting A Diet” or “Weight
Loss” is on almost everyone’s top 3 ‘wish list’…. and…
It’s not surprising that gyms experience they’re biggest spike in
membership during January.
Yet, it’s estimated that 4 out of 5 people who make New Year’s
resolutions never make it through (actually, a third won’t
even make it to the end of January)!
Can you look this statistic in the face and get past it?
I bet you can.
Here are a few tips… some suggestions… to make the most out of
your goal-setting for 2008
(as always, I’d love to hear your own tips, ideas that worked for you.
So feel free to click ‘comment’ at the end of this post):
- Be Specific:
I bet you’ve heard this one before.
It’s the difference between joining a gym and
deciding to workout 3
times a week for a minimum 40 minutes.It’s even better to decide when
you’ll be working out and plan a rough exercise routine to start
with.It’s the difference between saying “I’ll eat healthier”
and deciding to:
- Eat raisins or baby carrots instead of
indulging in sweets
- Preparing a salad, or eating a vegetable,
- Eat fish at least twice a week
You get the idea. Start with
simple changes, ahh… that’s the next one…
- Avoid The “Do It Overnight” Temptation:
In other words ‘be realistic’.
Here’s an example, changing one meal a time is
far easier than
re-doing your whole eating plan for the day all at once.
Let’s say you
decide to switch to “whole wheat toast”, or “never skip breakfast”… or
how about this one; “eating a salad before your meal”
(By the way, this is a great way to cut
calories. A study conducted at Pennsylvania State University on 42
women estimates this technique to cut down calorie intake
by 12 % without your tummy noticing the difference.)
Another way to look at this is “Avoid
Crash Diets” or the temptation to ‘workout till you drop’.
Don’t try to drop 10 pounds in 2 weeks,
instead it’s good to start
with a long-term goal like “lose 30 pounds and look toned by summer”
then work your way back and set realistic monthly goals (a safe target
is losing a pound a week).
- Have Some Ammo To Blast Through The
It’s inevitable that you’ll run through some
circumstances that’ll run you off target.
Maybe you’ve got to work long-shifts for a
week, maybe you can’t get
to the gym, or you could have days where you’re worn on… and so on (the
same with your nutrition).Key word ‘Be Prepared’.
Having a simple plan works best. How about:
- Having some basic workout equipment at home
(dumbbells, floor mat, exercise ball) for days when you can’t make it
to the gym.
- A shorter workout on days when you’re
pressed for time (always better than skipping your workout).
- Have some basic sports wear in your car.
Now there’s no chance of
going to the gym and quitting because realizing you forgot your sports
- Keeping some healthy snacks (e.g. raisins,
carrots) in the car, or office, to avoid hitting the drive-thru or fast
- A New Way To Look At Exercise:
Ask ten people at office what they think about
exercise and chances
are 8 out of 10 would probably say things like: painful, too much of an
obligation, don’t have time, impossible to keep up for more than a few
weeks, needs too much willpower.
Now notice the mental shift in these
expressions: makes me unwind, a
great escape from the pressures of work, peaceful me-time, gives me
energy and heightens my mood.
Do yourself a favor; grab a piece of paper and
jot down as many Reasons To Be Fit
And Healthy as you can.
You’ll need these to make it through.
Here’s a powerful technique I’ve recently been
experimenting with: how about having a weekly treat or
For example, I’m getting more and more into
wakeboarding. So I try
to hit the water on weekends (too bad I couldn’t make it last 2
weekends because of the usual windy weather these days!).
Anyway, when I’m working out during the week
I’m thinking: “Make the
best of every exercise, it’ll help when I’m on the water next weekend”
You get the picture, it’s like I’m practicing
for an event. It’s not
a competition and I’m not about to win medals, it simply means a lot to
me and that’s what counts.
What means a lot to you? What’s a powerful
image you can have in mind when your training next week?
- Get Focused, The Power Of ‘One’: In
brief, instead of focusing on 4 New Year resolutions trim them down to
There’s power in focus and it
increases your chance of achieving that goal.
“Sometimes we take on too many changes and
create too many goals all
at one time,” explains Erica Wright, a licensed clinical social worker
and psychotherapist who practices in New York City and Fairfield, Conn.
“Instead of being able to maintain these new habits, we fail because we
become overwhelmed.” (see
here for more)
For now I’d like to leave you with two inspiring quotes:
“My New Year’s resolution is to look up more often than I look down.
I can’t remember the last time I looked at the clouds or the stars.
Sometimes you forget to when you’re walking around in New York City. (I
just hope I don’t step in any dog poo!) I also need to cut back on the
by Broadway pros Annaleigh Ashford.
“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing
up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to
balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not
looking for flaws, but for potential.”