Happy New Year!
Now that we got that out of the way, I’ll ask you the million dollar question – did you make the annual resolution to lose weight/get in shape? It’s ok if you did. Many people do. It also means that you at least recognize your need to make some changes in your life.
But you really need to ask yourself what it is you REALLY want. Setting a general goal (which most resolutions are) won’t really help you much. You need to be more direct and focused on the details. So instead of saying “This year I am going to get in shape and lose weight!”, try this:
Action plan to get fit and lose some weight:
- Talk to my doctor about my general health.
- Talk to a professional – go down to my local gym and talk to one of the trainers.
- Option – join the gym.
- Set my benchmarks – get my starting weight, body fat measurements, etc. and take some “before” photos.
- Decide on a fitness program of some kind (insert your preference here).
- Do it. Just get off my ass and move!
- Empty the junk food from the fridge and cabinets.
- Talk to a nutritionist about my diet.
- Buy some whole foods, veggies, fruit, etc.
- Track what I eat (I highly recommend weight Watchers for this – incredible program).
You get the idea. Adjust this to fit your goals, your financial abilities, etc. The main thing is to make a viable plan with action steps that you can check off. It’s been proven that having “to do” lists (or goal lists) where you can check off what you have accomplished is a huge motivator.
2012 was a game changer for me in the world of fitness. I joined the gym, got a personal trainer, continued running, joined kick boxing and I even bought for my Xbox the new Nike with Kinect for working out at home. In about 12 months I went from just walking several times per week to working out 4 – 5 times per week and becoming more fit than at any other time in my life since I was in the Navy 30 years ago.
Look – I was lazy. Liked too much television, computer time, bad (yummy) foods – you name it. It was hard at 45 – 46 years old to change my habits.
But I did it (after several failed attempts, I might add). It worked this time because I didn’t start the year with a general resolution. I set meaningful goals. I checked them off as I accomplished them. I set new ones. I raised my own bar. I now challenge myself physically on a regular basis. Up to 7 mile runs? Great – now do 8 miles. I can hold a plank for 30 seconds? Great! Now shoot for 60! I can do 8 push ups? Awesome! Now lets get it up to 15!
What I have learned is that these challenges really motivate me and when I meet them, I feel very good about myself.
The most important thing to remember when you set your goals is to never sell yourself short. Don’t talk yourself into limits. I have read and watched so many inspiring stories of people who made changes like this in their life. In fact, I recently watched a documentary on the Ironman Triathlon held in Hawaii each year. They tell stories of many of the athletes with quite a few that would surprise you. For example they told the story of a 21 year old woman who completed her first ironman and about a year before was about 300 pounds. Then they told of an 85 year old man who just finished his 20th race. He started in his mid 60’s. And the woman who, at 58, only learned to swim at 54.
You get the idea. Believe in yourself. If you read my About Me page you will know that I have mild arthritis in both of my knees (and have for years), yet I run half marathons. If I can do this anyone can.
You just need to believe in yourself, set your goals and take action!