What if you had started the goal you created this New Year in January of last year? or even in July? on on your birthday? Where would you be now? A little healthier? Thinner? Would you have learned something or become more toned? At this point, maybe you haven’t yet started moving forward towards some of your NEW YEAR/NEW YOU goals yet. Well I’m inviting you to join the pedal to the metal club because the truth is…in the big scheme of things, the clock did not just start ticking…its been ticking and ticking and ticking. You told yourself you want to change something and it happens to be a new year, so why not give yourself a fighting chance NOW to turn some things around (new year or not!)?
In my opinion, the goals that relate to our health should take a front seat – because without your health you really don’t have much. You are more likely to be successful at reaching goals at work, in relationships, and personally, if you feel good physically and feel good about yourself so let’s start with that!
Next step -the second thing I do with my clients after they share their health goals with me is to create a plan – even if it’s something basic. Like I always say… baby steps! The truth is that you won’t accomplish your goals unless you have a plan. So here are some tips to get your health goals off to the right start:
- Forget about how good exercise and having good health is for you but instead let’s focus on what you are going to get by having it. How about better sleep? A boost in your mood? Better productivity? Dodging cancer or illness that may or may not happen 10 years from now is too far off of a goal and isn’t likely to motivate you.
According to Michelle Segar, director of the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center at the University of Michigan and author of No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness: You should focus on what you will get out of exercise right now or in the near future. Muscle tone, weight loss, new sense-of-self sound good?
- No bargaining! When you pick a workout that isn’t measured by weight, time, or against others, you can show up with who you are daily and do your best. Let it be your routine. Pilates at Agility Studio is, for the most part, non-competitive, it’s not a race. Every now and again people will look at each other’s springs and whine why they have heavier resistance… my answer is eyes on your own paper!
According to Alison Phillips, assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University, “It’s an automatic decision instigated by your own internal triggers. People with this [measured exercise] habit are far more likely to exercise during the month-long study”.
- A little competition can be good! OK, it sounds like I’m contradicting myself but…having an event on the calendar like a biking or running a race, measuring fit-steps at work, writing down your monthly or weekly goals and pitting against a few friends can give you incentive and motivation! Sometimes it’s moral support, like an accountability partner, and other times its just a primal thing that you tell yourself, “Well if they can do it, I can do it!” and if that motivates you, that’s OK.
- And then there is money! A few times in the studio we did a 30-day challenge with weigh-ins, each person put in $20 and the winner took all. You can give a friend or family member that you trust an agreed amount of $$ and if you don’t lose the weight by your agreed upon date, well…your friend hopes you try again at your expense and their gain:)
It’s a great time to pull yourself up from your bootstraps and remember that “energy and persistence conquer all things, FEED your body good food and FEED your mind good thoughts, and…cheers to the people eating right and working out in the winter…YOURE GOING TO LOOK SEXY THIS SUMMER!!!!”