Mid-Week Into The New Year ….. Is Getting Healthy Still On Your Radar?
The ball has dropped, the last glass of champagne has been toasted, or whatever your favorite beverage was on this memorable night. And you joined in with the rest of the festive gatherers on making yet another New Year’s resolution. But do you really intend to keep them?
We all know that making a commitment to getting healthy can be done any time of the year, but it seems like New Year’s Eve tops the list on everyone’s agenda to get themselves fit for the New Year. Especially so they have that toned body that’s ready for be shown off for the beach patrol! After all, you’re not going to be alone in making all these new resolutions, in fact, I’d bet 90% of those made were also made last year, and the year before, and the year before that. You’re going to hear countless declarations from your friends and family about getting a new, fresh start this year. To right the wrongs and make some improvements in their life and health.
Everyone will have their ideas on how to go about being fit and eating healthier and many goals will be set, and some may even be reached. But most people won’t get very far. That gym membership will soon go unused, that new "Home" treadmill, that you had to have, will serve as a convenient drying rack for everything from bath towels to that new exercise outfit that still has the price tags on it.
Most people will run out of motivation and determination long before they have a chance of being successful in reaching their goal. Why? Because a hastily chosen, and ambiguous goal without a clear action plan has a minimal chance of success. You are really just setting yourself up for failure again, without a predetermined goal and action plan to help you reach it.
Let’s face it, everyone needs a goal to work towards in most anything that is worthwhile in life. Whether its advancement with your job, any kind of relationship, it all takes commitment to working towards a set goal. Being fit and getting yourself in a healthier state also takes commitment, and creating a series of goals that are achievable, that is the key! The problem with most people when they start off in trying to get fit usually centers on losing some weight. But again, people tend to set an unrealistic goal and when they miss it, say, lose 25lbs by Valentine’s Day, they simply lose heart and then go back to their old ways of eating and not being active.
But the goal has to be clear-cut. And it’s got to be realistic. So first, let’s talk about what makes a good goal. We’re going to borrow an oft-mentioned business concept – the "SMART Goal" (SMART is an acronym.)
SMART goals are:
Specific – The goal must be clearly defined or identified.
Measurable – It’s best if the goal can be measured in a quantitative, unambiguous way.
Achievable – Ambitious goals are good, but it needs to be within our reach (maybe with a bit of stretch).
Relevant – The goal should apply to you, and your desires about what you wish to become or how you want to improve your situation. Therefore, you’ve got to set your own goals – nobody can do it for you.
Timely – Having a timeline by which you will accomplish your goal (a deadline, if you will) is an important concept – it helps drive motivation and is critical to the planning step of the process.
An example of a “Bad Goal” Not being very well defined. “I want to lose weight”
An example of a Good Defined Goal: “Lose 3″ from my waistline, and improve blood work and blood pressure to acceptable levels in 6 months”.
Once you’ve created your own goal, and remember, once you’ve attained it, you set another one, then another and another after that! You then need an action plan on how you’re going to go about it. Say your goal is to lose 10 LB. in 4 months, sounds pretty achievable, right? But stating it and not following up with the “How” probably means that all you’re going to have at the end of those 4 months is that same goal, but it hasn’t been reached!
Now you may say, you’re going to eat less and exercise more. That’s a start but you still need to be more explicit. You can say I need to lose at a minimum of 2.5 pounds per month for the next 4 months. I’m going to do this by cutting out high sugar content beverages. Such as sodas, juices, and specialty coffees, you know the ones. Not mentioning any names but they all contain enough sugar to keep you wired for about 2 days with one serving! Try and only drink water, but you can add electrolytes supplements, especially with working out, you can also add tea, green or black give you added benefits, or coffee (mostly black).
Secondly, I will decrease the amount of carbohydrates in my diet and increase protein and fat, along with good fiber-rich foods, such that I feel satiated and not prone to hunger pangs.” A good way to give you that feeling of fullness is eating carbohydrates that are high in fiber, such as oatmeal, an assortment of beans and grains such as Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). That actually helps you to pass some of those bad carbs right out of your body.
And regarding the exercise:
“I will walk an extra 1/2 to 1 mile per day, with the goal of walking at least 10 miles per week”. Again this is a goal that can be adopted by anyone at any time of the year, not just on January 1st.! But as you accomplish your goals and nail losing those 10lbs. You then need to set another goal, like maybe starting a short jogging pace and again, work up from there.
Now, this is the beginning of an action plan that you can grow with. What’s great about this plan is that it’s got some wiggle room, you don’t have to nail an exact caloric deficit every day, nor do you have to walk a lot. At least not at first, remember goal setting and achieving? And if you miss a day, you can always “catch up” the next day. But there are a few more components needed, such as, a log-book for those old-fashioned ones that need to write their progress down. This is necessary so you can log your activities and the foods that you consume on a daily basis.
Another is a good, reliable activity watch, or monitor. Remember, being accountable means tracking that exercise you’re going to be doing to help you achieve your goals, especially if it means losing weight and getting your body into a healthier state. One great activity monitor is the Garmin Vivosmart HR+GPS Activity Tracker It is a great activity tracker and for the price you have a useful tool that not only tracks your activity but if you take up serious walking, or jogging both the built-in GPS and Heart Rate Monitor will provide you with all you need in order to keep track of how you’re doing and how hard your working towards those goals you’re going to be setting for yourself. And with the wrist based heart rate monitor with the easy touch screen capability you can easily stay in sync with your results.
So as you can see, getting fit and committing finally to achieving that New Year Resolution, can start you off with not only being healthier but by default, it can also help you to continue to lose weight and increase your body’s stamina, which will, in turn, empower you to reach new goals that you can set for yourself. And as you can see the cycle can continue all through not only this year but for the rest of your life. You may even become a role model for your friends as they start to notice your progress after a few months of achieving your goals. Now, how about that?