It's that time of year again - as we teeter on the brink of an entirely new set of 365 days, it's hard not to be full of hope. Hope that we'll get better. Lose weight. Get in in shape. Save money. Eat Well. Go to the gym. And don't get me wrong - those are GOOD intentions. Nobody who has a resolution does so with ill intent - we all WANT to be better people (myself included). I read a study recently that reported a 92% failure rate for New Years resolutions - which means that at the end of December 2016, a mere 8% of people will have achieved their original goal.
What does this number mean, in a health sense, outside the percentages? It means that most people will be LESS healthy and active than they planned to be. And that's sad on many levels - because it's hard to feel really great when you aren't healthy. It's hard to get out and enjoy life and play with your kids. It's hard when you get unfavorable test results from your doctor. All of these things are hard, but all of them are avoidable. I truly believe that it starts with NOT making a resolution, and just starting something. And being AWARE of the obstacles ahead that will try to derail you from your mission.
What's amazing about becoming healthy is that when you feel good about yourself, it shows. I have a friend who is currently having an amazing health transformation - he's down over 40lbs, he feels amazing and has a ton of energy, but you know what else? His personal business is starting to be more successful. His wife and his parents have joined in as well. One transformation has started a ripple effect into every aspect of his life.
You are on a mission - a mission to a healthier body and mind. This is NOT about having a supermodel body and a 12 pack of abs - this is about developing a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. It's about being fit and strong enough to do the things you enjoy (whatever your hobbies are - hiking, walking, cycling, swimming, etc...). This is not about "dieting". This is not about starving yourself and making yourself "suffer" by eating shreds of lettuce and deli ham for every meal. This is about rewiring your brain to incorporate being healthy as an integral part of who you are and the decisions and choices that you make.
Obstacles to overcome and be aware of:
1. You will start with lots of enthusiasm and energy and you will try to go too hard, too fast. You will not be able to maintain your new habit. Remedy: Start SLOW. Take daily walks. Exercise for 10-15 minutes initially. Don't join a gym and aimlessly wander through the weight machines looking dumbfounded and then use the elliptical trainer on low resistance for 3 hours - B-O-R-I-N-G. Get a trainer. Try something new like yoga or rock climbing. Find a gym that does classes. Invite a friend. Meet friends. Use the internet as a resource - FitnessBlender.com has some terrific "at-home" (free) workouts.
2. You will start making excuses why you don't need to exercise or eat healthy. When you skip a few workouts or engorge on 14lbs of bread pudding, you'll think - 'Oh, I'll just do better next week." And next week gets pushed back to next month. It's a downward spiral. Remedy: If you want to be healthy, you need to move daily. You need to eat nourishing foods that are simple and manageable to prepare. You don't need to lift 400lbs to be fit or join a Crossfit gym. You do not need to eat organic grass fed filet mignon of cows that are given daily acupuncture. But you need to be consistent. Write a "To-Do" list everyday. Include some sort of physical activity on that list, and commit to it. Plan your meals. Prep your meals weekly so you don't get stuck, "just grabbing something quick." STOP DRINKING SODA AND SUGAR LADEN $5 COFFEE DRINKS. Eventually, these "temptations" lose their power over you.
3. Deception - Fear sets in. Fear of failure. Fear of disappointment. Your energy level and excitement about your new habits begins to drop. You start to justify your lack of action. Remedy: educate yourself and become aware of what you don't know that is frightening to you. Find a trainer. Ask a friend for motivation. Just KNOW that this will happen. When your mind does not acknowledge you yet as a fit/healthy person, it tends to revert back to old ways of thinking.
4. You will lose sight of what you want, if you don't know what you want. Be outcome focused. Have a specific outcome and visualize it. Become the person that you want to be. If you are out of shape, do not visualize yourself as an incapable out of shape person. Become the fit, healthy person that you want to be in your mind - your body will follow.
5. E-mail me. My personal e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don't have a buddy to motivate you, just e-mail me and I'll give you some direction. I travel a lot for work and I have an extremely packed schedule - and I ALWAYS find time to stay active and eat nourishing foods. I have TONS of ideas for busy (and non-busy) peeps! I absolutely LOVE motivating people and watching them morph into happy, healthy humans.
Starting January 4, 2016 - I am participating in the Mojo2016Challenge. This is a 16 week program which focuses on fostering a healthy, sustainable lifestyle and improving the mind/body connection. I am NOT doing this to lose weight - my goals are specific to me - but this is a great program for ANYBODY who is looking for an increase in energy and performance or who is interested in losing weight and changing their lifestyle. This is NOT a resolution - this will organically develop into an easily sustainable, healthy lifestyle that will make you feel better than you can imagine. One of my good friends who has participated in previous programs referred to it as, "life-altering." Do not underestimate what good nutrition and an active lifestyle can do for you.
One final note - there is NEVER GOING TO BE A PERFECT TIME TO GET HEALTHY. You will always be busy. You will always have stress. You will never have enough time. Holidays are not going away. McDonalds and Burger King are not closing up shop anytime soon. If you want to do this, you just have to commit to it and do it. If you are waiting for that magical time in your life when the stars align and you'll "have time" to exercise, it's not going to happen. I guarantee you, from the bottom of my heart, that when you make this a part of your life (rather than a chore), you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.