Tuesday, February 23, 2016

There's No Time Like the Present

We’re almost two months into the New Year. What does your exercise routine look like? How closely does it mirror what you had planned to do back in January? If you’re right where you wanted to be, good for you! Your focus should be to maintain what you’re doing and set a “next level” goal, which I’ll talk about next time.

But right now, I want to focus on those of you who might be a little, or even a lot behind, the goals you set at the beginning of the year. Stop for just a moment and just spend two minutes thinking about why.

Did you over-estimate the amount of time you had to spend working out?

Did you under-estimate the level of self-discipline required to commit to regular exercise?

Is the exercise routine you started back in January just not the right fit? Too hard? Not challenging or exciting enough?

Are lifestyle habits getting in the way of working out?

Whatever your answers are to these questions, here is something to keep in mind: Make a shift today and get yourself back on track to a health and wellness in 2016.

If you are crunched for time, closely examine where you might be able to “shift right” some time to another category of activity. In other words, you can’t create more time in the day, but how much TV time do you need? Are you willing to give up 30 minutes? How much time do you spend on social media? How about giving up 15 minutes of surfing the Internet, 15 minutes of TV time, and 15 minutes of sleep? In 45 minutes, you could complete an at-home Tabata workout and a shower!

If self-discipline is your problem, the only real solution is a little soul-searching. How badly do you want to see significant changes to your level of health and wellness? There is still time before summer for significant weight loss, if that’s your goal. But you’ve got to want it. You’ve got to be willing to make choices. You have to protect your exercise time as if it was a paying job. If you sign up for a 5 p.m. TRX class, then on those days, you plan meals ahead; if you fail to plan ahead, I guess it’s got to be a quick, but healthy take-out (taco salad, hold the sour cream; vegetable stir-fry, one egg roll!) because nothing is getting in your way. This means you block out 5 – 6 p.m. in your calendar, and since you can’t be in two places at once, you schedule no appointments, meetings, car-pools, or kids’ play dates during that time. Period. The only thing that should interfere with working out is being physically unwell.

If you are bored, or not being challenged enough in whatever workout you’re doing, you need help finding the right fit. Reach out to a friend, co-worker, or call me and tell me what isn’t working. You don’t have to sign up for a class to get my honest feedback on what I think might work for you.

Lastly, if your lifestyle habits are interfering with working out, stop and ask yourself how long you are willing to let that be the case. For how long are you willing to stay up binge-watching Netflix instead of spending 30 minutes in the morning exercising and getting in shape? How long are you willing to have just enough to drink on a Friday night so that you don’t feel like going for a run on Saturday? A month? Two months? Why not say, “I’ve done enough of that. I’m going to do things a little differently this week,” and see how you feel afterward? I guarantee you’ll feel better about yourself emotionally and physically if you drop a few bad habits and pick up a good one.

It doesn’t matter that you haven’t stuck exactly to whatever New Year resolution you might have made. Every day is a chance to start over.

Don’t forget: A week, a month or a year from now, you’ll wish you’d started today.

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