Around this time of year, I feel a bit like I imagine a priest would after Mardi Gras. People have been airing their dirty laundry to me, revealing their holiday desert gorging followed by the need to “repent” and await their fitness penance that they expect me to handout!
Well no punitive cookie-tossing workouts were dispensed by me upon hearing of their dietary sins.
Instead, I provided them with this quote:
“It is not what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s,
It is what you eat between New Years and Christmas”
Although I did not gorge myself the last few weeks, I was no nutritional saint over the holiday. That was by design – it was simply part of the plan. And if you don’t want guilt, but instead want some solutions, you’ll get them today: The 3 most important things you can do right now to improve your health and fitness for 2017. No B.S. hype (an epidemic in the “health and fitness” world this time of year) – just things that are proven to work.
The 3 most important things you can do right now to improve your health and fitness for 2017
1. End the guilt/self-deprecation mindset: “I’m such a pig, I have no self-control, I’ve been eating like a slob, and so on…” This type of thinking needs to stop now. It doesn’t help you, it only sets you up for more failure.
Look, we all make mistakes and have issues. The best thing to do is move on, and take productive steps in improving how you feel. The best thing to do is adjust your mindset. And the best way to do that, is change how you think about yourself: “Yes, I overindulged, but that is done. I’m ready to improve my habits. I can do this. I can work hard and change my body and behaviors, no matter what anyone says. I have good resources to help me. There is no magic pill or surgery, and I am responsible for feeling and looking better.”
You don’t need to go Stuart Smally with the positive self-affirmations, but at least end the negative self-talk – it will sabotage results every time.
2. Make meaningful goals. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!
Yes, I am aware I am internet screaming at you – my apologies, but I really want you to appreciate how vital this is.
These are bad goals: “I want to lose weight”, or” I want to feel better”
Slightly better: “I want to lose 20 pounds of fat by March 15th” , “I want to have less back pain when I play with the kids coaching little league practice this Spring.”
But you need to incorporate some other key elements:
- Motivation (why is this important to you)
- Accountability (who is going to hold you do it, how are they going to measure this, and what will be the consequences and rewards),
- Action items (what steps are you going to take to reach the reward), and
- Limitations/obstacles (what barriers will get in the way of you reaching your goals).
Here is a great goal statement:
“I want to lose 20 pounds of fat by March 15th (specific), because I don’t like the way I look, my behaviors are not setting good examples for my kids, and I have risk factors for life threatening diseases related to my excessive weight (motivation). I will begin resistance and energy system training 3 times a week while incorporating corrective exercises to minimize injury, and adhere to a flexible calorie controlled meal plan based on my unique needs, and learn how to do this through working with a fitness/nutrition and rehab professional. And I will write this goal where it will be prominently displayed on my desktop and refrigerator at home. (Action items). I will meet, have my body fat and hip and waist measurements performed every two weeks, and discuss my progress with a professional. When I succeed with my goal, I will indulge with a day at the spa on March 15th. In the unlikely event that I fail to reach my goal, I will instead donate $200 to Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump’s election campaign (whomever you despise most