Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Taking The First Step

I get the impression sometimes that New Year’s Resolutions are simply the final resting place for our personal failures.  I’ve watched too many people try to lose weight in one unsuccessful attempt after another.  They work for months or years to lose and gain, and yet every year, they make the same New Year’s Resolution to lose 10 pounds.  When will making a resolution work?  It hasn’t worked in the past, and there’s a strong chance it’s not going to work again.  Like Donny Deutsch screams, “There has got to be a better way!”

There is.  And you’ve found it.
Fitness with Natalie is a multidimensional approach to fitness.  I believe most doctors, physicians, fitness enthusiasts, and trainers all have your best interests in mind.  The problem, though, is that too many personalities try to sell a magic bullet to improve health or fitness.  “All you need is (insert product name here), and you’ll have the (body part) you’ve always dreamed of!”
Health and fitness are different sides of the same coin.  “Health” conjures images of doctors and medicines while “fitness” conjures images of gyms and exercise.  I see health and fitness boiling down to one concept: strength.  Strength encompasses everything from muscle and cardio-pulmonary strength to mental, spiritual, and emotional strength.  Your faith in God might move mountains, but letting go of an emotionally turbulent past may prove too tough to attempt.
So the answer is this: there isn’t any one thing that is going to cure all of our ills.  Intuitively, we may get that, but applying what we know to what we need to do is a leap too challenging to make.
·         We know we need to eat better, but may not know how. 
·         We know that excess weight is unhealthy, but cutting calories doesn’t seem to be the answer. 
·         We know we need to exercise, but who has time to spend hours in a gym? 
·         We know we want to spend more time with our families and friends, but outside commitments get in the way.
·         We know we should let go of hurtful moments in our past that continue to block our future success, but who has the time or money for therapy?
·         We know that accomplishing the goal of improved fitness is worth the investment, but we may not feel worthy of earning the rewards.
The question then arises, “Where do I start?”
The answer lies within the structure of your commitment.  What is your goal?  Do you want to exercise more?  Do you want to lose 10 lbs.?  Do you want to spend more quality time with your kids?
Achieving your goal begins with breaking down your big goal into a lot of little goals.  Professional body builders don’t start out bench pressing 200 lbs.  For example:
Goal:  I want to lose 10 lbs. this year and keep it off forever.
Tiny steps to achieving my goal:
·         I will reduce my daily intake of alcohol by half by March 1.
·         Then, I will bring healthy snacks in the car to reduce my dependence on fast food by  June 1.
·         Then, I will replace one soda per day with water by September 1.
·         Finally, I will take a brisk walk with the dog for 20 minutes 4 days per week by December 1.
Your goal seems less overwhelming when you’ve dissected the individual parts.  Once you’ve mastered the first step, you’re a bit stronger.  You’re ready to add another step.  Make your goals attainable and give yourself a reasonable deadline.  Try to avoid going “cold turkey.”  Denying yourself of things you love makes you more likely to sabotage your success.  You don’t want to set yourself up for failure.  You deserve success.
Be proud of your achievements, no matter how small.  Give yourself a gold star!  Believe you can do it.  Believe in your ability to achieve your goals.  Believe in the time you invest in order to achieve your goals.
You’re worth every second of it.
Did you make a New Year's Resolution?  What personal goals have you committed your time to achieving?

No comments: