After you read a few more introductory words here, I'll lay out the framework that I believe you can follow to be fit. This is more about the mental aspects you need to develop to be fit. Being fit could mean different things to different people and that is a part of your individual processes to figure that out...Goals! Do you want the body of your dreams? Would you like to be able to bench press 300 lbs? Have a killer 6 pack? Maybe you want nice legs or toned arms. Guess what...SPOILER ALERT...wanting those things will get you nowhere. You have to go out and take them and you can. To achieve those desires you have to set goals for yourself. Without goals you will wander about, allowing only luck to play any part in your life. Luck might work in about every other aspect of life but trust me you're not going to luck into a firm butt and a flat stomach. Without goals, it's difficult to stay focused and dedicated to something. I'm going to tell you now how you can set goals and pursue them with success.
So now, for just 3 payments of $29.95 I will send you an email with.....I'm joking. All of this amazing*, groundbreaking*, life-altering* information is free. Do with it what you will but I think it makes a lot of sense and hopefully it helps you on your quest to being a fitter, healthier, happier person.
5 Keys to Fitness Success
A significant amount of time in grad school was spent on our futures. Several times we were required to think about, write down, and discuss our goals both short-term and long term. Many times it was broken down into immediate, 5 year, and 10 year plans relating to our professional ambitions. I took from these exercises a couple of things. Depending on the goal itself, setting goals with any kind of specificity outside of a year or so, is nonsense. You mean to tell me that you know what you are going to be doing in 2 years? In 10 years? Because even if you're 100% sure of it, you're 99.9999% wrong. Things change so pinpointing goals far in advance is a waste of time.
That being said, goals, even long-term are important but you shouldn't get bogged down in the details. My future aspirations change on a regular basis. I want to be an architect. I'd like to own a firm. I'd like to become a real estate developer. I'd like to design and run a golf course. I want to own an NBA franchise. All of these things are just a small fraction of the possible outcomes for my future. Who knows if any of those things will pan out but the goals that I set today and for tomorrow(speaking figuratively) will allow me to see some of these paths in the distant future along with probably tons of other paths I can't even begin to fathom right now.
So here's step 1. Set goals, specific goals, that you can legitimately attain in a shorter period of time, say one year. If you want you can then set longer goals that are broadly defined like mine which says that no matter what, I want to workout a couple of times a week, forever. It doesn't get more broad than that but I've said it and thought about it so many times that it is what keeps me going if I take too many days off in a row for one reason or another. I don't want to be 65 and barely able to walk. I want to be the old guy at the gym still playing basketball with the 20 year olds.
So think about what you want. Do you want to eat healthier? Do you want to improve a certain lift? A good goal I had a couple years ago was pull-ups. Even though I lifted all the time, I couldn't do a single pull-up. I worked at it. I did research on how to start. I found beginner routines. And now I can do 3 sets of 10 pull-ups fairly easily which is pretty good if you ask me. Write down your goals, think about them, become somewhat obsessed and you'll be off to a good start.
2. BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE WORD NO!
Now you have set a short term goal, a specific goal you want to accomplish in the realm of health and fitness. You're next objective? Learn how to say no. What this comes down to is will power. Anyone can have goals. I can sit here and name 100 goals I'd like to achieve. It's carrying out the necessary requirements that's difficult. If your goal is getting into better cardiovascular shape, you'll have to work hard. When your goal for the day is to run a mile, you might be sore halfway through and think, "I'm tired, I"ll do better tomorrow. " You need to say No! I'm going to finish. I have a goal to attain and a little bit of pain isn't going to get in the way." Put the work in today, now, and see the results tomorrow instead of never.
If you're goal is healthy eating, you'll be tempted every single day with junk food. Junk food is everywhere, all around us everyday. You'll be hungry and that bag of cheese puffs will look like a million bucks. Say No! Just don't do it. Show some freaking mental fortitude and don't do it. Trust me, I've gone through this and after you say no so many times, you no longer really think twice. When you start seeing positive results from saying no, you won't even want the things you think right now you can't do without.
3. REWARD YOURSELF (within reason)
By now, you are fully committed to achieving your health and fitness goal. The word no has become one of your favorites. It is very important that you do not burn yourself out. No matter the positives to come out of a situation, or from a routine, people get bored if they continuously do the same things over and over. So you've been putting in a lot of time in the gym? The world isn't going to end if you say, "You know what, I know I've been working hard, today I'm not going to the gym. I"m going to relax on my couch and read my favorite blog, RH3a." I'm kidding, but you need to reward yourself every once in awhile, but do so in moderation. Do not then take 3 weeks off of your routine. Or on your cheat day, don't just slam yourself with an entire bag of M&M's along with eating 3 meals at McDonald's.
But you want to go out for dinner and eat a huge greasy cheeseburger? Do it. Have a beer too! If you've been eating really well and working out, take a break for just a minute. "A diet isn't about what you eat all the time, it's about what you eat most of the time."(Dave Zinczenko) You'll love that greasy cheeseburger but if you've trained your mind and your body, the next day you will just know that it's time to eat healthy again. You won't want another juicy burger, not for another week anyway. You see yourself in the mirror and you know that you've left that kind of eating in the past to get to where you are now. But again, a reasonable treat keeps you motivated and looking forward to the next one.
4. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT OTHER'S NEGATIVE OPINIONS
This one is pretty simple and you should really apply it to every single facet of your lives. All day, every day. When you set goals and start achieving them, those people they call "haters" will come out of the woodwork looking to bring you down because you're succeeding at something.
I can't explain it but there are just a lot of negative people out there who are so unhappy with themselves that instead of doing something about it, they try to bring everyone else down with them. Ignore them. It will be difficult but responding to them in anyway, even when they absolutely deserve to be verbally destroyed, will only fuel the fire. Theses types of people cannot be reasoned with. Leave them to there own miserableness and just "do you."
5. KNOW THAT YOUR GOALS WILL CHANGE. THAT'S OKAY!
This might seem like I"m basically contradicting the entire point of this post but let me explain. To succeed in your fitness quest, you need goals. You should know that some of your goals will never happen. You might have a goal that is physically unattainable. Perhaps you overshoot the reality of accomplishing the goal in a certain time frame. Maybe you get injured or some outside circumstances change your outlook on something. Those things could throw off your short term goals.
Your long term goals will almost certainly change or be altered in some way. Let's say that you've never really ran a day in your life but in the next five years you want to get in shape and train for a marathon. That's a great goal. So you start working out and running everday. Two years later you have a new found love for weight training and you become a licensed personal trainer. Now instead of training for a marathon you are helping other people get into shape. This doesn't mean you're a failure because you won't reach your marathon goal. It just means that things change and you should understand that that is definitely going to happen.
To finish up, do your best to keep your short term goals within reach and have a few general long term goals. The long term goals should be broad but you should be able to put together several shorter term goals to begin working toward them. Setting goals and pursuing them opens up doors here and some over there. Be open to change and you'll accomplish your immediate goals and some future goals you had no idea you would eventually have.
*Words are not scientifically proven to be true in these instances. Take with grain of salt.