So 2009 has finished and we set out on another year. Another year of new years resolutions that we forget about by February. Another year, which at the end of, looks very similar to the one just gone. If you had the perfect year then another year like that would be fantastic. Most of us however didn’t have a perfect year and given the chance would change a few things about it. Many of us would like to have been fitter, healthier, leaner, stronger and injury free.
The funny thing is at the start of last year thats exactly what we said we were going to do. 2009 was going to be the year we lost that weight, exercised more, stretched regularly, ate healthily and generally got ourselves to a point where we could look in the mirror and be happy with what we saw and be happy with how we felt. What happened? Why didn’t we get to that point in 2009. Actually didn’t we say that in 2008 and 2007 …. and 2006 …. !
You can see a pattern emerging can’t you.Dont let 2010 be another year that passes by to find yourself in the same condition as you were at the end of 2009.
Of course if you are fit and healthy and happy with the way your body looks and feels then congratulations. You’ve achieved something that many haven’t. You will have realised it actually wasn’t that hard once you got into the swing of it. Eating healthy and exercising regularly is something you look forward to and you find it easy to motivate yourself because you not only enjoy the benefits but you also enjoy the process.
If you are one of those people no need for you to read on. Keep up the good work and may you be an inspiration to your friends and family.
Ok so all of you still reading aren’t happy with certain aspects of your health and fitness and want to make this year the time that something actually changes, permanently, not one of those short term weight loss things where you end up putting it all back on again.
Be a Different Person
So how is this year going to be any different to last year? Well the usual approach is to tell yourself to try harder. Whilst thats admirable it is not very effective.
The secret to making big changes to your health and fitness (or any aspect of your life for that matter) is to start thinking differently. To start being a different person.
There is a saying in sport that if you want to be an elite athlete you have to think like an elite athlete and train like an elite athlete. If you want to be fit and healthy then you need to think like a fit and healthy fit person and train like a fit and healthy person.
Start thinking your way to a fitter healthier you
A fit and healthy person doesn’t think “I wish I could have that bit of chocolate cake”. They don’t make excuses why they cant get to the gym they make excuses so they can get to the gym. They don’t look at a menu and think “I really want the fish and chips but I suppose I should have the salmon” They choose the salmon because it tastes better and they feel good after they’ve eaten it instead of bloated and fat.
They place a high priority on exercise, eating healthily and getting 8 hours sleep. They aren’t afraid of saying no to people every now and then. “No I cant go out drinking on a Monday night- thats my gym night “, “No I’m sorry I cant take on that extra job as I am already very busy and if I take on anything else I’ll have to give up my exercise for this week”.
I think you get the idea. They place a very high priority eating well and exercising.
Changing the way you think is not as hard as it sounds. To start thinking like a fit and healthy person you simply have to ask yourself what a fit and healthy person would do in a particular situation? So there you are at the coffee shop and the cake selection looks very tempting, what do you do? Well ask yourself what would a fit and healthy person do in this situation? Would they pick out the best looking piece of cake and have a cappuccino with two sugars or would they skip the cake altogether, have a herbal tea and buy some nuts and seeds to snack on? Maybe they might have a skinny late and a low fat muffin every now and then but you get the idea.
The more you do this the easier it becomes until one day the thought process becomes automatic.If you want to be a new person then you have to change the way you think to that of the new person.
Make it Permanent
People who are fit and healthy see healthy eating and exercise as a permanent way of life and not a short term thing.The only way it can become a permanent way of life is if you can enjoy the process of getting fit and healthy. To many of us are so focussed on the goal we lose sight of the journey.
There’s another saying that goes something like “When you are climbing a mountain don’t forget to stop and enjoy the views on the way”. If you look at food for example, a chef enjoys the process of preparing food just as much as eating the finished product. If you talk to any elite marathoners the one thing they have in common is they all love to run. Sure it’s great to compete and win medals etc but essentially they all just love to run. How else could you motivate yourself to run over 120miles per week if you only liked racing and didn’t actually enjoy running in training.
If you hate running for example but have taken up running to lose some weight I would recommend that if after a month or two you still hate running then you should give it up and find some other way to lose weight as it is very difficult to motivate yourself to do something you hate doing for the rest of your life.
Enjoy your Exercise
Finding an exercise routine that you enjoy is the key to making permanent changes to the way you look and feel. Obviously there are some days where you are going to struggle to motivate yourself. We all have those days but if you have created a habit then it creates a momentum which is hard to resist. Even though you feel really tired you find yourself walking through the doors at the gym out of habit.
So this year teach yourself to think like someone who is already fit and healthy and find food and exercise that you enjoy and see what a difference it makes.