Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013: The Year of Progress

I have declared 2013 as "The Year of Progress" instead of making a resolution this year. Sure, I have set some lofty goals for myself on both a personal and professional level, but every goal is contingent upon completion of a previous one. I have a plan to get from point A, to point B, etc.

What's the point of having a plan? Consider that thousands and thousands of people vow to lose weight and get in shape every year. By March, they have fallen back into the same old habits. Why? In large part, this is due to a lack of measurable, attainable, time-driven goals. We need a plan containing specific criteria in order to hold ourselves accountable. Let's consider a different approach:

What's the ultimate goal? To get healthy. (Great! But, vague.)

WHY? My current lifestyle will make me sick and I have a family history of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Or, I want more energy to excel at work and keep up with my children. Or, being fit helps me to manage stress. Or, I want to reverse the effects of aging. (Knowing your "WHY?" is the most important thing!)

What are the necessary components to the plan? Visit the doctor for a complete physical, find 3 forms of exercise that are enjoyable and easy to work into the schedule, change the diet. (Better, but let's be more specific.)

Which specific goals must be achieved?  Lose 3 pounds per month over 12 months totaling 36 pounds, exercise a minimum of 3 days per week for 30-45 minutes each session, weigh-in once per week, eliminate 3 bad foods from my diet and 1 bad habit (like smoking) every month, drink 8-10 glasses of water daily, sleep a minimum of  8 hours each night. (Now, we're getting somewhere. Let's make it time-sensitive.)

When must all of these things happen? Doctor visit by January 15, 2013 and first weigh-in, start exercising January 20th, make dietary changes today, increase water intake today, lose 3 pounds by February 20th, shop for new clothes quarterly (assign dates) including new workout gear if goals are met, set new goals if you fall short monthly, revisit your "WHY?" statement.

What is the penalty for not staying the course? Revisit your "WHY?" statement. Write it down and post in the places where you are most tempted to fall off the bandwagon.

Best wishes and much success to you all in the coming months! Be good to yourself! More next time...

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