Join us all month for 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010!
Raise your hand if any of your New Year’s resolutions have to do with getting healthy? Anyone? Maybe you’re determined to eat better, cook from scratch more, lose weight, drink more water or exercise more. Now, how many times have you made those same resolutions before? It’s okay — you can raise your hand. I’ve done it too.
I look up to and admire those people who take control of their health, eating more whole foods and less junk, cutting out sugar, exercising regularly, running marathons and so on. I want to be more like them, because I want to be healthy and I want my kids to be healthy and, vainly, because I want to look good.
This year, one of my goals is to get in shape. I can’t even say “back in shape” because I’ve always been one of those girls who did her best to avoid gym class. With 7 pregnancies over 5 years and a myriad of complications that kept me from exercising in the first and third trimesters, it’s all pretty much gone downhill from there. I think my stomach muscles have just given up, frankly. We’re not planning on having any more children any time soon, and I’m ready to focus on getting in shape. With the help of Georgina (the nickname we’ve given our Wii Fit balance board), I hope to achieve that goal.
Although I’m only one week into my commitment to exercise more, here are my tips for making 2010 the year you get in shape:
1. Define your goals.
What exactly is your goal? Do you want to fit into a certain pair of jeans? Hit a specific number on the scale? Be able to run a certain distance? Choose concrete, measurable goals and write them down. It is so easy to get off track when we forget this step. Defining goals that can be measured keeps us on track to achieve them. Without them, it’s easy to become discouraged.
2. Find others who share those same goals.
Connecting with other people who share your fitness goals and are actively pursuing the same things as you is a vital part of making this change in your life. It’s hard to stay motivated without accountability, and a little friendly competition is a great way to stay on track. Samantha also hosts the Body After Baby Challenge, where participants to join together and encourage each other to achieve their goals.
Whatever your fitness goals are, look for people who share them. The internet gives us a huge advantage that our parents and grandparents didn’t have even 15 or 20 years ago. Today, you can find groups for just about anything, and no matter what you’re trying to accomplish, chances are that you’ll be able to find other people who are pursuing the same things.
3. Figure out what works for you.
Maybe you like to connect with other people while you work out, which means a gym membership is the way to go. Or maybe you like to exercise in the early morning before any of your kids are awake. Maybe getting outside and connecting with nature invigorates and motivates you. Or maybe the thought of stepping outside into the frigid air or blazing heat is enough to make you throw your plans away. Take some time to evaluate what motivates you and what discourages you. What excuses have you used in the past for not exercising? Figure out what works for you and then set up a routine around those things.
4. Set a time and a place.
Once you figure out where, when and how you want to exercise, mark it on your schedule and commit to it, just like you would any other obligation. Don’t look at exercising as an, “I’ll get to it if I get to it,” kind of thing because we all know how that turns out. Instead, make it a priority and treat it as an appointment that can’t be missed.
5. Record your progress.
One of the things I love about the Wii Fit is the built-in progress charts. It shows me a graph of my weight as well as a calendar of my workouts so that I can quickly see my progress. You could also take pictures to track your progress or write down your measurements on a chart. Maybe you’re not worried about the way you look as much as what you’re able to do. In that case, you could track how long you workout and how many reps you’re able to do. The point is just to have a physical record so that you can look back and see the progress you’ve made when you get discouraged or hit a plateau.
6. Don’t expect perfection.
Yes, I will probably end every post this month with some variation of this theme. There are going to be days — weeks even — when you don’t exercise. Life and old habits will get in the way, and exercising will get pushed to the side. When you realize this has happened, do not throw away your goal altogether just because you haven’t done it perfectly. Pick yourself up, dust off the tennis shoes and exercise as soon as humanly possible. It doesn’t matter that it’s not January 1st or the first day of the week or first thing in the morning. Make a decision not to let perfectionism rob you of achieving your goals and pick right up where you left off!
Is exercising more one of your 2010 resolutions? What are your fitness or body goals? When and where will you exercise?