In terms of your health & fitness, there’s a gap between where you are and where you want to be. Your new year’s resolution is your attempt to bridge that gap. That gap—or perhaps a yawning void—can be intimidating and confusing. But if you’ve figured out exactly why you want to embark on your resolution, you’re properly motivated, and your resolution has been put through the SMART process, then you’re ready to put together a plan.
Why do you need a plan? Isn’t just walking into a gym and starting on the latest diet enough? I don’t think so. Any significant achievement has a plan behind it. Planning for retirement, opening a business, building a house. None of these things happen without a solid plan. Making significant changes in your life that result in better health, more strength, a leaner body, and better movement is no different.
Objectives are a series of measurable steps that lead to your goal. This is the work that must be done to see your resolution achieved. Objectives should be written down and you should have a solid grasp of what your objectives are from day to day. You probably don’t need many objectives. Just a few is fine. Better to have a few that you can achieve rather than too many which you fail to achieve. Also, by focusing on the objectives—by focusing on the process, not just the end point—your resolution will become a reality.
I emphasize this point to you. Be honest with yourself in terms of what you’re willing and able to do with regard to lifestyle changes: diet, exercise, rest… New year’s resolutions are notorious for being dramatic, grand, and severely too ambitious. I’ve seen it over and over again that someone ignores reality and picks an arbitrary goal for which he or she is totally totally unprepared.
As you plan I suggest you take a step back and look at your life as a whole. Look at your relationships, family commitments, your work schedule, and what you enjoy doing. As you plan, I’d like you to have in mind this motivation scale:
In the next post, I’ll discuss the following issues and how they should inform your objectives.
What are you ready to do? Start an exercise program? Change your eating? Both?
What do you like to do? What can’t you stand to do?
What time of day to exercise?
How many days per week to exercise?
Where’s the best place for you to exercise? A gym? Outdoors? A class? Yoga or Pilates studio?
Have you considered sleep?
Food preparation: Do you know how to cook?
Support system: Do the people around you support your efforts?
What else is going on in your life?
Please stay tuned!