Health clubs have been packed with new members and ‘prodigal children’ these past two weeks. But did you know that most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions after the first month? Very often this is because people set monumental goals for themselves with very little planning. Here’s a tip for all of you – whether you are training for a sporting event, trying to lose a few pounds or just want to get into a healthier lifestyle….MAKE A PLAN! Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a svelte, muscular body or perfect healthy lifestyle. Don’t envision yourself climbing that steep mountain of a goal; make a plan to stride over many small hills that will get you to the other side of the mountain without so much difficulty.
Meals: Plan your meals for the week. Make a weekly meal plan and list of ingredients needed. Take your list to the grocery store on the weekend, so you have every item you need to prepare a few meals in advance (freeze meals and soups in individual containers for easy midweek prep). Roast vegetables while you’re looking at the Sunday football games and store them in the fridge in airtight containers or bags. Create great veggie salads, eat them as low-cal snacks; you will benefit from all those vitamins and nutrients.
Purchase low fat proteins and freeze them in individually measured portions, so there is no guesswork when prepping your meals. Fruits are a great source of fiber, antioxidants and natural sugars, but be careful! Too much sugar (no matter how natural) can pack on unwanted pounds and be counterproductive to certain health conditions. Lastly, explore different herbs and spices to give a good ‘kick’ to ordinary foods. Be adventurous and creative – this makes food fun and satiating.
Activities: Plan your weekly activities in advance. If the gym isn’t your ‘thing’, then make time to walk to and from the station every day, take a stroll at lunchtime or take the stairs more often. If you need help to make this fun, purchase a fit bit to create more interest and mindfulness into your activity. If you prefer the gym, plan when you can commit to an hour at least 3 to 4 times weekly, and MIX IT UP! Plan to do cardio, weight training, stretching and any other activity you love in a manner where you will not become bored or fatigued. If all else fails, turn on some cool tunes and dance in your living room for 30 minutes.
The bottom line: 10% of something is better than 100% of nothing! Stay in the game and don’t allow setbacks to stop you from achieving your goals. Small victories over time reap large rewards.
If you have a fitness story or tip to share, feel free to use our comments feature. We can all learn something new and read your inspiring stories.