More Than A Feeling

Here we sit in late January 2016. Another year sits right in front of us. For those in the northeast the snow has finally hit. The exuberance of the New Year has passed and now we sit with ourselves wondering how we are going to keep our resolutions or reach the lofty goals that we just set for ourselves a few weeks ago.

If you have read my previous blogs you can tell that I am not a huge fan of resolutions because it is simply a declaration of an end goal. I want to get fit and look great in a bathing suit by spring. Think about it this way. Imagine you are trying to get someplace in your car and it is super foggy out. You have no clue where you are or how to get where you are going. However, you keep driving hoping that you find your destination. That’s sort of the same thing with resolutions. Wanting to look fabulous by April 1st is just like driving in the fog. You have zero clue how to get to that destination.

So how do we get to our destination when it comes to our goals? It is going to take a new approach. First we need to sit back and once again ask ourselves the biggest question “WHY”? Everyone has a different “WHY”. I want to feel fit and fabulous because it will boost my own self-confidence and make me feel happier. My self-esteem is hurting and I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and smile and that would feel really good. So there is the WHY to first consider, but more importantly, it is the feeling that is attached to the WHY. Think about it, sure I want to feel happier, but the feeling that you are working towards is the small satisfaction of looking at yourself in the mirror, and for that one moment, sitting back and smiling. The WHY is always the precedent, but the more important component is the feeling that is attached to that WHY. This two-fold examination applies to all of our resolutions or goals. For instance I want to make more money in 2016 and build my business. Heck, we all want to make more money. I know just how important that is with one of my kids in college and another a mere year and a half away! So my goal is to make more money. The WHY is that more money will help me in innumerable areas, including helping to pay for my kids education. The feeling…is the empowerment and self-confidence that will come from building a business from scratch and turning that into something that will make me money. I must hold on to the feeling of empowerment and self confidence that my WHY will bring in order to help me achieve my goals.

The really tricky part is figuring out how are we going to get there? I can tell you one thing for sure, it is going to require planning and some degree of study. As it relates to fitness and nutrition, changes that will be needed to look good and feel fit by April 1st aren’t going to be diet alone, it certainly isn’t going be exercising like crazy, it is going to be a combination of the two, but in a slow and steady approach that is sustainable. Sustainable change goes something like this.

We need to first build the habits that will lead to the changes that are required to reach our destination. Whether you already hit the gym three times a week and eat pretty well, or you are woefully out of shape and you would self-describe yourself as a couch potato, you need to build the habits that will make reaching a goal something that will no longer have power over you, rather something that will come inevitably. However building these habits is the tough part. And this is where people, including myself, trip up.

Once again, sticking with fitness and diet, what are the habits that we need to develop? In terms of fitness I am going to make this easy for you. More than anything else it’s all about moving. A twenty minute walk whenever you can get to it, but at least twice a week. And I don’t mean a power walk where you are pumping your arms or sprint walking up a hill. I am simply talking about a nice leisurely walk for no less than twenty minutes. If you can do this more than twice a week, good for you, because walking is something the human body is built to do. You are very unlikely to hurt yourself by simply walking. In between these walks make a commitment to yourself. Unless the weather is horrific, park towards the back of the office lot or shopping mall parking lot. Trust me these extra steps will come in handy and again, you are naturally moving your body. But however you do it — move as often as you can and the weather allows you to.

Next, in addition to walking as much as you can, commit to a series of body weight movements that can be done in your bedroom or living room before you get your day started. In my most recent Keep It Simple blog, I provided you with a series of six movements that will bring every part of your body into play. This workout can be done in twenty minutes (tops) and can be done every other day. As you master these base level movements you can progress to more advanced movements, or begin to incorporate weights. However, for at least the first thirty days of your commitment to reaching this goal and hopefully feeling that feeling, stick with these simple six movements. By shifting the focus from the end goal you now are giving yourself a chance to get satisfying little wins each and every day. The win could be an extra walk before dinner or it could be one push up without being on your knees. The idea being that you begin to focus on the task in front of you and not a goal that is set at April 1st.

Progress towards an April 1 goal will also require some new habits when it comes to eating and diet. Under my slow and steady approach there is no diet, no restrictions, nothing is forbidden. If you love Oreo cookies, have them, but limit yourself to two. I should say some things could come off the table, but only if you think you can handle it. One thing that comes to mind are sweetened beverages, but this is for another discussion. Once again, I will refer you to my Keep it Simple blog, where I gave you the outlines of what I consider the backbone of a successful approach to eating. But even more simply, it is a more heavily veggie based with an emphasis on lean proteins, while at the same time having just enough carbs, fats, sugars and salt, so that you aren’t miserable. Also, because you are now moving more and exercising consistently, you are going to need to eat more frequently. Exercising more and eating less is a recipe for disaster. Again, like with fitness, the idea with diet is to not feel like you are really doing anything extraordinary. Your new approach to diet and eating becomes your new reality. You eat, you eat frequently, and you are simply shifting the emphasis of what you add to your plate and when.

My goal with all of my clients is that while there is effort involved in change, it isn’t such a shock to their system or involve deprivation. The funniest part of these new habits around better eating and fitness is that they build on themselves and provide so many other benefits. Your overall health will improve. You will feel and see differences in your body almost immediately. You can enjoy yourself when you are out to dinner understanding that you haven’t spent a week depriving yourself. And your overall self-confidence will grow hopefully putting you in a better mood more often than not and in general feel happier!

These habits that you build are also lifelong, so hopefully over time they just become a part of you. Whatever your goal is the approach is the same. Identify a goal, ask yourself WHY, and attach a desired feeling to reaching that goal. Then make a plan. Sometimes it may require a coach to assist you along the way. But this blog is about getting somewhere by April 1st. The rest is on you.

Istarted mpowr.me initially to empower myself and this is what I work on every day. Now I wish to empower others. If you live on Long Island, I see clients at Long Island Fitness and Wellness in Commack. If you aren’t nearby, you can find me on the web at mpowrme.com and you can also find great purposeful movement videos on Instagram (@mpowrme) plus other fun pictures and inspiring messages or you can email me at mpowrme@yahoo.com.

Until my next blog…

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