Before you dive in to those New Year's resolutions...READ THIS POST!
- No shortcuts. Don't believe the hype of discounted gym fees, diet pills, herbal cleanses and promises of results in a week or month. I know there will be people who disagree with this, but remember the disclaimer, "results not typical." Sometimes these gimmicks are helpful to get you started, but they will not sustain you. People who commit to a lifestyle over shortcuts find results every time!
- Keep it simple. Eat right and exercise. These are the components of health and fitness. In terms of results, my experience teaches me that 75% of results come from diet and 25% exercise.
- Fitness movement of the year: push your plate away. Eat smaller portions, more times a day.
- Vanity goals will almost always be counterproductive to true fitness. Get truly fit and you will look like it.
- Focus on lead measures not lag measures. The top two lag measures are the mirror and the scale - both focus on the unchangeable past and often cause discouragement. Lead measures are actionable steps and habits that focus on the future.
- Don't let "cheat meal" become code language for, "weekend calorie binge." If you cheat, enjoy it, then back on the wagon.
- Know your diet weaknesses. Mine are potato chips, ice cream and cheese. Create some guardrails to protect your goals.
- Sweat daily. A formal workout is certainly ideal, but not always possible. When you can't hit the gym, do something. Walk, play with your kids, run up and down your stairs at home...just try to break a sweat every day.
- You need a friend...or 5. I have 5 other men that work out with me and hold me accountable to my fitness. I absolutely would not work as hard or consistently without them. Likewise, I try to return the favor for them. Success is multiplied by the people around you!
- Sleep more. Sleep is the biggest frustration in my fitness pursuits. Sleep is critical to recovery and mood. 7-8 hours is ideal, I'm lucky to get 6. I'm really trying to up my sleep in 2016. Sleep quality could be improved by limiting caffeine to before 2pm.
- Water. We all know we need more water. A decent minimum is 1 liter for every 60-70 pounds of body weight. I aim for a full gallon every day.
- Plan you meals. Planning and prepping food for each day is time consuming but eliminates unnecessary compromises during the day.
- Proper form. When it comes to your exercises, require yourself to complete the movements with proper form and technique. This will not only help prevent injury, it will prepare you for greater complexity and higher levels of fitness later. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, but the best money spent on fitness is a coach/personal trainer.
- Get an annual physical. Your health insurance probably provides this at no cost. A proper physical can give you a great annual measurement by which you can gauge your overall health. Make sure your doctor runs complete bloodwork, checks all your vital signs and does a general examination of your body's appearance and function. Make sure your doctor understands your health and fitness goals and serves as a partner and your health not simply a last resort when you get sick.
- Make it fun. If you don't like traditional cardio and weights, pick something else. I do CrossFit and love it. Pick something you enjoy that you will do consistently. If pursuing physical health is strictly a chore, you will not maintain it. Your physical health and wellness is about LIFE, enjoy it!
- You were created by God and for God, so do not neglect spiritual disciplines on your journey to good health. Your health stretches well beyond your physical body. We all need a personal connection with our Creator and a fresh reminder of our God-given purpose and mission to fulfill. If you're simply living for yourself, you could end up a very fit but miserable person. Your life matters not only for today, but it matters for eternity.
Happy New Year!
Commitment. Consistency. Change.