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Your 2017 Passport to Success

February 5, 2017 0 Comments

Well here we are just a month into the New Year and it won’t be long before 2017 becomes a carbon copy of years past. If you’re like the thousands each year who make a “resolution” every January 1 to exercise more, eat better, lose weight, etc., your time is almost up. In another week you’re lofty goals and aspirations come to a crashing halt like a boat hitting the rocks! How can someone with an optimist mindset dare make a statement like that? I can tell you I have seen it every year of my 20+ years as a fitness professional. It’s so common that it’s an anticipated time when workout regulars look forward to “getting their gym back.” True? Yes. Sad? Absolutely. It doesn’t need nor should be that way and it has to stop – NOW!

Turn The Ship Around

Statistics don’t lie. Despite everyone receiving the same messages, close to 70% of the US population is obese! Are the messages wrong or are they being heard but not listened to? In my experience I have found the latter to be more true. I believe people know what they need to do; they just fall in quickly with the herd and get lost only to be sent back to the beginning again. If you keep following the same path that leads to no where you’ll end right back where you started – like a round trip ticket to paradise with no stop in paradise. Likewise, if you keep doing the same thing but expect a different result, that’s what they refer to as insanity. Here’s where we can turn the ship around, now and for good.

Passport to Success

1. Exercise needs to be looked at as the means to an end, not an end to a means. If exercise is something you loathe, stop right there! It’s never going to work for you the way that it can or should. Find something you enjoy doing first. Once you can get into an active mindset, then explore what you need to be doing to match your goal.
2. Don’t go all in. The biggest mistake anyone can make is going from 0-60 in no time flat. The New Year becomes a new hot and heavy relationship with injury, illness, and burnout lurking just around the corner. Be smart, start slow, and progress effectively.
3. No one type of exercise is best for everything. Don’t get sold (i.e. suckered) that (X) is the only exercise you ever need to do. There are no extremes when it comes to exercise – just extreme stupidity. (Hint: refer to #1) Do your homework.
4. End your marriage to cardio. This may or may not come as a shock to some people, but the most popular and most used piece of exercise equipment is the treadmill. Why? It’s very versatile, low entry level to use, etc. and most see it as the solution to their waistline. But this is not to pick on the treadmill. Any cardiovascular exercise that is done for the purpose of weight loss, more specifically fat loss is a loss in futility. Until you change and improve your eating habits, a treadmill/bike/elliptical/stair climber, etc. is a walk, ride, climb to no where. Do cardio because it’s good for the cardiovascular system, not to lose weight.
5. Dining out needs to be kept as a special event for special occasions. What does that have to do with New Year’s resolutions? EVERYTHING! The average American eats out (breakfast/lunch/dinner) 3-5x/week! No matter how “healthy” you think your choices are, you have no real control how it’s all made and prepared, despite what the marketing tells you. Plan, shop, and prepare more home meals.
6. Goal set. Plan. Go. It’s not enough to say “I want to lose 10 lbs”. How are you going to do it? What exactly do you need to do? How are you holding yourself accountable? Goals need steps, a plan to execute, and accountability to that end. Excuses, justifying, and self-served pats on the back are the perfect formula for not achieving your goal. If you struggle, seek help and put your ego away.
7. Match your expectations with reality. A whole lot of good comes from a healthy lifestyle – a lifestyle that’s adhered to most days of the week, not just Monday through Friday. Add to that weeks, months – not just a few weeks when the calendar flips or right before summer. So-so effort equals so-so results. (Hint: refer to #5)

A Departing Message From 2016

As some of you may or may not know, I keep a presence on the social media outlets, one of which is my Jeffrey S Harrison Fitness business page on Facebook. I leave you with my final post of 2016 on that page which was also my most read and shared post for the whole year.

A New Year’s Blueprint for All.

1. Don’t let 2017 be a carbon copy of 2016.
2. Make taking action your mantra.
3. Stop making excuses and start taking responsibility.
4. Stop judging and start appreciating.
5. Spend more time “investing” and less time regressing.
6. Do things that have a positive impact on you and your world, not negative ones.
7. Be a contributor, not a detractor.
8. Never settle. Demand more.
9. Take more time to take care of you.
10. Learn the power of the word “no”.

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

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