Thursday, January 01, 2015

Why You Need a Big "Why"

2015 is almost here. Have you taken a look back to see what went right or wrong for you in 2014? Have you set some new goals for the New Year?

While you can set goals anytime, it's kind of nice to get a fresh start as the year rolls over. So let's get to it. What's the biggest  thing you want to accomplish? How badly do you want it? What are you willing to give up to make it happen?

In the end, it really comes down to your total commitment to your goal. There's a reason why they call them New Year Resolutions. You've got to be resolute. You are resolved to do it, whatever it takes.

Here's where a lot of people fall short. They "kind of" wanted it, were "kind of" committed, and "kind of" hope they'll do it. But that's not a recipe for success. Anything you "kind of" want will just fall by the wayside when other "more pressing" issues come along. Trust me, they'll come along. 

That means you need a big reason, or what a life coach might call your "Why." Your "Why" determines your commitment to the task. Your "Why" has to be bigger than any potential obstacle. And your "Why" is what keeps you going toward your goal. 

According to noted author, Max Lucado, "Until your "Why" is big enough, you'll never stick with the what." Put another way, if you don't want it bad enough, you won't do what needs to be done.

One example might be someone who's thought about stopping smoking and losing weight for years. But then after some problems, the doctor says "Quit smoking and lose 40 pounds, or you're going to die!" That's a big "Why." It's extreme but you get the idea. You'll probably find a way. 

Big goals take big action, and they usually have a big "Why" behind them. So what is your New Year's goal, and perhaps more importantly, what's your "Why"?

Some people who have figured out the "Why" are our Biggest Losers. Crystal Kirby finished first, losing 2.3 lbs and 1.0% of her body weight. Amber Baldwin came in second, losing 1.8 lbs, and Sandy Sherer was third, losing 1.0 lb. 

In a holiday season, with lots of distractions and pitfalls, these three not only maintained, but lost weight. Great job. 

May you all have a blessed and productive New Year! Why not?

A New Year, A New You in 2015

Two weeks ago, we talked about how to start the New Year off right, if your goal was to lose weight and get in shape. The first part was using a phone app to help you track your calories. If you don't know how much you're eating, you're just guessing, and guessing makes you fat. 

Controlling your intake is really important, possibly even more than the exercise. After all, you can undo an entire exercise session in just a few bites. You can't out-exercise stupid.

Before you get mad at me, know that I'm preaching to myself and my inner Cookie Monster too. If you want to trip me up, just give me a plate of cookies. You'll find me lying in a hallway somewhere with a trail of broken crumbs and a "Will Work for Cookies"sign. 

The other half of your "A New Year, A New You" program, is increasing the amount of exercise you get each day. It's really hard to lose weight on diet alone. 

If you haven't been active, just getting started will make a big difference. It can be as simple as adding a 20-30 minute walk to your schedule every day. If you have more time, stretch it to 45 minutes or an hour. 

For better results, add some weight training three days a week, say on M, W, F. Start with a full body machine circuit one time through, with a light weight you can lift 10-15 times. When you can do it 15 times easily, add a little more weight. 

At some point, you'll want to transition to using dumbbells and exercise balls. They'll give you a better workout because you'll have to use more of your core and accessory muscles. Start with light dumbbells that you can move easily. Get some instruction to make sure you're doing things correctly. 

If you need a little push, try a boot camp class. Don't be afraid; you can always modify things to your own fitness level. You'll likely do more than you would have done on your own. There's a lot of power in suffering with others! 

Finally, for even better results, increase it to two workouts a day, by adding an easy one first thing in the morning to get you going. The people that do this always seem to lose more weight. 

Every Morning:
20 minutes of light Cardio (walk)

Afternoons or Evenings:
M, W, F -- Weights
T, TH, SA -- Cardio

Stay within your limits, but keep trying to push those limits a little bit. You can usually do more than you think you can do. 

Stay with it, and don't quit. Make a commitment to yourself and stick to it. Murphy will try to mess you up, but don't let him. This is your year to turn things around and win. 

Watch what you eat, and get moving, and you'll make "A New Year, A New You" come true. Happy New Year!