This is what we call a "down" time of the year in the fitness industry (late summer/early fall). In general, everyone gets ramped up for the New Year (resolution/guilt season), and gets ramped up for the summer (bikini/beach season!), but the periods that follow both those (February, and late August/September) are usually some of most down times of the year when we really all need the most motivation. So how do you feel today? Was your summer flare up of motivation and drive to exercise and eat healthy recently extinguished? Is your New Year's Resolution still breathing life or is it completely dead?
Well, today is about throwing all the garbage out and starting over, if you need it! Here is a little motivation to get you RAMPED UP for the fall!
1) Don't let a Bad Day turn into a Bad Habit
This is always at the top of my list! Find me the perfect person who never cheats on his/her meals and finds time to exercise every day and I'll bake you a keylime pie. I'm serious, I'll actually bake you the pie and you can eat it too!
There is no such person, not even the Shaun T's and Tony Horton's of the world! So why do we hold ourselves to such a high standard that if we screw up one little day, we think there is no way to get back on the horse? The most important day of your life is the day AFTER a bad day. How are you going to handle it? Because even two bad days in a row is the seed of a bad habit. Turn it around!
2) Your Body: You Only Get One
The human body is the only machine that improves with use! Exercise it, and you'll improve its physical and mental capacity and reach your full potential!
When I was a student teacher, a wise teacher looked at the way I was running my life and shared something with me. "People like you and me, we choose to be busy. Here's what I've learned. You'll always get it done, but with all those balls up in the air, you are always going to have to drop one to make the others stay up." Often that ball is either 1) our family or 2) ourselves. Actually, I'd say for the majority of people, it's number 2). If you don't have time to take care of yourself, you will never be happy. It is not selfish to be healthy, it just takes preparation and a little bit of sacrifice. If you've got that great career, that great family, or any combination - have you ever thought of dropping the "staying up late" ball so you can get up at 5:00 a.m. to workout, or the "watching TV" ball to workout instead? In 20 years, how big will that sacrifice have been, whereas if you drop the "you" ball, what will happen in 20 years?
I am not here to pretend I know all the complexities of everyone's lives - but I do know this: YOU deserve a better YOU! Make a list of goals of things that are for YOU from now until December, write them down and post them somewhere visible - so you see them every day. Hold yourself accountable and you will achieve!
3) Simple changes make for big strides
Always start simple. For some people, giving up soda for good can be as novel a life change and carry the same health benefit as committing to a new workout program. The day you wake up thinking you are a completely different person than yesterday is the day you set yourself up for failure. Take small steps, make a plan and stick to it. It must be SUSTAINABLE! The Cabbage Soup diet, for example, is not sustainable. It is a shock to the system, and is basically starvation!
4) Find an accountability partner
If I could tell you the one thing that helped me lose 25 lbs. with p90x, Insanity, and Shakeology - it wasn't any diet or fitness or "form" tip that I often share with you. It was having my buddy Steve there with me every day. If one of us didn't do the workout, you better believe we felt bad! When you work with somebody else, you both get stronger. Your accountability partner can be your spouse, your best friend, or someone you hardly know.
5) There is no better time for your Day 1 than Tomorrow! DECIDE!
The best way to not fall into the February or August rut is to avoid New Year's resolution and beach season pressure altogether. Why not make your resolution TODAY?! January is a long time away! There is always going to be a reason to avoid tomorrow as your Day 1. The truth is, tomorrow is the best day to start! The other important thing to remember is that there is no end day - when you commit to your "Day 1" of a healthier lifestyle, it doesn't just last for the 60 days of Insanity, or the 90 days of p90x - it lasts for your lifetime. Because, if you remember today's first tip, even if you have a bad day, you aren't going to fall off the wagon - you are going to get right back up and continue your new lifestyle as you know it!
The best part is that it's ok to have another Day 1 at any point. For example, in March of 2009, I decided to change my unhealthy lifestyle and commit to working out 5x a week and reign in my diet. Then, in December of 2011, I made a new and renewed commitment to not only be the best ME but to help you become the best YOU that you can. What I found is that not only did I feel great by committing to helping others get fit, but I myself had a new and renewed sense of commitment to my own personal fitness and well-being. I had a new "Day 1!" Beachbody's motto is "Decide. Commit. Succeed." The normal person would think the flow of this motto goes from easiest to hardest, but I'd argue it goes from hardest to easiest. The hardest thing in the world is to DECIDE that tomorrow is Day 1. If you have really decided, the commitment is just maintenance of your decision, and success will come naturally. So DECIDE!
6) BE Your Best and Forget the Rest
Tony says "do your best and forget the rest" when he's talking about busting out reps of his p90x workouts. I am telling you to BE your best and forget the rest. Do you understand the difference between DOING and BEING? A wise Beachbody coach I know once said "The way you do anything is the way you do everything." You "do" your workouts, you "do" your diet, but who ARE you because of it? BEING takes it to the next level. The way you ARE is the way you do everything in your life - your outlook, your demeanor, the way you interact with others, and the way you make the people around you better. When you DECIDE, you aren't just changing your daily routine, you are altering a small part of you for the better, and in turn are making the people around you better too.
7) Know Your WHY?
Why are you reading this now? The answer shouldn't be "because Dan made me!" Once you make your decision, you have to understand your "why." This might be to get your life back, to set an example for your kids, to add years back into your life, to get a six pack, to perform better with functional fitness - or something completely different. I can coach you, I can lead you in the right direction, but ultimately you have to walk through the door. Know your Why? and it all becomes clear.
Let these words guide you in the upcoming days, months, years!! I believe firmly that we all have the power for change within ourselves, we just have to choose when to ignite it!