Get Back On The Wagon

It’s almost March…the time when the parking lots at the gym start to empty out again. New Years resolutions are starting to seem more difficult to maintain. In my opinion there’s a clear reason why people fall off the wagon and why people have a difficult time staying motivated. It’s because we’ve started our journey in the wrong place. Let me explain, then I’m going to give you my first tip on how to get back on track. Next week, I’ll have another tip. If you do them in order you’ll be more likely to stay focused, and get back on track.

When we start the New Year we are so excited to make changes. We clear out the pantry of any unwanted food and make a decision that we are going to workout 9 days out of 7! Right! It’s all or nothing. Above and beyond!!! No one can stand in our way!! So what’s the problem? Most people claim that if your goals don’t scare you they aren’t big enough. And that sounds pretty scary to me!

The size of the goal isn’t as much of a problem as the lack of attention we put on actually preparing our minds for this change. We jump right into a new lifestyle and have unrealism expectations for ourselves. We think we’ll just have this new found willpower and we’ll never want to look at another piece of chocolate cake again. That our legs will have super human powers and we’ll and they’ll want to do squat challenges every week without you even having to think about it!

If instead of just jumping into our New Years resolutions in Jan, we took the first two months to ease into the process and do more preparing of our minds instead of our bodies, I think we’d be a lot more successful.

I believe the most important piece to achieving any goal, including a fitness goal, is preparing your mind first. So the first simple step to preparing your mind for this new life style is to set your intentions for the day. Here’s how I do it.

The way I teach setting your intensions for the day is to take 5 mins of quiet time in the morning all to yourself. No distractions. Put your phone in another room, and get up before you family if you have one. It’s only five minutes, but it’s a very important five minutes. I think taking this time is one of the key ways to make sure you’re successful with maintaining your health goals.

Here’s what you do:

1. Sit in a meditative or prayer pose. Your posture is very important. Keep your back straight in any position you chose to sit.
2. Take three or four deep breaths to start. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Smell the flowers, blow out the candles.
3. Set your responses and mood for the day. Create positive responses to things you might typically get upset about. By doing this you’re training your subconscious mind to respond in a positive way to negative situations through out the day.
4. Pick five things you’re grateful for and say your thanks and focus on those things that bring you joy.

You’ll be amazed at how much energy and mental clarity this practice gives you throughout the day. When you have more of both of those things it’s much easier to make healthy choices, to have the energy to get your workout in and to have better relationships.

I challenge you to start this practice and to do it everyday for a week to see how it changes your response to life and how much it helps you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.