I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. Second, I'm an educator & organizational development professional.
There is this nagging feeling about health and fitness in the back of my head. A huge part of me says, "go out and jog."
But the allure of the warm bed in a cold early morning is just too powerful to resist. So, I curl back and promise myself to try to start living a healthy life tomorrow. After all, there is still tomorrow.
So, which of you have the same ridiculous morning ritual? I am pretty sure I am not alone in this healthy living battle. In some form or another, we delay our need to live a healthier lifestyle. We argue with statements that appear logical and valid in the guise of postponing what is necessary. Wanting to have a healthy body requires action right now. Not tomorrow! It is not really about convincing yourself that you do exercise right now. Rather, it is a commitment to changing your life.
So how do you stop delaying a healthier lifestyle?
Just Get Up and Go!
Just get up and go! Obviously this is less daunting on paper. Heck, it is easier when we fantasize running a marathon beside a gorgeous babe then finishing first with some more energy to participate in a triathlon. In reality, you can't even jog for 5 minutes without panting like your life force is slowly evaporating from your pores along with your sweat. I know I did. So what did I do about it? After months of genuine desire to start living a healthy lifestyle I finally convinced myself to start tomorrow. And as you may expect I kept postponing it for tomorrow.
The desire for a healthy lifestyle is a good place to start. Unfortunately, it remains an idea - a fantasy unless you start now. No, you don't have to buy expensive gym equipment this very minute. Rather consider doing these healthy lifestyle starters:
- Start small
- Focus on what you can
- Turn routines into healthier activities
- Tell someone and seek support
Think about starting now as a commitment to health and fitness with actual action from you. No matter how insignificant it may seem, doing something to seal your commitment is a superb place to start.
Decide What You Want
I've always wanted a chiseled body. But not too big that will scare my wife or daughter. Nor do I want veins bulging out like they will burst when I bear down when I do my thing in the morning. That's just too freaky for me. At five feet five inches, I'd look like a nerdy troll on steroids. No way I want that - not that I have anything against nerdy trolls. Suffice to say, I have dreams of what healthy looks like. Boy, I was dead wrong about it.
Setting goals is easier when you have jumped over the most crucial hurdle -getting started. However, having the right goals in mind can either motivate you or lead you astray. I can go an about using strategies like setting S.M.A.R.T. goals or some other fancy acronyms, but I won't. Instead, allow me to share some practical goals that I set for myself that may guide you in your journey.
Set Time-Focused Goals
Have you seen people pumping iron for who knows how many reps and still manage to smile? I once convinced myself that I will do the same. I got to that high level of repetition but instead of a smile I grimaced in pain from the lactic acid in my body. I am not saying you should not aim high. Instead, be logical about it. Instead of trying to hit how many reps you want or how many kilometers you will run, think of it differently at first.
There was a time when I can't even jog for 5 minutes. How in the world can I jog for 11 kilometers. So I broke down the distance into manageable ones. It didn't work! Remember that I can't even jog for 5 minutes. So I made a little tweak. I told myself to jog for 2 minutes. And regardless of how far I got or how slow I may be it was an accomplishment. Soon after, I was running 2 minutes faster and farther. Then I challenged myself to go 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then longer and longer. I did not even noticed I was running 22 kilometers.
I used the same strategy with other exercise activities. I would do push ups for two minutes. It did not matter if I only did 5 at the time. Soon I was doing more in the same period.
Focusing on the time rather than the actual distance or repetitions gave me a pace that is unique to me. I was comfortable with it. Likewise, it gave me the motivation to do better without having to compare myself with others. Instead, I competed with myself. In addition, focusing on the time allowed me to commit to health and fitness everyday. With the limited timeframe I gave myself, I worked out at my own level.
Challenge Yourself in a Healthy Way
There was a time when I could not do 5 pull ups without cursing and cussing with every repetition. And to think I challenged myself to do one arm pull ups. Again, targeting way above your capabilities is not bad. However, challenging yourself within logical parameters will help you get better.
The challenges I set myself to do may sound too easy and even lame. But the small steps and the small increments helped me stay committed. And as you may know commitment is key in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The fundamental idea here is to set goals that will allow you to move forward. If you set goals that look good but fail to address your needs at the moment I assure you, you will fall back to "starting tomorrow" again. Goals should be more than just a destination. Rather, they should be your inspiration as well.
Constantly Remind Yourself
Another important ingredient in avoiding procrastinating is to constantly remind yourself. Many of us find excuses and I feigned sickness just to avoid jogging for the day - how lame is that? Constant reminders allow us to keep our focus. Think of it as a nagging mom or wife reminding you to take out the trash. You have to do it whether you like it or else.
- Use your calendar
- Set your phone or iPad' alarm
- Prepare the exercise equipment
- Leave mores for yourself
- Get someone to remind you and keep you on track
I cannot stress the importance of being reminded about your journey to health and fitness. In many instances it is these reminders that will help you push forward when you do not feel up to it. It is understandable that the human spirit gets dampen along the way. However, it is your ability to surpass these challenges that guarantees your success.
I am a work in progress. In fact I am nowhere near where I want to be. And yes the warm bed in the cold early morning still has its allure. Likewise, the idea of just "starting tomorrow" is still tempting. But I rise above them. Living a healthy lifestyle and getting the needed exercise shout louder and provide a promise that outweighs some temporary comforts. After all, commitment requires some sacrifices.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on October 29, 2015:
I have had a toning and limbering exercises routine on my to-do list for years but day by day, month by month, year by year, I don't get to it. I'll see if your suggestions help me get back into the daily exercise habit I had years ago. I do go for a daily walk or bike ride.
TheDailyWhim.com on October 29, 2015:
These are the tips I've been looking for. With the technologies people are using today, it should be easier for them to use these tools to support their lifestyles. But I see the other way around. What can you say about this?
JP Carlos (author) from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on October 29, 2015:
Hello there ChitrangadaSharan,
Thank you for the kind words about the hub. We do what we can when it comes to our health. And you are right, our children need to learn healthy living early on in life. The habits they learn when they are young are fundamental in what they do later on in life.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on October 29, 2015:
Very nice and motivating hub! You have mentioned some great suggestions here.
I try to follow a healthy lifestyle and also encourage and keep on reminding my family to do so.
I believe the children should be encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle right from their childhood as much as it becomes their habit even when they are grown up.
Thank you for sharing this useful hub!