Making choices to get fit and stay fit is a real challenge. It takes such commitment to ourselves as well as an ability to let go of the poor influences around us that keep us from feeling confident on our path to being our better selves. Here are ten ways to push beyond the challenges and make fitness our new normal.
1. Make Fitness The New Normal In All Aspects of Life
We let so many things get in our way of succeeding in our quest to live a fit life. Family, work, home, other obligations to projects and organizations come to mind. We have enough excuses that we feel justified when we don’t include fitness as a priority in that list. After all, it’s only our life, our longevity, and our health at risk, right?
Why would we commit to fitness as a priority in that long list of things we have committed our time and energy to? But actually, what use are we to any of them if we skimp on our self-care? How can we be productive at work, or a functioning member of our family, or a helpful participant in our favorite social or community group if we have no energy, are out of shape, or are unhealthy? The bottom line is, we can’t. We don’t see it when it’s happening, but it’s impossible to see lost potential.
Make fitness- YOUR fitness- a priority. It is as important as eating breakfast, getting dressed for work, getting that project done for your boss, getting your kids to soccer practice, getting the household chores done. It is AS important, if not MORE important than any of those things.
Begin this week by putting it in the schedule of your day’s events. I don’t care where you put it- but put it somewhere. And then make it happen. It is a part of your daily life. Exercise- even if for 15 minutes a day. Eat right- even if you have to take the time to make a healthy stir fry instead of wait 20 minutes for boxed macaroni and cheese to be done- eat right. This is simply what you do now. THIS is the new normal.
2. What Would You Do If You Believed You Could?
What would you do if you knew there were no obstacles? Would you lose 20 lbs? Would you have a healthy diet and enjoy planning and cooking and eating delicious meals that look great and are healthy for you? Well, since you decide what you can and can’t do, today… you can do it. So believe it and do it.
3. If You Live Fit You Are Fit
There is no faking in till you make it. You believe it, you practice it. There is no “someday”. Someday is already here. It’s called TODAY. Decide that you will feel good and do the things you need to do to feel good. Decide you will eat right, then eat the things that make that so. Decide you will get exercise each day, then make it happen. When you are doing these things you are fit. You are living a fit life. Once you’re in it, there’s no point in going back. You’re here. Stay and enjoy the life it brings. Feel good, feel healthy, and be proud of yourself.
4. Don’t Apologize For Wanting To Live A Healthy Life
Don’t let others who aren’t motivated to be fit make you feel badly because you are.
Social media and other social interactions can be difficult when you are committing yourself to living well and being fit. People who don’t want to be reminded that they are not doing these things will often try to take the joy of what you’re doing away from you. Perhaps they will post items that excuse unhealthy behavior or tap dance with apologetics for any behaviors that we all know may cause disease and other illnesses. They may even poke fun at you for working hard and taking care of yourself. Just think about that for a minute. Okay. We’re done thinking about that. Don’t give them ONE MORE THOUGHT.
5. There Are Many Paths to”FIT”
What exactly does it mean to be “fit”? Let’s say that fitness means to be good to our bodies and our minds in ways that make us productive, healthy, and feel good. If our bodies are healthy, our mental health can benefit from our commitment to ourselves and the development of good habits.
If we’re engaged in healthy activities, we can expose ourselves to many more healthy and positive social interactions. These experiences may come from those we eat with or exercise with- learn, grown and experience life with. Are you hiking trails outdoors or walking with your co-workers on your lunch break? Then you may not need to devote and hour when you get home to an intense workout.
Are you skiing on the weekend or playing basketball with your kids after work? Then you can probably skip the weight lifting session. Are you enjoying a salad in a park rather than going out for a cheeseburger for lunch? Are you having a chat and laugh session over a cup of tea with a friend? You can probably consider this a healthy outlet to help you unwind and de-stress on a rest day from exercise.
There are so many ways to be “fit” and be good to yourself. Find those that work for you and which bring you real results. Enjoy the healthy feelings they bring and expand on those that work best for you. Find room for these activities in your life and embrace them in order to give yourself the gift of the best “you” you can be.
6. Follow Only Those Who Make You Feel Good About What You’re Doing
Do you surround yourself with naysayers and complainers? Are you constantly reminding people of the upside of a bad situation? Have you grown tired of people who leave the room and leave you feeling badly about yourself or your life?Seriously, it’s time to move on.
We cannot build up mental and physical reserves that sustain us to keep ourselves fit with a constant barrage of negativity in our daily lives. Separate yourself from those who cannot get on board with having healthy relationships and seeking fun, healthy enjoyment in their daily lives. You cannot afford to waste one bit of energy on that.
Find positive influences- even if you don’t know them personally but they offer inspiration to you through their writing, music, speaking, artwork, etc. Explore and embrace the things that make you feel good and bring them into your life. Include any people who just simply make you feel great when you’ve had an exchange with them.
Some people are just like that. There is a person in my life who can make a very unhappy day completely turn around when I am lucky enough to see her on the day I’m feeling down. She’s funny and has great insights and often affirms for me that I’m not alone in the way I feel about some things. So often when I’ve seen her, I feel uplifted after I’ve left. It isn’t her job to do that. It’s just who she is and how I respond to her. Others may not experience this with her, although I’m sure many do.
It’s good to know people who make you feel this way and to fill your life with as many of them as possible. It can also be a gift to do this for other people. The more we are exposed to people who do this for us, the easier it is for us to be that for someone else.
7. Speak Honestly About The Importance of Being Fit.
Is your spouse critical or dismissive of your goals to be fit? Do your kids laugh or complain about you wanting time to yourself to work out or make delicious and healthy meals? Do your friends want to continue bad habits like drinking too much or planning gatherings around food that is unhealthy and unsustainable for you in the long run?
These behaviors are a reflection of the choices of the people around you. They are not a reflection of what you are doing. You can be strong in your commitment to be good to yourself in spite of challenges from your family.
Step outside of the challenges by remembering how good it feels to see changes in your body, or feel the endorphins flowing through your body during, and long after, a workout or other healthy activity. Be confident in the knowledge that the good choices you make today may afford you more and happier tomorrows. More tomorrows, by the way, to spend with those who are closest to us.
8. Enlist Your Family
What better way to get your family behind your goals than to include them. If you have goals to take care of yourself, it must follow that your children are offered the same positive experiences. It is staggering to know how little people actually know about how their bodies work, how food effects their health, what food is actually healthy, and how much physical activity it takes to simply maintain a stable weight, let alone to lose any.
When we learn these things, it’s our responsibility to pass this knowledge on to our families. It’s our responsibility to provide healthy, nutritious, and great tasting food in our homes. It’s our responsibility to encourage physical activities and opportunities to get fit as a family. If your whole family had been poisoned and you were given the antidote, would you horde it all for yourself? Or would you share it with those you love?
Enlist your family members to share in meal research and planning. Find ways to exercise together, even if that means doing a workout together or having a dance contest in the middle of the living room. Encourage one another to be your best, feel your best, and do your best in all things. If it doesn’t start at home, where will it start?
9. Affirm Your Positive Changes by Naming Them Out Loud and Often.
Remind yourself every morning why you are making good choices. Name your successes out loud each day. Congratulate and smile to yourself before you lay your head on a pillow each night for all of your achievements. This is really hard! When you make a daily goal of sticking with it, that’s huge! You deserve a pat on the back. But alas, all you are going to be rewarded with is a healthy body and the possibility of a longer life. No biggie 🙂
10. Don’t Stop When You Reach Your Goal. This Change Is For Good Baby!
One of the biggest problems with goal setting when it comes to health and fitness is that so many believe that all you have to do is stick to a plan for a period of time, get your body to a place you feel good, and then you can go back to living the way you did before. This is a myth. Let me repeat…THIS IS A MYTH!
Being healthy and fit is a life-long pursuit. You must maintain healthy behaviors by making them the new normal in your life if you want to stay fit and enjoy the benefits they bring. Once you master your daily goals, and your monthly goals, and then your yearly goals, set your sites on a life-long goal of living well and living fit. This change is for good!
What ways will you lean in to fitness this week? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and good luck this week! If you want to be sure to catch all of our posts, take a minute to connect with us.