Pick and Commit Time to Exercise, 10 minutes a day. Ground Hog Day 2009 Fitness Resolutions.

Groundhog Day is here and gone, but there is still time for you to resolve to be better.

David Seah, the first person I know to talk about Groundhog Day Resolutions explains his GDR ideas. Leo at Zen Habits talks about Groundhog day resolutions too. It is in the air!  So, is 6 more weeks of winter regardless of whether the Groundhog saw his shadow or not.  (Hint:  the First Day of spring is:  March 20.  Count the number of weeks from Feb 2, 2009 to March 20, 2009)

So, What is Simpleweight’s Ground Hog Day Resolutions?

Number one: I know I can do a better job at convincing you (and I) that we can and will achieve our fitness goals. I know it, and I will help you to know it! It is imperative!

Number two, and more importantly: Our GroundHog Day Goal is to become physically fit. That Goal is too BIG! however, we need it that way. As I wrote in my previous Groundhog day post, Begin With The End In Mind, we must become absolutely certain where we want to go. So certain, that we believe and know it is inevitable. Remove the fat talk from our consciousness and replace it with fitness talk.

Some suggestions about goals:

  • Break out a map (a piece a paper).
  • Draw a line of where you are to where you want to go.
    • If you don’t know where you are, then write down everything about where you are now.
    • If you don’t know where you want to go, then write down everything about where you want to go.
    • Then keep that in your mind.
  • Then, break this big elephant into small bites. We must start small in order to make good habits.

As we begin to create our new selves, creation and being creative is a habit we must form just as a our fitness habits must replace our fat habits. So, how do we build this creative habit? In Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, the first step she talks about is the “Rituals of Preparation”:

When you have

  • selected the environment that works for you,
  • developed the start-up ritual that impels you forward every day,
  • faced down your fears,
  • and put your distractions in the proper place,

you have cleared the first hurdle. you have begun to prepare to begin.

Tywla Tharp

Wow. That is a lot in just one paragraph. I added the list and bold for emphasis. In order to create creative habits, we must make rituals. Rituals are things we feel impelled to do consistently. For some, that means to attend church everyday or every week. For others, it means praying five times a day. For basketball players, it means shooting your free throws in the exact same form every time. If we want to create good exercise and food habits, we have to be boring at first. We have to create rituals. We have to be consistent everyday.

Homework exercise:

  • Decide what time of day you are going to exercise every day for the next week.
  • Decide how much time you plan to exercise.
  • Decide what type of exercises.
  • Decide where you are going to exercise.
  • Decide why are you exercising.
  • Write this time and what you plan to do on 7 different 3 x 5 index cards.
  • Put the index cards next to your alarm or on your mirror or somewhere you will have to see them!
  • Set your phone alarm, set your watch alarm, set your clock alarm, set your computer alarm, and set your spouse alarm. Do whatever you have to do to meet this goal for the next 7 days! Each Day, pick up your card, go to the appropriate place and exercise!

Homework Hints:

Make this exercise time a ritual that is so rigid and so small, that it’s almost impossible for you to fail. Failure will not be possible. Guess, what we will do the following week. Increase the time and keep increasing it until we get to a net-caloric effect, but for now, we start small. We have to.

Mental thoughts: people who are not committed to exercise will ask themselves, how can I fit exercise into my day tomorrow. People who are committed ask themselves, how can I plan my day around my exercise time. Are you committed? Do you really want to become physical fit and achieve your ideal body? If so, change the questions you ask yourself.

Resist the urge to start exercising 60 minutes everyday. You are changing habits. People gradually become out of shape and sedentary. When we come out of the womb, we’re not super fat overweight babies. As we grow, most children are naturally active and moving around. We gradually learn to become sedentary, so we have to gradually learn to become active. If we do it too quick, we generally see people fail and over-whelmed. We know failure is not an option. So, start slow.

Homework Recommendations:

For those of you who need recommendations, because you don’t know where to start.

  • When to exercise?: First Thing you do when you get out of bed is to exercise (you might need to use the restroom, take a drink of water, and put your exercise clothes on and then exercise!)
  • How long? 10 minutes.
  • What Exercises? Anything. Do Jumping Jacks for ten minutes, Do stretching. Do Yoga, Run in place. I don’t care as long as it is something physical and you are pushing your body beyond what it normally can do. The goal is really to make the exercise a habit. If you need more stringent recommendations, I think you’ll see the most benefits from High Intensity Strength Training (we’re not talking heavy weight lifting, we’re talking weights that make you tired when you get to repetitions 7, 8, or 9.) Possible Exercise plans: The pattern that Jorge Cruise uses in the 8 minute workout is an excellent starter plan. Also, the Fitness Ladder Exercises from the Hacker’s Diet is another excellent quick starter workout. Remember pick something you love. So, if you love being outside, then go for a 10 minute walk.

I was reminded today, that big websites started out small. The first Amazon was nothing in comparison to what it is today. The first city began with a one room meeting place and then evolved into skyscrapers. Our Fitness habits will start small, we’ll build a strong foundation of habits that we’ll layer on top of. We’ll add biometric habits, eating habits, and more exercise habits all of which will make up the Slow Weigh to long term weight management and weight loss.

Dream Big, Start Small, and Continually take action! What’s your Ground Hog Day Resolutions?

Begin with the End in Mind for Weight Loss – 13 days to GroundHog Day Resolutions

Image: 'quiet I'm thinking' www.flickr.com/photos/28801512@N00/292262245
Image: 'quiet I'm thinking' www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/292262245

Our goal in the next two weeks is to get ourselves so worked up and convinced that we can be healthier and meet our weight loss goals that it becomes inevitable.  Even if you have failed in the past with dieting or exercise regiments, we must overcome that negative karma in order to generate our the positive self-image required for the arduous tasks ahead.

Really?  Arduous tasks?  What’s so arduous about our tasks ahead?

In the future, we’re going to have to break down all our bad habits and replace them with good healthy habits.  The only way we can do that is to be in a positive emotional state leaving our baggage behind.  Don’t worry about these arduous tasks, for when we’re done, we’re going to make these tasks be the easiest things you’ve ever did.

Huh?  wait a minute, did you just say that we’re going to make our weight loss goals and exercise habits the easiest thing we ever did?  How the heck are we going to do that?

The right frame of mind.  That’s what we have to do in the next two weeks.  We have got to convince ourselves, by 02-02 (Feb 2), that there is no way we will fail.  No way.

One of the reasons we built simpleweight was to help everyone manage their own fitness.  When I say everyone, I include myself in this list.  Have you ever seen a Fitness Expert, Diet Book Author, or Diet and Weight Management website owner be unhealthy, unfit, and generally obese?  Neither have I. So, my brother and I built simpleweight to help us maintain our own physical fitness and healthy body weight.

Now, I wouldn’t call myself obese by any means, in fact, its borderline whether I’m fat or not, but I’m also not the symbol of fitness a weight loss website owner should be.  When I follow my own advice, I lose weight, I feel better, I look better, I save money, and I eat less.   When I don’t follow my own advice, I do the opposite.  Well, what have I done, I haven’t gained weight, but I haven’t lost weight either.  So, I have failed at meeting my weight loss and physical fitness goals, but I don’t like to call it failure.  It’s just taking me longer than I expected.  I will succeed, because I will act.  Action must come before the success.

Around the web, people are losing their way with weight management.  For example,  Oprah recently went on her show and discussed her weight issues. Oprah now weighs over 200 lbs. (I am surprised and happy to hear that I weigh less than her.  Then again, she is worth a billions of dollars, and I am not. Of course, money does matter.)   I have followed the fellas at getfitslowly.com on their journey for weight loss.  I’m totally surprised that their experiences almost mimic my own progress.  They are eating better, they feel better, but they are not meeting their own weight loss goals. In fact, they had a discussion just this last summer about what it means to be healthy and fit, and whether you can be fit and still be overweight.  Ultimately, I’d say they are healthier and with God’s good grace, they will live longer because of their efforts. Starling

Many of us, fluctuate.  We get on the horse ride a bit, then fall off, and we forget to get back up on the horse again for too long.  We let our bad habits take over our good habits.  It takes a long, long time to turn bad habits into good habits. However, it takes perseverance.  I know I will do it, and I know you can too.

So, How do I get back my Positive Outlook?  How do I turn the tide and return to the healthy habits of daily exercise and eat until satisfied rather than eat until full.

I generate positive inertia by re-focusing on the long-term.

I’ve been analyzing it by comparing Weight Loss and Fitness to other Common Business and Personal Problems.  For Example,  David Allen with Getting Things Done suggests that there are 6 levels for reviewing your own work. He compares our work to altitude.  At the Runway level, we have the immediate next action.  In other words, what am I going to do right now at this very moment in order to achieve the larger goal of projects which operate at the 10,000 foot level.  Projects below to our Areas of responsibility at the 20,000 foot level.  Which hopefully are moving us toward are One to Two Year Goals at the 30,000 foot level.  Working us towards our 40,000 foot level of 5 year vision which leads us to the 50,000+ Foot Level of the Big Picture, and other Purpose for Living Life Goals.  For some people, Not knowing your purpose or not knowing your one to two year goals, they can operate just fine.  In other words, They can fly the plane just fine even though they don’t know where they are going.  I am not one of those people.

I need to have a very, very clear focus at where I want to go at the 40,000 foot level otherwise, my plane is all over the runway and probably won’t even take off.  If it does take off, then it’s all wobbly while it reaches the 10,000 foot level.  I need that Long Term Crystal Clear Vision or Mission.

Let’s look at another example, in Stephen Covey’s books: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and First Things First, he provides “Begin with the End in Mind”  as habit number two and the need for us to have a moral compass.  We need this compass in order for us to find direction.  Without our moral compass, we too often live in the day to day doing not important urgent tasks rather than the not urgent very important projects.

So, our homework as we prepare for Groundhog Day New Year’s Resolutions is to create a moral compass and identify with clarity what we want to happen with our fitness and eating habits.

Ask ourselves these questions:

  • What do I want?
  • How do I want to feel?
  • What do I want to look like?
  • What will my portion sizes look like when I eat?
  • How will it feel to be exercising every day?
  • What am I willing to give up to achieve my new habits?
  • What will people say to you?
  • If a friend walks up to you after not seeing you for a while, what are they going to say when you achieve success by meeting your Ground hog day resolutions?
  • Why?, Why?, Why?, Why?, Why?, Why?  (Ask yourself why repeatedly six or more times until you are precise with an answer.  it helps when you have a 3 or 4 year old ask you. )
Image: 'Spiral-Bound Pad' www.flickr.com/photos/49503155381@N01/2475849569
Image: 'Spiral-Bound Pad' www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2475849569

Homework Assignment:

Our Goal for this homework assignment is to write down in crystal clear vivid imagery what do we want to be and achieve.  We will need to write in present and/or past tense.  I often suggest you find magazine or website pictures of buff women or men and photoshop or paste your head on your ideal body.  Build that vivid image that is so clear that you’ll be experiencing it.

Visualization Assignment:

Now clear your head by breathing in and out sitting on a firm but comfortable chair.  Listen to your breath in and out.  Count 15 even average breaths from fifteen slowly down to one.  Now, imagine you are stepping onto a scale. You see the toes and feet perfectly shaped without any excess weight stepping on the scale.  As you wait for the scale to spin to your ideal size, you notice how lean you feel and how strong your heart is.  re standing on a scale.  You look down and see that you are weighing the exact amount for your ideal body image.  The scale then scans your Body Fat % and calculates your BMI.  More waiting, and you see the body fat % is exactly as it should be and the BMI is right in your healthy range.  As you step off the scale, you look at a full length mirror and notice your body is the perfect picture of health and vitality. You notice your calves are strong lean and give your body shape.  Your thighs are not big, but not skinny.  They’re just right for your height, the waist and hips curve just perfectly to give you a beautiful look and fit your thin stomach right into your perfect chest.  Your arms are toned and the strength you have to do daily tasks that were so difficult before are now just as easy as floating a feather.

It helps to know where we are going, before we get on the plane.  We may have to take some twists and turns due to unforeseen circumstances, but we still have the end in the mind.

If you want to share, post your answers to the homework below.  If you want more privacy, but still want to share, email me your answers to coach [at] simpleweight [dot] com  –or– use our contact us form.

What is my the image of my perfectly healthy me in present tense?

14 days to Groundhog day, What are you doing about it?

Every year, people make New Year’s Resolutions.

Every year, Most people break their resolutions by U.S.’s Groundhog day,  (Feb 2)

Image: 'Happy Groundhog Day!' http://www.flickr.com/photos/62943723@N00/377567731
Image: 'Happy Groundhog Day!' http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/377567731

What are you going to do about breaking your resolutions?

I resolved this year, not to make resolutions until Groundhog day (a la David Seah).    Now, you ask why?  The Party Forces are against you. Think about it.

  • From Thanksgiving until Christmas, there are parties galore with all sorts of food and drinks.
  • After Christmas, you’re eating up all the left-over cookies, candy canes, chocolate, and other wonderful goodies.
  • New years, you’re partying it up.  Drinking and eating.
  • New Year’s Day, with all the New Year’s American College Football games, who’s not going to over-eat chips and salsa, pizza, and beer on New year’s day?
  • Then, we have a week of BCS college football games, NFL Playoffs, and then on to the Super Bowl Parties.

Wow, what a stacked load of over-eating bonanzas face us before Groundhog day.  Now, who’s ever heard of over-eating at Lincoln’s birthday parties?  or Valentine’s day nachos?  Heck, The Academy Awards are more of Tea and Wine Party than a bowl of chips and hot dogs.  Granted, for the typical party-goer, Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras throw a wrinkle in the plans of avoiding the over-indulgent parties. Additionally, Toss in the most wonderful TV time of year known as College Basketball March Madness and the parties are still coming.

Yet, those can be seen as hiccups in the spring along the way to summer BBQ’s.  So, What’s the best time to join a gym?  It sure isn’t January 1st when the wait for the cardio machines changes from a December 0 mintues to a January 30 minutes.  I suggest you Join the Gym in February when everyone else is fizzling on their New year’s resolutions and annoyed by all the January Joiners.  You can avoid the wait and be clean of the major party events.

To be honest, what’s the best time for Resolutions? it’s now, when you have convictions and motivation.  Do it Now, this Second, and resolve to be the new thin you.  Believe it, Dream it, Visualize it, and Feel it.

Not Convinced?

Well, I’m giving you (and myself) 14 days to become convinced.  You have to become so convinced and motivated that you will stick with your new habits at least until you achieve your goals and reach your swimsuit size by summer beach time.

How are you going to prepare yourself to begin the journey of healthy eating, healthy exercise, and a healthier you?

…stay tuned…

Of course, it has something to do with the Slow Weigh, but that’s enough of that for now.