Healthy Outdoor Living

Getting into shape resolutions

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Get into better shape this New Year

Year after year, Americans make it their New Year's resolution to get into shape and have a healthier lifestyle. A great percentage fail for a number of reasons including lack of motivation, dedication and strategy. However, it is possible to achieve this favorite resolution. We've put together a guide to help you jump start your quest for a better body.

  1. Make a commitment. The first step to achieving a better physique and a greater state of health is by realizing that your resolution must be a lifelong commitment instead of just a New Year goal. Put it into writing; make a contract with yourself and file a lawsuit should you breach that contract. Of course, that's just a joke, but you do have to be serious about your commitment.
  2. Set specific goals. As you jot down your resolution and draft your contact, don't simply state: I vow to lose weight. Instead, be specific of your goals: how many pounds do you wish to shed? How many inches do you want to whittle away from your belly? Take photos of your current body and paste it beside your dream body. It can be a photo of the hottest celebrity or of your body from 10 years ago. Record your current vital statistics (be honest) and document your weekly progress. Don't set yourself up for disappointment by setting unrealistic goals. Remember, it's better to take baby steps than frustrate yourself with trying to make giant leaps.
  3. Write down your motivation. You have to be clear with why you want to get into shape and be constantly reminded of your agenda.

    "With a better physique, I'll look great in my favorite bikini."

    "If I got into shape, I'll finally have the confidence to ask her out."

    "I want to look better and feel better."

    "I want to have the strength and endurance to perform all my daily tasks, with a little more left for some other activities."

    "I want to live longer."

  4. Craft your game plan. Now this is where the action comes in. There are various activities you can partake to help you get into shape; the key is for you to decide which one you'll enjoy best. You have the greatest chance of staying in a regimen if you like what you're doing. Fond of dancing? Running, perhaps, for some fresh air? What about yoga for some discipline and meditation? Lifting weights for some serious muscle building? Take advantage of your wide range of choices and pick out which appeals to you the most.
  5. Start your day right. Compose a mantra that you can recite at the start of each day.

    "Today is another day closer to my goals."

    "Another day, another inch, another pound."

    "Let's go, self!"

    It's better to do your workout in the morning when you're refreshed and energized as opposed with exercising in the evening when you might be too pooped from school or work.

  6. Recruit an ally. In any challenge, you'll stand a better chance of winning if you have someone to support you or do it with. Form a partnership with another person who also cares about getting a better physique. They will motivate you in your endeavor. Make a tally of each other's development and cheer for yourselves and one another.
  7. Complement your regimen with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Exercising will get you far, but you'll go farther by partnering your efforts with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Avoid junk, fat-laden and high-cholesterol food. Don't bother with fad diets; keep in mind: the unhealthier you eat, the harder you must work. Also, stay away from vices such as smoking, drinking alcohol and staying up all night. These activities will leave you drained and sluggish to work out.
  8. Have a day off. Allot one day a week where you can treat yourself to some indulgent goodies and take a break from exercising. This is your chance to have ice cream, a bigger slice of cake or a slab of ribs. Stay in your sweats and play video games. By having a day off, you'll have something to look forward to at the end of every workout week. This also eases the pressure from all the hard work and lets you better enjoy what you're doing.
  9. Don't slack off. Be a marshal of your own self even when you already have a workout partner. If you slack, make up for it by working out longer.
  10. Congratulate yourself. First, pat yourself on the back for deciding to live healthier and improve your body. Then, congratulate yourself on the progress you've made, no matter how small. Appreciate all your efforts and encourage yourself to keep up the good work and do better. Not many people get to hold onto their New Year's resolutions and if you aren't like these type of people, be proud, stand proud and show off your better body.
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