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'Olympic challenge!'

FITNESS FANATIC: Bella-Marie

I DON’T know about you, but I found 2011 to be a very trying year; one where I was definitely pushed to my limits.

From September through to November, I was signed off work because of work-related stress.

During much of 2011, I had suffered with severe migraines, my body came out in blisters, I had anxiety attacks, my appetite fluctuated severely – which resulted in weight gain – for months I could not sleep, and finally, I lost a considerable amount of hair.

To help me through the stressful time, my doctor recommended I continue with my fitness because of its natural benefits. (Exercise relaxes muscles, uses fat and cholesterol, gives you a feeling of happiness, can reduce pent up frustration, can take your mind off your problems, can provide social support, and can also reduce the impact of illness).

Even though I have a vast amount of fitness knowledge, it really brought home to me how important it is to maintain both a fit and healthy lifestyle. So this year, I would like to urge you to make 2012 a year of health and fitness. And with the London Olympics looming, what better inspiration is there to set new fitness goals?

Every year, most of us make New Year’s resolutions or goals, or at least have a plan to make changes somewhere in our lives. Without doubt, the resolutions start off with great determination, but somehow, only a few have the relentlessness to keep up their goals.

How to achieve effective goals

For you to be able to achieve your goals effectively, it’s important to know how to properly set them. An unclear goal is a set-up for failure, but setting a goal correctly will help you achieve all you’ve set your mind to.

This is how you start: I would like you to fully understand one thing before you start: no matter how many times you have failed in the past, you can still accomplish your goal. Don’t let the negative thinkers tell you otherwise.

I truly believe those words and have proven to many people, especially those close to me how wrong they were when they doubted me. I’ve proven to them that by putting my mind to it, it will happen.

Most successful people do not just stumble upon success. They plan for it, they learn from previous errors and they develop positive habits, which leads them towards their goals. This is something I want you to do for 2012.
Let’s start planning your 2012
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First, you take out a sheet of paper and write ‘Goals’ at the top with today’s date. Then, write down 10 specific and realistic things you want to accomplish within the next 12 months for you to feel satisfied with your progress in life.

Example:

I want lose 10lbs of body fat and gain 3lbs of muscle

I want to run the Nike half marathon again and beat last year’s time

I want to complete my first duathlon in September
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Next, look over your list of 10 items and decide which ONE of these objectives would have the greatest positive impact on your life once it is achieved.

Example:

I want to lose 10lbs of body fat and gain 3lbs of muscle
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Now, write this on a separate piece of paper and make it a ‘Goal statement’ and set a realistic deadline to accomplish this goal.

Example:

I want to lose 10lbs of body fat and gain 3lbs of muscle by June 1st.
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Now, think of all the things you need to help you accomplish this goal.

Next, you need to write a realistic ‘action list’ that you will perform every day until you reach your goal. (A good way to do this is to write these down every day and each time you accomplish one, tick it off).

Example:

I will eat five to six small, nutritious meals daily

I will do an intense cardio workout for a minimum of 45 minutes on my workout days – Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

I will do an intense weight training session for a minimum of 45 minutes on my workout days – Tuesday and Friday.
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Now, answer the following two questions honestly:

Question one: What will I gain by reaching this goal?

Before answering this question, take the time to consider everything from your relationships, to finances, to how it will effect your emotions.

Example:

When I reach my goal…

I will have more confidence and self esteem.

I will have improved my health, which means I will be preventing disease and delaying the aging process.

I will have more energy, which will benefit my family
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Question two: What will I lose if I don’t reach my goal?

Example:

If I don’t reach my goal…

I will not have gained self confidence and self esteem, and would feel more negative about my life as a whole.

I will not gain the benefits of a healthy life, such as preventing disease and delaying the aging process.

I may lose the respect and recognition from my friends and family because I did not finish what I started

I will have little energy, which will affect my family
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Now, make sure this piece of paper is placed somewhere visible so you can read it (out loud) twice a day, every day – when you wake up and before you go to sleep.

Next, find a photo that reflects your goal. For example, if you want to get a toned and slender look, find a photo that depicts the image you want. We are naturally visual creatures and this will help you programme your mind as to what you truly want to accomplish.

So now, you have a specific and realistic goal, a deadline, a daily action plan and a newfound motivation by realising what you will gain (or lose) by achieving (or not achieving) your goal.

Many unsuccessful people will get this far and then think of ways not to take action. But remember: taking action isn’t painful. What’s painful is living your life unfulfilled and unsuccessfully.

Remember the other nine items you wrote down earlier? You can repeat them using the same format as above, but make sure you take your time to do so.
This is your plan for 2012 and therefore needs to be taken seriously if you want to accomplish your goals.

Don’t fear failure

Whatever you do, don’t worry about failing. If you aren’t failing, then you aren’t really living. The most successful people in the world are the ones that have failed the most. Why? Because they’re always taking action.

You will, without doubt, face adversity in many forms when trying to develop new habits. Try to remind yourself that good habits are hard to form but easy to live with. Bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with.

Remember that successful people do things that unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.

It has been said that it takes around 28 days to form a new habit, but once it’s ingrained, it will feel uncomfortable to not do the activity.

You can use this very simple goal-setting technique in every area of your life. It’s a very powerful technique and has been used by some very successful athletes, leaders, businessmen and women, and entertainers around the world.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seek advice from an expert in the field that interests you.

Knowing how to set goals for yourself is ideal for you to know what kind of future you want for yourself.

Determining the things that you want to achieve in your life would be ideal for you to be able to feel that you have lived life to the fullest.
Good luck and happy New Year!

To contact Bella-Marie, email: bella-marie@thefitlifeprogram.biz

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