I’ve learned over the years not to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to making resolutions for the New Year. I make a couple small promises to myself but I see to it that they are attainable and that I’m really motivated to follow through.
The first of my two resolutions for 2017 is simply a continuation of one I started decades ago and that’s to keep myself in shape. Now, that covers a lot of territory. It means I commit to doing what it takes to stay strong and physically capable. I have to combine resistance training, cardio and good nutrition to see that I end each year in acceptable condition.
This January I’m excited to try adding some time on my Total Gym. I bought the thing on deep discount after watching the infomercial (for the umpteenth time). Susceptibility to the lure of infomercials would also explain why there’s a Vitamix in my kitchen (I use it all the time), a body blade in my family room (I’m not even going to try and explain that one) and Wen hair care products in my bathroom (they work great, by the way).
My second resolution is to make sure I read more widely. Despite the fact that I was a Literature major in my undergraduate days, I have many books I should have read, that I somehow missed. I’m going to add two additional books per month to augment my regular reading material. A couple of days ago I was looking over the Kindle options for some new titles. I happened upon a free WhisperSync version of Call of the Wild by Jack London. WhisperSync books include an audio component so that you can read it yourself in the traditional way or you can listen to someone else, a narrator, read it to you. Call of the Wild is one of those books, I thought I should know, that I just never got around to reading so I figured I could listen to it while on the rowing machine. Great idea…awful choice of books….I’m not going to be able to add it to my “books-I-have-read category.”
The first couple of chapters concentrate on terribly cruel treatment of dogs by miserable, mean people. The last thing that happened, right before I turned the narration off for good was a Husky pack attack on a single, female dog. Blood, ripped flesh, entrails and death…needless to say, it was not relaxing and I certainly didn’t find it entertaining.
Just like I learned over the years not to eat things I don’t like the taste of in the quest for a fit, lean body and I also learned not to waste time reading books or watching movies that don’t fulfill the purpose I assigned them before starting them. I’ve read plenty of unpleasant things in my lifetime but I don’t do it for entertainment. Yeah, yeah, I know it probably gets better as you go along and culminates in the triumph of human and/or dog spirit but, no thanks.
Next time, I’ll try To Kiss a Rouge or Secrets of a Scandalous Bride.
Wishing you a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. We’ve got a brand new year on tap with wonderful possibilities ahead. Let us lift a glass to each other and jump into 2017 with anticipation of great things to come!
This is just a little reminder to those of you who made fitness related resolutions for the new year. Don’t quit. Even if you’ve had a slip up or two already, don’t despair. We all slip up. Don’t let that be the excuse you use to do the easy thing and stop trying.
Discipline requires practice. It gets easier to stick to your guns over time. Little glitches are learning experiences and should be understood as such. Pat yourself on the back for all the days you did meet expectations, pull up your socks and keep going!
I always think about what I want to accomplish when moving into a new year. There really isn’t anything that different about January 1st but it feels like the perfect time to think about fitness and nutritional goals you want to meet over the next 12 months. My advice is to avoid trying to overhaul everything at once. That makes your resolutions very hard to stick to. It’s a better idea to pick one or two things, like making sure to get enough water each day or committing to a brisk half hour walk four times a week. With only a little effort you’re sure to be able to meet that goal and everything else you do on top of it is icing on the cake.
If you bite off too much at one time, it’s easy to miss the mark. You pile on the expectations, then fail to meet them once or twice and give up because it’s too hard.
Make it easy on yourself…pick something small that will move you toward your bigger goal and you’ll see…success breeds success!
I’m not that big on making sweeping New Year’s resolutions. Year after year they pretty much stay the same. I reaffirm my commitment to fitness and to personal improvement in a variety of areas. Rather than make a far-reaching resolution or two starting January 1st, I make lots of little resolutions throughout the year. Biting off small projects with shorter term goals helps ensure my interest and therefore success.
To that end I’ve dedicated the next 12 weeks to adding muscle and stripping fat simultaneously. By the end of March I want to be lean and muscle-y enough to be happy walking on the beach in a pretty bikini over Spring Break. I’m always trying to get my biceps to pop so I’ve taken up a little challenge that I saw on another wordpress blog. The hows and whys of this particular program make sense to me so I’m optimistic about the outcome. Besides, I happen to know that chin ups are great for more than just biceps. They challenge your entire upper body so whether I get the giant biceps I’m after or not, I can’t lose. Currently, I’m on my second week of this program and all is going well.
I should note that I modified this program a little to fit my capabilities better (this article was written for a man) I’m actually doing sets of 5 chin ups at a time instead of 10 and there are times when I do more than one set an hour although I do try to space them a reasonable length apart (at least 20 minutes…sometimes it’s not convenient to do a set of chin ups and sometimes you have extra time on your hands with which to do many).
I’m always happy and excited to have something new to work on. Anybody care to join me? Even if this type of program doesn’t appeal to you why not make up a 12 week challenge of your own? Short, sweet challenges help make fitness much more fun.
This chin up program is courtesy of my hardcore friend Fred (http://lifehardcore.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/great-program-to-improve-your-chin-ups/)