“He who fails to plan is planning to fail”
A glimpse here, a shadow there, a specter that you notice, just for a moment, in the corner of your eye. You see it popping up at the store. You feel it when you walk outside. You realize it when your parent’s ask, “When are you coming home?” It’s “The Holidays” and they’re coming for you.
The first barrage comes by way of the cavity-inducing candy-fest known as Halloween. Not to be outdone, Thanksgiving hurtles through, leaving you in a turkey and stuffing induced stupor. Then, a big fat man with a red suit assaults your waistline with 12 days of Christmas. And, just when you think it’ couldn’t get any worse, it does. New Years Eve hits you with a body shot, and then another, and then another, and then...
You do something different. You go on the offensive. You take the holidays head on.
This is the year for “Preemptive Fitness”, and this is how it’s done.
Set a Goal
Larry Bird said that “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”, but you could also say that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t aim for. Having a measurable goal gives you a target and a way to track you success, so start your Preemptive Fitness plan by giving yourself a goal.
Example Goal 1: Maintain current weight through January 1st
Example Goal 2: Exercise 30 minutes 6 days a week until January 1st
Train Your Brain
Your brain’s natural tendency is to resist change, and, if left to it’s own devices, will do everything it can to derail your efforts. A great way to train your brain is to listen to motivating podcasts, read books on exercise/diet, and to search blogs and websites that will keep your brain occupied with thinking about how you CAN rather than how you CAN’T.
Studies have shown that your friends’ weight gain can actually become your weight gain! So, be selfish and get your friends to join in on a Preemptive Fitness plan with you. If this fails, go for your other “friends”. Facebook has hundreds of groups that you can join to ask questions, get motivated, and it’s a great option for those late nights when you need to be “talked down” from making a midnight pizza run.
Plan for Contingencies
Even the most perfectly designed program is bound to falter when reality rears its ugly head. Stuff happens, so be prepare a “fall-back” plan. If you know that a particular holiday meal is going to epic, designate that single meal as a free-for-all and schedule an extra workout and/or dietary “recovery” day. The worst shots are the ones you don’t see coming, so roll with the punches and you’ll come out ahead.
Did I say start now? Start now! Get out a piece of paper, write out your goal, download some podcasts from iTunes, call a friend (or join a Facebook group), and prepare for the inevitable. The whole idea of Preemptive Fitness is that you can do today what you would normally put off till next year, and in the process, feel a whole lot better about yourself. In conclusion, START NOW!
Useful Websites and Resources:
Meetup.com - Love barefoot running? Want to get involved with Crossfit? Find thousands of people who share your interests on this awesome site.
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work - Want to make your brain work for you rather than against you? Read this book to discover how you can use happiness to make it happen!
Android Apps - Track your intervals, learn some new exercises, or log your miles with these free apps!
Have an I-Phone? - Get Daily Burn, RunKeeper, and Waterlogged to help stay on track!