So what do you want to with yourself? What do you want to look like next summer?
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Let's start planning now so you're not in the same condition this time next year. No more "I'm going to the beach in two weeks, I gotta lose the fat!" With some planning, you can absolutely get into your best shape by next summer.
1. Visualize what you want to look and feel like like by next June. Really picture it. What size clothes? How will they fit? How will you feel wearing them? Visualization is an often overlooked, but important part of goal achievement. Things are always created twice, once in the mind, and finally in the real world.
2. Set firm, measurable mini-goals. Break up your big goal into challenging but achievable goals so you constantly see progress. Will it be to wear a medium T-shirt by December, and a small in March? Will it be to run a 10-minute mile by January then an 8-minute mile by April? Eat an elephant one bite at a time.
3. Make a plan and stick to it no matter what. Set an exercise schedule and don't let anything get you off track, barring natural disaster, illness or death. Consistent persistence is the key to winning, no matter what you want to accomplish.
4. Reward yourself for winning. Every time you reach a milestone, hook yourself up. Eat at a nicer restaurant than you normally would, get yourself those shoes you've been eyeing for a while, treat yourself to a massage at your favorite salon.
5. Do and review. Every few weeks, take stock of your progress. What's working? What have been your challenges? It's super important for you to be fully aware of how effective your plan is. Ready-aim-shoot strategy never works.
Take advantage of the newfound time, and get yourself back into the habit. All the hard work now will pay off next summer when you find you don't have to work as hard to keep what you've earned.
Chad Smith is a Hagerstown personal trainer. Visit his blog www.hometeamfitnessblog.com.