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Getting healthyThis past weekend I had a medical exam. Just a check up. I managed to get straight “A”’s which is a good thing at my age. But it doesn’t come easy. Perhaps some people are born with a genetic code that gives them six-pack ab’s, incredible endurance and super human strength. But that is not me!

I have a six-pack and I keep it well protected with a layer of fat.

When I first started training, several years ago and my coach told me I needed to get in shape, I argued that round was a shape! I also explained my position on the commercial relationship of paying a coach.. should they not be able to go run for me! It shows you where I started from at least.

For many of us, we find it difficult to commit to an exercise program of any description including a new regime of eating healthier.

The problem is compounded by a life style that we refuse to change. yet in reality it can be fixed in a few simple steps:

1.    Get yourself a coach or at least an accountability partner. I know when I made the commitment to train, my coach asked for daily updates of what I had done. This did two things for me. it made me accountable (even if she never read the reports) and it also made me feel less than stellar if I sent in a report that said I missed my training today… you can only send a few of those before you get on the program 100%
2.    Don’t set lofty goals at the beginning. It is hard enough to get started, but if you get started with an objective that doesn’t match your present fitness level, then you have a much bigger reason to fail. Start with smaller objectives that match where you are presently and use them as stepping stones. Aim to go beyond the small goals and re-focus as you cross through that initial point. You will feel much better at the end.
3.    Make diet and exercise a priority. You have a calendar… use it. If someone says, “can you go for a coffee” and you had planned to run, simply explain that you have a meeting at that time and you would be able to meet earlier or later. Do not compromise on your commitment to get healthier.
4.    Find inspiration beyond your own goals. Perhaps you want to get healthier for someone else. If it is someone in your family who needs inspiration from your example or project you are attached to that you could ultimately raise money for… find a bigger reason not to quit when that feeling comes in to your head.
5.    Have fun! This is the biggest mistake most people make. Life becomes too programmed. For me, I like variety. If I do the same thing every week, over and over, I get bored of the routine. When I started, I explained the personality trait to my coach and she simply designed a program that was “fun” for my personality.
6.    Learn to take a break. Every exercise program needs recovery periods to help your body build through recovery. If you are an obsessive/compulsive personality, you may find you overtrain, which can be more damaging than not training!

Interestingly, these same principles can be used in many aspects of your life whether it is business, parenting, leading other people. For many of us, we struggle with time management issues that prevent us from accomplishing our dreams. The above points can help you plan to be healthier and more successful!

This year, I have the biggest physical challenge I have ever decided to undertake, a 650km run in Africa. I will tell you more about that as we launch the project later in the year… for now, I have to go for a run!

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