1 - "Big Rocks Before Little Rocks"
As you begin to think about New Year’s resolutions, it can be tempting to jump right into the minutia - fancy diets, detailed workout plans, etc. Resist this urge and make sure that you are putting "big rocks before little rocks." The concept is simple: put your highest priorities in order before you start messing with the little stuff and sweating the details. Ironically, a lot of people tend to see this approach as too easy. They want to shoot for the stars, but the truth is that this strategy pretty much NEVER works. A wise man once said "the less you do, the more you do" (Do Less). All joking aside, starting simple is a common key to success.
Here’s a list of what I would call the Big Rocks when it comes to health and fitness:
•Sleep – It is the single most underappreciated aspect of health and fitness. Sleep is arguably the most important thing you can do for your body. Without adequate rest, our bodies simply cannot function properly. Lack of sleep leads to a slower metabolism, increased hunger, decreased performance in your workouts, and decreased motivation to get those workouts done in the first place. I recognize that some people legitimately have a hard time sleeping, but usually (unless you have young children), your sleep can be improved by addressing the next 3 items on this list …
• Drink (A LOT of) Water - There’s plenty of information about exactly how much to drink, but don’t sweat the details here. If you are an average, busy person, there is a good chance you aren't drinking enough. Drink more.
• Move your body a minimum of 3x per week - What? Why not 6 times per week? Is that too much? Nope. But exercise science would say that the magic number (think BIG ROCK) is 3x per week in order to see significant improvements in your health. Any extra workouts would fall into the little rock category.
There's also a reason I say “move your body” as opposed to recommending some super specific workout regimen. Are some workout programs better than others? Yes, 100%, but when you are starting out, the main thing to focus on is creating a sustainable habit. Just move. The important thing is to start and stick with it long enough to form a habit. Once the habit is formed, you can start diving into the details. Also, keep in mind that working with a coach to help you cultivate this habit in a safe and effective manner will give you the best chance for success (Enquire About Training)
•Get Enough Protein, and Healthy Fats – Generally, most people are eating way too many carbs, not enough healthy fats, and far too little protein. This is especially true among females. As you look at your diet, protein should be a HUGE rock, healthy fats should be a BIG one and carbs typically take care of themselves.
While some might argue that this is an overly simplistic view of a healthy diet, there is a good chance that you aren’t doing the big stuff yet, so there’s no reason to drown yourself in the details until you get your big rock habits in order. Here is a list of the best protein and healthy fat sources
The truth is that most people are missing the boat on at least of few of these areas and if any of them aren’t on point, you are not getting the most out of your body. Each of these aspects of health significantly contributes to fat loss, energy, injury prevention, disease prevention, and the list goes on …
2 - Make Small but Specific Goals (AND Track Your Progress)
Using the 4 examples from above, small but specific goals would look like this:
1 - Water - I will drink a 20 oz water bottle 3x per day (starting with one first thing in the morning).
2 - Sleep - I will sleep 7+ hours every night. (Keep in mind that how much sleep an individual needs varies, so you’ll need to know your body here. What amount makes you feel your best?)
3 - Exercise - I will move my body for 30 minutes 3x per week. It’s best to have some accountability here, a certified personal trainer is the best tool (Enquire About Training) but partnering with a friend or family member could also work.
4 - Food - I will eat a fistful of protein along with some healthy fats at every meal. Depending on where you are now, you may even want to start with just protein and focus on the healthy fat once your protein habit is in place. Keep it simple, and doable. Need some nutrition help? We got you! (Enquire About Nutrition Coaching)
Like I said in the title, these resolutions aren’t sexy, but the good news is you’ve probably had the answers to better health and fitness all along. Now you just need to make a plan and take action.
Need some accountability in making your 2017 goals a reality? We’re here to help. At Heat, we offer personal training and nutrition coaching for those just getting started on their fitness journey. For those who are a little further along and are ready for group fitness and some healthy competition, we’re running a 6 Week Team Challenge starting on January 15th , which can help you stay accountable and reach your goals in the early part of the New Year. Find out more: HEAT UP 2017 Challenge.
For more info on any of the items mentioned above email Jake@Heatstudios.com
Happy New Year!