Creating An Active Lifestyle

by : Bill Parsons

You've decided that you need to overhaul your life. You want to be more active. You want to life more healthfully and you want to feel good, too.

How do you go about reaching such goals? There are several ways, and at least one will fit your time, energy, and budget.

Assess Yourself

The most important thing you can do is to sit down and get honest with yourself. Really think about what you want. Write it down. Spend just a few minutes to brainstorm a list of your goals, asking yourself the following questions:

1. Do I want/need to change my diet?

2. What are some ways I can be successful at this? (List anything you can think of, from Weight Watchers to Jenny Craig to hiring a nutritionist, etc...)

3. Which of the above are most feasible for me? (Consider time, amount of money required, etc...)

4. How about my exercise routine?

5. If you already have an exercise routine, write it down.

6. How faithful are you in following your routine? (Be honest! No one else is going to see this but you, and you can't make any changes without being honest with yourself.)

7. What options are available to improve your exercise regime? Think abou things you consider to be fun!(Considerations may include joining a fitness club, dance club, shooting hoops in your driveway, etc...)

8. Which of the options listed in number 7 can you afford? (Again, consider time, cost, etc...)

Now look carefully at your answers. Do you have at least one solution for both diet and exercise? Finally, in your quest to assess yourself, it's important to make sure you've had a recent physical examination. Your doctor can alert you to any underlying health issues that you may be experiencing which could ultimately work against you. (For example, I recently found out that I have a B12 deficiency...didn't know it, but it sure explained my fatigue!)

Now that you know your goals and your ability to meet them, it's time to implement steps to get yourself there.

The Straight and Narrow

You've got a plan; now all you need to do is to do it. Not surprisingly, this is where lots of people have problems. They enjoy the planning, the preparation, and the newness of starting a new project. Even the first few days of the new regime are exciting and fun, but something almost always seems to come up to throw a wrench in the works, as it were.

Stick to your plan, and hold yourself accountable. Here is where joining a club or hiring a professional, if you can afford to, can be a real help. Having someone to report to is a great motivator. If you don't want to explain the extra brownies you've eaten to your personal trainer, you probably won't eat them in the first place.

If you can't hire a professional, get together with a friend or family member who shares similar goals. You can be accountable to each other, be supportive and celebrate each other's successes.

No matter what, you CAN have a more active lifestyle.