Making change


If you exercise consistently, have a nutrition plan that supports your health and exercise goals and generally take good care of yourself, kudos!  There’s nothing better you can do for yourself to feel and look better and stay youthful.  For everyone else who wants to get to that point but just can’t find the motivation, this blog is for you!

The reasons for taking care of oneself vary, but let’s say it’s to stay healthy, energetic and around long enough to see the grand kids graduate.  Or maybe it’s to get back into a size 6, or a 34 waist and feel better in clothes.  Or, maybe it’s to play 18 holes of golf without low back pain, or get back into shape to ski moguls this winter.  The goal itself is actually irrelevant.  The real issue is wanting change, which indicates you’re not satisfied with the status quo.

Most people know what needs to change (diet, exercise habits, better sleep), but don’t know how.  Let’s face it, making positive changes can be tough, and it doesn’t happen on its own.  Change requires action; consistent action.  So how do you do that?  Well, you know what you’re currently doing isn’t getting you any closer to your goal, and you’re dissatisfied.  Use those feelings to motivate you.

One day at a time...

Start by making a plan for yourself that you know you can handle.  Take on something manageable like cutting back to just one dessert a week, or getting to the gym 4 days every week.  Then, focus on that exclusively until it’s part of your routine.  Tell yourself you can do it, particularly when times get tough.  If going to the gym is in your schedule and you’re not feeling 100% up to it, don’t skip it.  Take a moment to say to yourself, “I can do this, and I want to do it because it’s going to get me closer to my goal,” or “I am going to feel so much better because I went and worked out.”  It may seem simple (or silly), but you have to motivate yourself to achieve long term success!

Keep track of your progress and alter things when necessary.  If you’re not getting to the gym, figure out what’s getting in your way and adjust.  It could be changing the time of day you go.  It could be trying a different workout to keep you interested.  It could be going to bed earlier so you have enough energy.  Whatever it is, decide that your plan and your goal are of utmost importance to you and help yourself do what you need to do.  In the end, no one else can do it for you – it’s up to you and you can make it happen!

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Michael Bento is an Advanced Trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park. He holds a Masters degree in Human Movement and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist.

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