Summer is gone. What’s next?
Overcome the hibernation mode!
Summer time has gone, taking smiles and resolutions with it. We all need goals in life to keep us engaged, motivated and moving in the right direction. And often the ‘bikini season’ is the perfect pretext to get back in shape. Then the ‘standby mode’ switches on and we get back into the not-looking –moving –feeling-well vicious circle which brings a bitter feeling of guiltiness and frustration until New Year comes, with the hope of becoming fitter and healthier again.
You can decide to put an end to than disruptive pattern now by simply choosing to reach that place where the magic happens, right outside of your comfort zone.
There are many factors involved in the above-mentioned from-fit-to-hibernation mode process, some of them are under your control and some are not. I am pretty confident you are aware of which are not under your control, so let’s be focused on what is within your reach.
Willpower researcher Roy Baumeister, PhD, a psychologist at Florida State University, describes three necessary components for achieving objectives. First, he says, you need to establish the motivation for change and set a clear goal. Second, you need to monitor your behaviour and results toward that goal. The third component is willpower.
Motivations and goals based exclusively on how you look are more likely to lose its power in the long term. Go beyond the physical appearance and aim to achieve a particular fitness benefit you would like to experience. It may be strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination, mindfulness, agility, speed or perhaps a combination of all of them, like I do. Perhaps you can develop new practical skills such as self-defence, or engaging in mind-body connection activities such as Yoga. Most people who stay focused and stick with their fitness routine are those who enjoy the practice and benefits of it. They are the type of individuals who look, move and feel well, able to go on holidays, have a well-deserved rest and get back to training with more eager than ever.
There are many different ways to monitor your progress and results depending on your goals. If you are looking to drop a few sizes then you can use your clothes size to guide you during the process as well as tape measurements. If you aim for physical results but health is of upmost importance I would advise you to track your progress also with a Heart Rate Monitor and a Body Composition digital scale (so you can know not only you weight but also your body fat, muscle mass, bone mass, BMI and with some of them, even your metabolic age –how old your body is according the stated factors-). Keeping records of your fitness improvements involves other many different specific tests. Whether you need to undertake these actions or not is up to you, your goals and how firm your willpower is.
Willpower is like a muscle, the more you exercise it the stronger it gets. While it is true that genetic and environmental factors may have a significant impact in the development of certain features such as willpower, it must also be said that most human virtues and qualities may be cultivated. The very first step begins by acknowledging yourself as a dynamic being able to learn, explore and grow.
Over the course of my life I met hundreds of people who assured to have no willpower and, if truth to be told, somehow I believed the same about myself as a child. Time after that, I realised that it was not a matter of willpower or self-discipline but a matter of motivation, purpose, guidance and direction. We all need those to stay focused, get inspired and keep on the right track. In my teen years I read a very enlightening book written by Miguel Angel Cornejo, which its moto still remains strong in my mind and I would like to share here:
‘Being excellent is doing the things, and not looking for the reasons to show that those things cannot be done’.
There are many ways not to reach your destination and clearly those ways will never take you there. Focus on why you want to get there, how you can do so and how bad you want it.
Being fit and healthy should not become a seasonal preference but a lifestyle and priority.
Forgive those past lapses. Learn from them, get up and thrive. Dare to reach your highest potential through fitness. Invest in your health and cultivate a self-respect attitude by choosing to believe in you every day. Now is the best moment. Now is the only true moment.
Written by; Pilar