Artists who work with glass or metal know that you should not try to bend or shape the material while it remains cold and brittle. Glass will shatter and metal will break or quickly show signs of fatigue and damage. Our bodies also need to be warmed up to change. They need the tender, loving care of an artist to reshape them. You are that artist. And sculpting your new body takes time, patience and persistence. And yes, it takes hard work. Using the following SMART approach to exercise will help you get back into an exercise routine and allow you to reach your goals:
Specific—Set exercise goals that are well defined rather than vague. If you want to be a trim, define your goal along with the feeling you want to go with it. “I want to be 165 pounds of muscle and vibrant energy!”
Measurable—Measure your activity and your progress in an objective way such as recording your data in a journal. For example, instead of just walking more, a 30-minute, brisk walk is measurable. If you’ve only walked 25 minutes, you know you’re not done.
Action-oriented—You have to put your dreams into action, and exercise is all about physical movement. Keep your exercise interesting by varying your activity between stretching, light endurance, vigorous strength and other types of exercise. This helps to prevent heart attacks, sprains and other maladies from pushing too hard, too fast.
Realistic—Never let anyone tell you something cannot be done. Still if you are not realistic in your goals, you may set yourself up for failure. Short-term goals should be small and attainable. Achieving these will give you the confidence and motivation you need to set your goals a little higher each time.
Time-related—Set deadlines. This helps to keep you challenged so you keep moving forward. Naturally, any deadline needs to be realistic. You should not expect to be running marathons in one month after a couple of decades of deskwork or in-car commutes. OK maybe in a few months if you’re getting your chiropractic adjustments!