So how do you ensure that this summer is better than any other summer you have experienced so far? You know, a summer where you look forward to going to the beach or the neighborhood pool. Or maybe you aren’t into the water, but want to wear that strapless dress, or short skirt.
In honor of summer times soon to come, I want to share 5 ways this summer can be your best.
1. Reflect on past summers. I encourage my clients to look back at the last 5-10 summers. When were you feeling and looking your best? How about when were you at your worst? Learning from the past is a great way to make sure the future is bright.
Those summers where you were really happy at where you were at… what had you done for the 3-6 months leading up to the summer, and what did you do during the summer?
Similarly, the summers that weren’t so good, what did you, or didn’t you do leading up to the summer to prevent you from getting in shape?
I am amazed when I hear people complaining about how the look and feel, and when I ask them what they are planning on doing differently, they don’t even know.
Einstein once said: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
2. Variety is the spice of life. The people who seem to be the most fit, and less prone to injury are the ones that play a variety of sports, or participate many different activities. If you are doing Fit Fun Bootcamp or the Fit Moms For Life DVDs, also try some other activities. They might include biking, swimming, dancing, yoga, pilates, kayaking or whatever else you can think of.
Not only will it make your body more well rounded (not in the physical sense 🙂 ) but it will keep boredom from setting in.
3. Show off your worst body parts. I got this idea from Arnold Schwartzenegger. Back when he was young he had very skinny calves which he was embarrassed about. Instead of keeping them covered up, he cut all of his jeans off at the knees to the world could see them. This made him very self conscious and he spent extra time working his calves and eventually got them to a pretty good size.
So if you don’t like your arm, wear sleeveless shirts, if you don’t like your stomach, wear a tight shirt. I bet you will think twice about getting a second dessert or reaching for that beer if you feel your arms flapping or your stomach suction cupped to your shirt.
4. Meticulously plan out your day and meals. Summer tends to be a time with grad parties, potlucks, picnics, vacations, soft ball leagues, and so on. It is more important than ever to make sure you are planning out your meals. I recommend when you are eating by yourself or with your family… ie not at a social gathering, you commit to eating nearly perfect. Then those ball games, or parties that happen 1-2 times per week, you can splurge and eat what you want guilt free!
5. Set up some rewards along the way. In the upcoming month or two before summer and then during summer, set some goals, and with those goals, so rewards. For example by June 15th you might set the goal to do 1 pullup. The reward for doing this is a 60 minute massage. Or maybe you are in a 5K race and you want to run faster it under 30 minutes. The reward could be a new pair of running shoes.
Celebrating successes along the way keeps you hungry for more and allows you to appreciate what you have accomplished. If you don’t take time to step back and appreciate it, you will just be chasing goals, never being happy or appreciative of what you have accomplished.
I have had to personally learn this one the hard way. The past 4 years I have been working super hard in many areas in my life, whether that was fitness or building my business up. Once I would reach a goal, I would set a higher one, and go after that. After a couple years of that I realized that I wasn’t even appreciating the accomplishments I have been able to achieve. I bet you have done the same thing. Maybe you have lost 35 lbs, but all you can focus on is losing those last 5 lbs, instead of celebrating the 35 lbs you already lost.
So for me, I needed something to remind me of how far I have come… a treat you might call it. I am not very big into material things (I still rent one room out of a house, and maybe spend $500 a year on clothes), but I have always wanted a “fun” car. This probably goes back to the days in school when my parents would drop me off in our brown rusted out ’72 Chrysler NewYorker, or our 1980’s rusted out 12 passenger burgundy colored van. Sometimes I would lay down in the seat until I had to get out, and I would quickly jump out and hope nobody saw me. 🙂
So about a year ago, I found a “fun” car that was selling for super cheap (about the price of a Kia). So I bought it!
The car doesn’t make me a happier person, but each time I sit in it, it reminds me of the goals I have reached, both personally and professionally.
So just remember, to always be setting bigger goals, but take a step back to celebrate the ones you have already accomplished.