I am in year two of a 33-year life plan. What is the plan? To live to 100 with health, vitality, creativity and love.
This plan includes creating more books, photo art, traveling and living vibrantly with my love. Will I be successful? I don't know but I am giving it all I have and an essential piece of the plan is making a number of "shoulds" into "musts."
A brief tip of the hat to Tony Robbins here.
Tony is adamant that meaningful change only occurs when we make a decision to change our attitude about all those things we think we "should" do into things we "must" do. I agree, and so I decided (about 9 months ago) to change my should about exercise to a must.
Here is my logic. I hope you make it yours.
I want to age with as much vitality, physical strength and general health as I can. Can I do that without daily exercise? Clearly not. A body neglected is a body that atrophies, gets weaker rather than stronger and invites (yes, that is the right word) disease.
Research indicates that one in three individuals gets cancer in their life time. However, that ratio changes to one in 20 if that person exercises 45 minutes a day. And besides having a better chance of staying disease free, an exercised body is just plain more fun, more flexible, more resilient to stress and is much better at sex.
So I took a hard look at my shoulds about exercise and realized that even though I was "shoulding" all over myself about it, in fact I was not doing it at all.
I was grossly and irresponsibly out of shape and had been since I was 25. Yes, I lost 65 pounds in 2000 and have kept 50 of them off since but when it came to exercise I was a failure.
And the hard truth is that weight loss alone does not make a healthy body.
I realized that in order to give my plan a fighting chance I had to make daily exercise a MUST. Done deal.
It had to be a daily fact like taking a shower, brushing my teeth and getting dressed for work. No choice, no whining -- just do it every day. So I made a new commitment: 45 minutes exercise six days a week.
I was completely out of shape so I bought a Schwinn Airdyne bike, set it up in front of my TV and began with five minutes. I added two minutes to my exercise every couple of days until I finally arrived at 45 minutes.
I have been consistent with this exercise for the last nine months and am now beginning to add small weights and stretches. I feel a significant difference in my energy and my stamina and have lost 5 pounds. It has also contributed to a stronger sense of pride in my ability to get in shape and keep my 33-year Plan in operation.
What can this mean for you? Do what I did and begin today: Make your "should exercise" a "must exercise."
Start slowly with exercise you know you can do. Work up to 45 minutes. Commit to 6 days a week.
Email me and let me know your new MUST EXERCISE PROGRAM.
GO FOR IT!
Matthew Anderson, D.Min. is a nationally recognized weight loss coach, columnist, motivational speaker and author of The Prayer Diet, Eating to Kill, and Why You Want to Be Fat. He also specializes in helping individuals survive and thrive during major life crises and can be contacted at www.DraUSA.com or (561) 362-4049.