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Post #5: The Gym

Welcome to the fifth post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone.
If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.

Post #5: The Gym

With the new year, brings a renewed vigor for trying to achieve a balanced life. This is something I usually attempt most years, but I’ve usually failed before the first week is through. But not this year! 2012 is the year of Doing, and here are seven things that are helping me get on the right track:

  1. Ask the tough questions.
    First thing I did was address the problems (eg “I feel gross. And I’m not happy with the way I look” etc). I followed up these problems with why questioning. (eg “I don’t look great because I eat ridiculous amounts of chocolate each night.”). It’s important to be truthful – you’ll only be cheating yourself.
  2. So what are you going to do about it?
    Marry the issues you have with practical solutions. You have a bad knee? Try the elliptical machine instead of the treadmill. Don’t really like the gym? Classes like body pump or signing up for a team sport are alternatives.
  3. Make your goals achievable.
    Set goals that are realistic but take some work to achieve. The more specific they are, the better. “Get fit” is too vague. By specifying goals that are firm (such as “I want to enter the 5km fun run in May”), you have both a time frame and a finish line.
  4. Buddy up.
    Working out with a friend or family member can go a long way to keep you accountable. And breaking a date with someone else is harder than just with yourself. For me, a gym buddy is essential, because I struggle just
    getting there.
  5. Create a new playlist.
    I get sick of my workout playlist very easily, so I am always trying to mix it up by adding new songs and new mixes. There are many new songs out there you haven’t even heard of. Ask your friends for suggestions, or visit sites like Pandora internet radio for ideas to keep the energy up.
    I must confess, Kylie is making a
    bigcomeback on my playlist at the moment.  I never thought I see the day!
  6. Be prepared.
    Food is such an important part of this whole effort. By being prepared, and having your kitchen stocked with the right kind of food, there’s less impetus to duck out to the corner store and buy snacks. I take food such as oatmeal, bread, nuts, joghurt and baby carrots to work, so I’m not swiping handfuls of Craig’s endless supply of Peanut M&Ms (and it really is endless, because I know where he keeps the refill packs…).
  7. Rewards for success are important.
    Reward yourself for attaining your goal! And then set yourself another.

What is something that has worked for you? Have you stuck with it?

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