Plus SIDEBAR: 5 Keys to Getting Fit in the New Year
Instead of making New Year’s resolutions that seem like a sacrifice or a chore, why not try something different and resolve to have incredible sex this year? In my experience, this is something that almost all of us really long for. The only people who say that great sex is not a priority in their lives are those who are not having it.
New Year’s resolutions don’t get much respect these days—surveys show that 88 percent of them are forgotten within two months. I am recommending this resolution as a realistic, achievable dream we can all achieve.
I have reviewed numerous studies that link regular exercise (as little as two-and-a-half hours per week) to significant increases in sexual activity, libido, stamina, and performance. That seems like great payback for minimal input, and it appears that the results increase exponentially as you exercise more.
The direct cause of these stimulating results is probably a combination of increased physical fitness (greater blood circulation, reduced stress, etc.) and the emotional confidence that is gained by reaching your personal goals.
There are countless books written and sold (especially this time of year) on how to achieve goals and dreams, and they all offer some valid suggestions. Having worked in the physical fitness industry for over 44 years as a professional trainer and certified personal development coach, I have gathered some specifics on how to help people successfully achieve their fitness, personal, and career goals.
Dreams are free and easy—all we really need is our imagination and the passion to dream. Goals, on the other hand, are all about taking specific, step-by-step actions to turn dreams into reality. If your dream is to experience an active, passionate, fulfilling sex life, one of your first goals to reach that dream should be to improve your physical fitness.
While all personal development coaches agree that our dreams need to stay big, the biggest mistake people make is setting unrealistic goals. Sitting down to actually schedule time (perhaps with a professional coach) will provide you with the timeline and accountability that can make this a realistic goal.
After you first identify why you want to attain your dreams and goals, the next step is to identify how you will achieve them. Be sure that these are your dreams and goals, and not someone else’s. You owe it to yourself to be authentic and true to you!
Next, you will need to list exactly what your dream or goal may be. Now the fun part: IPEC Coaching’s Bruce Schneider has an “AIM SMART” system that helps you achieve your goals by answering a few simple questions:
A – Acceptable: what is the minimally acceptable goal that you feel good with?
I – Ideal: what is your ultimate “magic wand” goal?
M – Middle: what is less than your ideal goal, but still a realistic stretch?
Now that you have the goals to AIM for, you follow the SMART steps:
S – Specific: what exactly is the very first step toward reaching your goal?
M – Measurable: how will you know when you have reached step one?
A – Achievable: is the first step easy to achieve?
R – Reasonable: how realistic is it to take this action in your life now?
T – Timely: by what date, exactly, will you complete the first step of your goal (not the entire goal)?
The Buck Stops Here
Working with an “accountability partner” will significantly increase your chances of success. You choose how you want to be held accountable: text messages, e-mails, phone calls, once-a-week, face-to-face meetings, Skype calls, or even postings on social media.
I have seen incredible success with individuals who also switch their thought pattern to one of “positive self-accountability.” This means changing the kinds of the questions you ask yourself on an ongoing basis. Instead of, “Why can’t I lose weight?…Why is my sex life so unfulfilling?…Why can’t I have a perfect body and career?” a more positive and productive thought process would be, “How can I make healthier choices in quality nutrition that will enhance my energy and provide more vitality and fun to my active lifestyle?…How can I incorporate activities that I actually find ‘fun’ to develop a strong, healthy body?…What can I do to enhance intimacy and create a more loving sexual experience—and have fun in the process?”
These types of questions provide for positive momentum.
Bob’s Basic Tips
1. Drink water within 30 minutes after you wake up. Drinking a generous glass of water (preferably room temperature, with lemon) upon waking will help you detoxify and hydrate all the cells in your body, boost your immune system, and aid in digestion and weight loss by boosting your metabolism.
2. Move for fifteen minutes after waking. Stretches, knee bends, stair climbing, or outdoor walking. This starts the day by moving blood around your body and bringing fresh oxygen to the brain, improving alertness and overall disposition.
3. Book it as early as you are able: We cannot all be “morning people,” but research shows that the earlier in the day that we schedule our exercise routine, the more likely we are not to cancel. As the day goes on, the chance of something else “coming up” naturally increases. Finally, respecting your exercise time as you would a business appointment on your schedule means you have to show up.
4. Don’t be so hard on yourself: Take pride in your achievements, no matter how small. Quiet your inner critic with positive self-talk. Creating a mantra and voicing it in the mirror while looking directly into your eyes sounds super corny, but I dare you to try it. “I am strong, I love myself, and I am enough!”
5. Consumption: Exercise is all about the numbers. One mile of running, jogging, or brisk walking burns approximately 100 calories…and one frozen margarita contains approximately 600 calories! Imagine how many miles you must run just to break even after drinking!
6. Journal: An extraordinary life is a life worth writing about. Keep journals to capture your thoughts, actions, and feelings on a daily basis. This may reveal a “pattern” that can point to important things in your life.
7. Gratitude: Do you really want to waste your time on this earth feeling sorry for yourself? When I start to have a pity party for myself, I remind myself of the things I’m thankful for.
Finally, make your own New Year’s resolutions that aren’t about punishment. Having (or maintaining) an incredible sex life in 2014 sounds like a good start to me!
Bob Arriaga is a licensed professional fitness and personal development coach. For more information, visit bobarriaga.com.
5 Keys to Getting Fit in the New Year
by Michael Shallis
The New Year is upon us. We buy the gym membership, hire the personal trainer, and toss the holiday junk food. The thing is, at some point not too far down the road, the genuine passion and commitment to change will leave us. But do not be discouraged! Burning fat is the result of having a high metabolism in peak condition, and to achieve this you must pay attention to stress levels, diet, sleep schedule, physical activity, and the supplements you take. Remember that your body will have to gain muscle before it burns fat, so weight gain during the first few weeks is common.
1. Stress Level – Relax! Stress decreases the production of enzymes and hormones that fuel your metabolism. Separating your work and your home life will reduce feelings of being overwhelmed.
2. Diet – Large gaps between meals will put your body in starvation mode, bringing your metabolism to a halt. Also, certain foods can aid your metabolic rate. Avocados, oatmeal, cruciferous greens like spinach, and grapefruit will turbocharge your metabolism. Remember: carbs before workouts, and protein after workouts.
3. Amount of Sleep – Sleep depravation will put your body into survival mode, which means storing fat and minimizing energy output. If you get less than five hours of sleep, then sleeping in will actually help you drop the weight. I am not suggesting that you sleep until noon, but you must go to bed before 2 a.m. The energy you gain from a good night’s rest will be important for . . .
4. Physical Activity – Constant activity makes your metabolism speed up to produce the energy required. A desk job can make this difficult, but find ways to challenge yourself at work: take a resistance band to the office and get some curls in while you’re on the phone, or see how long you can flex your stomach at your desk. Do something on a daily basis for at least 30 minutes that requires physical action. Skipping the gym is not an excuse when yard work, jogging, playing sports, and dancing at the club all qualify as physical activities. Daily consistency is the key!
5. Supplements – Several minerals and vitamins can help regulate your metabolism. Talk to your doctor to make sure that what you are taking does not have negative effects, especially in conjunction with other medications or medical conditions. Keep track of what you are taking. If you take a multi-vitamin with your other supplements, you are not doubling up on the things that the multivitamin already has in it. I personally use CLA, DHEA, and Ginseng. I also take Magnesium, Potassium, and Chromium to reduce cramping and increase muscle repair after a workout.
Michael Shallis is a certified fitness trainer and owner of Body Evolution Texas. For more information, visit bodyevolutiontexas.com.