Tag: bootcamp

Get outside to burn some calories

Running on sand
Take your fitness to new levels by changing the work out from the ground up. Instead running on a hard surface, think of instability and softer running surface to ramp up your metabolism. We have great places to do this in Seattle like myrtle Edwards Park, Seattle Sculpture Park, Golden Gardens, Bastyr University to accommodate this type of work out. As soon as you run on a surface that is uneven like grass, sand, that sunken feeling makes you burn 1.6 times more calories! You have to work every muscle to land, and pull out of the soft surface, and not as much hard impact on the joints. If you are running in sand as an example you are burning 300-500 calories per 30 minutes if you weigh 125lbs. You are heavier you are already burning more roughly 500-700 per 30 minutes of exercise in sand. The instability of the surface and constantly having to adjust does wonders to all the little muscles (stabilizers) in the legs, core, back muscles, and keeps the work out fresh.

Try Paddle boarding
The great thing about living in the North West is we are surrounded by water and we can do so many recreational workouts anytime. Take advantage of the instability and coordination needed to workout using water and go paddle boarding. The hardest part of paddle boarding is getting up, requiring you to know how to stabilize your body. The rest is all stance, core, and pulling across the water. Eventually your body will adjust to this ever changing water environment, and then all you have to do is keep in motion; all while burning is 500 to 700 per hour. So what are you waiting for get out there and get moving. You will feel refreshed, centered and not realize you are exercising from just the view alone. Make sure to always wear your life jacket, safely first, and always hydrate.

Wear Your Sunscreen!

Okay, we live in the Puget Sound and we never have sun here, ever! (Well, maybe once in a while.) Meteorologist Chris Burke defined the seasons here like this: August and September is summer, October and November is fall, December through February is winter and March through June is Disappointment. (Notice he didn’t even try with July.) But we Seattleite’s are an active lot: we run and swim and ride and climb and row and ski and on and on. That all means we are exposed to the sun even when it’s not sunny. According to Kendra Bergstrum, MD, FAAD at Pacific Medical Center, the rates of skin cancer has risen in the US 5-8% annually since the 1960’s (even in Seattle!). That’s bad. So it’s good to wear your sunscreen in regular and generous amounts. “But” you may be arguing “It’s Seattle; if it’s not raining now it’s gonna rain soon.” Well guess what: according to Angie Unchie Song, MD at Swedish Medical Center, 80% of the sun’s ultra violet rays penetrate through the clouds so we are still vulnerable to risks of over exposure.

There are two types of ultra violet rays that we need to protect against. The first are UVA rays. They can penetrate through window glass, cause premature aging, and compromise your immune system’s ability to detect the appearance and progression of skin cancer. UVB rays are the ones that cause sun burns and there is a direct link between sun burns and skin cancers. So it is important that you use a broad spectrum water proof (or at least water resistant) sun screen.

It can be confusing to decide what SPF to use, so here are some guidelines from the Skin Cancer Foundation (No sunscreen, regardless of strength, should be expected to last more than two hours):

  • SPF 15 gives you 93% protection
  • SPF 30 gives you 97% protection
  • SPF 50 gives you 99% protection

The American Academy of Dermatology ads these guidelines:

  • Use enough sunscreen to generously coat all skin that will be not be covered by clothing. Ask yourself, “Will my face, ears, arms, or hands be covered by clothing?” If not, apply sunscreen.
  • To be sure you use enough, follow this guideline:
    • One ounce, enough to fill a shot glass, is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body. Adjust the amount of sunscreen applied depending on your body size.
    • Most people only apply 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen.3
  • Apply the sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes BEFORE going outdoors.
  • Skin cancer also can form on the lips. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Re-apply sunscreen approximately every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily according to the directions on the bottle.

We all know that when those occasional heat waves hit our beautiful region we should put on the sunscreen. But we also need to put it on regularly any where our skin is exposed to the sun even when the sun is blocked by clouds. And we need to keep re-applying it every two hours or after working up a good sweat. So do your momma proud and take care of your skin.

Spring Training Outside on Pier 66

With more daylight extending in to the evenings, why not use this opportunity to change your fitness routine?

Training outdoors can awaken your urban fitness child and enhance your workout experiences. All you need is a good pair of athletic shoes, a resistance band and a jump rope. The challenge of having to do something outside of your comfort zone, along with the fresh air and great weather, is what outdoor workouts are all about. Just outside the Seattle Athletic Club Downtown doors, you can find easy access to the waterfront by heading down the overpass and stairs at the base of Lenora Avenue. There are running trails along the waterfront, as well as the pier 66 stairs and Sculpture Park grounds that provide a lot of options to plan a rewarding routine around.

Here are some exercise examples and calories expenditures pertaining to the movement to get you started:

  • Running stairs for a hour = 612 calories
  • Doing a circuit of upper and lower body = 544 calories
  • Running a 12min mile = 544 calories a hour
  • Jump rope 3 minutes = 100 calories

By using some simple activities, mixed with some base exercises, you can easily build a 750 calorie burning workout together. An example might include: a small run in, do a flight of stairs, stop do some upper body & lower body resistance band sequences, add a minute of jump rope, repeat a 2nd set and run back to club to finish with some core work and stretching.

If you need help with putting this routine together contact any member of our fitness team.

If these benefits seem like something that interest you and you would like to be our group workouts please contact Martial Arts Trainer Jody Garcia.

Goals, Because Scoring Feels Good

So why do we have goals? How do we achieve them? Who really cares? Let’s start with the easy stuff. There are a few reasons we have goals.

  • One, to have something to motivate and inspire us to push hard and better ourselves.
  • Two, to feel the feeling of achievement which also involves success. Warm and fuzzies, can’t beat that!
  • Three, to hold ourselves accountable, to keep us trucking down the right path.
  • Four, some of us just like making lists!

Now here comes the hard part, how do we achieve goals?
I feel like these simple rules apply to most goals. Maybe your goals include physical feats; 100 kb swings in under 1 minute, a muscle up, 10 strict pull-ups, lose 10lbs, run a marathon, etc. etc. Sometimes the goals are personal; get that boyfriend of yours to marry you in a year, buy a house, travel to Iceland (I hear it’s lovely this time of year), finally read The Odyssey. Perhaps they are work related; get a raise, be on time to work, not work through lunch every day, be nicer to the mail room guy, whatever. There are endless kinds and types of goals but there are some simple rules to follow if you want to be successful.

Here are some good tips to make you a super star:

  1. Make at least 3 short term goals that affect the long term. If your goal is to do 10 strict pull-ups making a short term goal of running 3 times a week is not really helping you achieve the big picture. Make sure the effort you are putting in helps you achieve the big end result. Make these three goals small and attainable. If you can only do 1 strict pull up now, probably not the best idea to make a short term goal of 5 in the next month. If your short term goals are too big to achieve in a months time, they are too big and will only result in failure, and failure early on is no good!
  2. Have mid term goals. These are important to check your status. To make sure that you have achieved the stepping stones and can move on. Hopefully if you are looking to lose 10lbs by this half way point (two months, three months, whatever the case may be) you only have 5 more to go. Again, these must be realistic and related to your end goal.
  3. Realistic time management. You can’t expect to be the boss over night (unless your name is Tony Danza); plan, make small steps, and make sure these are things that make you feel good, that you’ve really accomplished something. You can’t move too fast and it’s for certain that if you take too long to achieve these goals you’ll forget, get bored, come up with 5 other goals that sound better, or you’ll stop caring. That’s why the small check point goals along the way are awesome; they keep you working and achieving all the time. Insert, warm fuzzies.
  4. Figure out why. Why are these goals important for me, and how will I feel when I achieve them? The first thing is why, it’s important because you need to make sure you are doing them for you, and that they really mean something. I don’t want to run a marathon because my stupid skinny best friend does them all the time. I want to make sure that it means enough to me personally to stick with it to the end. These are MY goals, not my husbands, not my sister’s, not my children’s goals, they are mine. The reason why you need to think about what you’ll feel like when you get that end result is purely visualization. When your boss gives you a bump in salary how is that going to feel? What will that enable you to do? This helps give you extra incentive to stay the course.
  5. Why didn’t this work before? If you’ve had these goals for a while and still haven’t made any headway ask yourself why? Why did you fail to get to work on time for the last 3 years? What did you try and why did it fail? Not traveling down the same path is the key to success. Repeating stuff is easy, bad habits die hard. If it didn’t work before the way you were going about things what makes you think this time is different?
  6. Who are you going to tell? This one is hard for some people and some of the goals you may have. Do I really want everyone to know that I want to do an Ironman next summer? What if I don’t succeed or what if I decide I just can’t do it. It might be embarrassing or maybe my husband will be mad at me for buying extra swim lessons all for nothing. But then again…the more people you love and trust to tell the bigger the cheering section, the more motivation to accomplish. There is a limitation to this, I don’t really think the guy at the check stand cares that you are trying to fit into a size 4 by the summer. But if you can tell a few people that will support you, your husband, your brother, your co-worker (the one you like), your running partner the more people you will have to push you. The more people you will have to cheer you on and help you stay on the right path. But even more important, the more people you will have to celebrate with!

Simple, easy, make baby steps, feel good about yourself, do it for you, and achieve. Write it down, make a list, put it in your cube at work, tape it to your closet door, find someone else that cares enough to get you there and give them a copy. But whatever you do, write it down! Saving it up in your melon for safe keeping will not help you. You need that map, don’t pull a dad and think you know where you’re going only to get lost. Know where you are and where you want to be. You can do this, I am already so proud of you!

Staying Motivated as Seasons Change

With the transition in seasons, some of us start to revert back to hibernation mode. We are no longer able to enjoy the sunny outside weather that motivates us to get out and move, zapping our energy and in some instances dragging us down with feelings of depression. With the winter months and holidays quickly approaching don’t get caught in the downward spiral of getting too comfortable, missing workouts, or sacrificing your nutrition “just because of the holidays”. As the days get shorter and weather starts to change, it’s a great time to set resolutions early to beat the cold weather blues and keep your motivation running. Don’t lose sight of your fitness goals; try these tips to help keep you motivated!

  1. Make an action plan. Set specific, manageable goals. While you should always keep your eye on your long-term goals, you have to break them down into bite-sized, short-term goals. Set goals by the week so that you don’t lose focus or become frustrated because things aren’t happening as quickly as you think they should. Always write your goals down and revisit them often.
  2. Use a support system. Discuss your goals with loved ones.
  3. Try something new. Try a different class instead of your usual. Maybe there’s an activity you’ve always wanted to try, like a triathlon, snow skiing or Tai Chi. Experimenting with different pieces of equipment such as BOSU balls, core boards, medicine balls, kettlebells, etc will keep things interesting!
  4. Use extrinsic motivation. When you reach those goals, reward yourself! Treat yourself to a massage or buy a new pair of shoes. You can even reward yourself on a daily basis by soaking in the hot tub at the gym or taking a long, hot shower after your workout.
  5. Find a workout buddy. You’ll be more inclined to show up if someone else is depending on you, plus you can pump each other up. Work out with a friend, co-worker, parent or spouse. You can also join a group class, sports league or team.
  6. Download new music! Make a new playlist with your favorite upbeat music!
  7. Visit the blog! Our blog is full of helpful tips to stay on track with your fitness program. Reading and staying updated with insightful and useful fitness information can help remind you of your goals.
  8. Make it a competition. Join the Lose It! Program and challenge your friends, family members or co-workers to a weight loss or fitness contest.
  9. Choose a workout you enjoy. Change your mindset and look at working out as a hobby rather than a chore.
  10. Let your emotions inspire you. Mad at your spouse? Maybe you just got a promotion at work and you can’t contain your excitement. Whether you’re sad, angry or jubilant, exercise is an excellent release for all those emotions and can improve your mood and mindset.
  11. Be a role model. By working hard and setting an example, you will not only motivate yourself to keep going but will also help motivate others around you.
  12. Chart your progress. Monitoring your daily, weekly and monthly progress will help you reach your short-term goals and set new ones along the way. Besides your physical appearance, keeping a written record is another visual reminder of your hard work and progress.
  13. Think about the Longer Term. Think about the warmer months to come: the bikinis, the pool parties, etc. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to not have to shed your winter weight to be in great shape for them? Focusing on the longer term, whether the summer season coming in the future or your overall long term health, is a great way to stay motivated to continue with your exercise program.
  14. Adjust with Daylight. As daylight changes, so may your attitude towards what is the best time of day to workout. You may find that your normal evening workout isn’t as easy to do as a morning time workout, or vice verse. It is best to find the time of day that is going to keep you motivated.
  15. Remember the end result – improving your health. Whether you are exercising to lose weight or to stay in shape, remember it will improve your overall health – physically, mentally and emotionally – and help you live a longer, more fulfilling life.

Everyone will have their own methods for what keeps them focused and determined to keep working towards their goals, so find something that works for you! Just because seasons change is no excuse to put your fitness on the back burner, utilizing these concepts will help you stay motivated to reach your goals in a productive and pleasurable manner. And, if you still find yourself lost and lacking motivation don’t hesitate to contact one of our fitness professionals to help ignite your fire within!

Move to the Beat… Tune Up Your Workout Playlist!

Music is everywhere. We hear it when we go to the grocery store, in the elevator, while driving in the car, you name it. The soft tones, depending on the music choice, help to ease the mind, creating a more pleasant environment or shopping experience. Music helps to low anxiety levels and allows the mind to relax. This can also be useful during most exercise activities. At the gym we listen to music to help pump us up, block out unwanted stimulation (other conversations, weights crashing, etc.), and it helps to keep us motivated and moving. There is a reason why the theme song from Rocky tends to play in your head while running up a huge flight of stairs. It has been shown that positive experiences and mindsets produce positive feelings and a desire to repeat the activity. It has also been shown that lyrics that are related to determination and strength may also enhance motivation to exercise more intensely and/or for longer.

Music can be used to motivate you in the gym and help to keep your heart rate and energy up while taking an intense class. It can also be used to enhance your physical performance, making you work harder without thinking about it too much. All you need to know is the total beats per minute (BPM) for the songs you want to listen to. It is extremely easy to find the BPM of a song from your iTunes. Simply follow the directions below to find out which songs will have the BPM listed in your music library.

  1. Find the song you wish to know the beats per minute for in your iTunes library, and select the song by right-clicking on it. A long menu box should appear directly under the song.
  2. Click the button that says “Get Info”. This will take you to a larger pop up box where you can locate various information about that specific song.
  3. Click the tab on the top of the box that says “Info”, and look under the box that says BPM. If the box is blank, it means you will have to manually enter the beats per minute of the song. If you know the tempo of the song, you can type in the BPM yourself.

Once you have an idea of the BPM, play with the songs and see which ones correlate with your running speed. You can challenge yourself by throwing in a few songs that are at a faster BPM than your normal gait. The idea is that you will continue to run with the beat without noticing that you are running faster. It has even been shown that when patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease listen to music at a specific BPM, they tend to walk more fluidly without as many stutter-steps that occur without music.

There have been some studies that show it is not always the most beneficial to listen to music while performing exercise at a competitive level. Elite level athletes need to stay focused on their task and all the different variables that occur throughout their competition. This can be as simple as a slight turn out of the foot or more complex such as respiration rate compared to heart rate. Not to say elite level athletes do not listen to music at all while exercise. Simply put: music creates a dissociative environment (the feeling of ‘zoning out’) which is what most people are looking for. Athletes thrive in the associative state and do not need the distractions as much, especially during competition.

Overall, music is an extremely useful tool for the everyday exerciser. If you find you are not enjoying your workouts as much, try some music to make the experience more entertaining. When you go for a run, try playing with the BPM to see what happens. You may find yourself running faster and more efficiently based solely on the music you choose!

Partial Range of Motion is Way Easier and Gets You Stronger Faster Right? Wrong!

At most health facilities in the world if you were to look out on the weight room floor I’m sure of two things… people will be doing curls, and people will be doing partial range of motion. Usually these go hand in hand, but people can do partial range of motion (ROM) in many different exercises; the most common being pushups, squat, & pullups/chinups.

I’m sure many of you have great reasons for only doing half of the motion; starting back in the 80’s some research even came out to say that you can have the same benefits from doing half reps as the full rep. Many people say that their bodies react to it better, it’s safer on their joints, they are stronger and can workout harder etc. etc. Well let me tell you what the science says about partial range of motion exercises:

  1. Partial range of motion can be used to gain strength & size, especially if you have plateaued. They go on to state that it is not a workout regiment you do every day, more of a once every two weeks and it must be accompanied by a full range of motion exercise using the same muscle groups within the same workout. Partial ROM is also supposed to be utilized AFTER a base strength has been achieved!
  2. The strongest muscle fiber is a fully elongated (stretched) and fully hydrated. If we take that first concept, a fully elongated muscle fiber means working a muscle through the full ROM. If you do partial reps, you are strengthening only one half of the muscle fibers. Let’s take pushups, if you just push yourself up halfway off the floor, or only lower your body halfway down…what happens when you fall and need to catch your body with that muscle fiber that is never worked. My guess would be injury. This may not happen right away, but I guarantee if all you ever work is partial ROM severe injury will plague you at some point.
  3. What happens with muscle fibers that are continually contracted but never stretched or relaxed? They become very tight and shorten up. A prime example of this would be with the bicep curl. For those of you who curl the weight up to your shoulders and then as you lower it shoot your elbows backward keeping a large bend in the arm, you will end up with locked elbows. Ever see those people who cannot straighten their arms out all the way? Well your bicep can actually fuse to your arm if you do too many partial ROM exercises and never incorporate straightening your arms all the way. The only way to have this fixed once it happens is surgery where they have to tear the muscle off the humerus… doesn’t sound like too much fun to me! (Women are allowed to have a soft elbow, meaning an ever so slight bend in their arm, when doing curls because of a hyperextension issue only with females).
  4. Now the big question, squats…should someone go below parallel? Isn’t it bad on the knees? Here is my opinion on this topic; since the science goes back and forth with some research stating it is bad on the knees & others stating it is just fine. One…when we were born could we squat our hips below our knees? If you are ever in the SAC go check out the day care; I bet you a dollar you will see kids squat down their diapers below their knees to pick up toys! Two…look at other countries like China and Japan, everyone there sits with their knees below their hips to do everything. You will see people of all ages reading newspapers, eating, holding a conversation sitting in a deep squat. So if we were born able to do it and other counties do it (and they have a lot less knee/hip issues than the USA) I would assume it would be ok to perform a deep squat, but even smarter to utilize a trainer to help you get going first.
  5. Are there exercises it is ok to do partial ROM? Yes there are, but for the general population who workout in the gym, there is no need for them to do them; and if you really want to know what they are, come find me ill let you know which ones. A hint is they are usually associated with the shoulder complex!

All in all, if I was to recommend someone do partial ROM it would be to get over that plateau in strength, but I would still make them do that same movement full ROM within the same workout. Women may have a soft bend during curls to prevent hyperextension of their elbows; other than that there is no solid evidence of any full ROM exercise (to my knowledge) being a safety concern. If you have questions about your form on an exercise, grab a PFT in a red shirt and ask them to check out your form; we would gladly assist you in correcting any unsafe movements!

Go Outdoors During Summer

The time has come for summer, you are outdoors enjoying outdoor activities why not take your workout with you?
Items needed

  • 1 exercise band
  • 1 yoga mat
  • 1 jump rope
  • 1 bottled water

If you need any of these items the pro shop at the club can help you with your fitness gear.

It is finally here SUMMER, no better time to change up you’re your normal workout routine! You can get a shoulder sling, a good jump rope, a resistance band medium resistance, a yoga mat, and water 8oz bottle. Boom you are ready to go urban on your work out.

  • Walk right out of the front doors of Seattle Athletic Clubs Downtowns front door you have waterfront walkway on your left and right.
  • Jog to a great view of the sound and put your bag of tricks to work.
  • Unleash your potential grab your jump rope, make sure the length is right for your height.
    Stand on the jump rope feet as wide as your hips handles should reach your arm pits.

  • Jump rope in place here’s the math to motivate your workout routine.
  • 1 Minute of jump roping is equal to 3 minutes of jogging. Let’s ramp it up add a bench to use your resistance band by looping through a anchored surface, and go through rows, chest press, squat etc.

  • Jog to another location add stairs great set by harbor steps, or pier 66, add some high metabolism, fat burning circuit training.
  • Jog back to Seattle Athletic club downtown and use sauna or maybe take a yoga class for flexibility

You have just revamped your fitness routine, if you have any questions on going through any of this format contact me Jody Garcia 206-443-1111 ext 289.

Want That Beach Body, Get to Know Your Metabolism!

When the weather becomes sunny most people want to start to become active, go to the beach, wear those summer clothes and feel good about their body. The question most trainers get is how one can transform their body, after losing my winter weight, to a toned beach body. Well and easy way is to figure out what will change your metabolism or calories your burn throughout your day. I want to write to you about how strength training can really change your metabolism, and why it’s really the best way to go about getting that beach body!

There are three ways to change your metabolism through strength training;

  1. how you workout
  2. your oxygen consumption after you workout
  3. the increase in lean muscle mass

How You Workout! Whenever you move, your muscles are working and those working muscles require energy releasing heat as a byproduct of using that energy. Strength training in simple terms is movement but usually with an added load, and can alter your metabolism two ways; with the amount of muscle used to move the load and the amount of resistance applied to the body. When performing a squat exercise you are much larger muscles (like the quads & glutes) as well as more stabilizers (hip complex and core) to perform the exercise than say bicep curls where you are really just using the smaller bicep muscle and shoulder stabilizers. The difference in calorie burning can increase two fold per minute by doing a squat rather than a bicep curl (from 5 kcal to 10 kcal per minute of exercise). The other half to workout metabolism is the load; when lifting heavier weights (80% of your 1 rep max) you can burn 12 times as many calories as lighter weights (20% of your 1 rep max) because you need to incorporate more muscles, mostly stabilizers, to help move the larger amount of weight. So to get the biggest bang for your buck, make sure you are performing exercises using larger muscle groups with heavier weights (60-80% 1 rep max) in order to really change your body composition and increase your metabolism.

Your Oxygen Consumption After You Workout! What exactly is post-exercise oxygen consumption…in basic terms it is your body trying to repair all the muscle damage your workout just did to your muscle fibers. Your body has to work hard to restore used energy, eliminate waste by-products, replenish your used oxygen in the blood, lower your body temperature, lower your heart rate and lower elevated hormones after exercise; basically try to bring you back to the same level as before you worked out or “normal.” All of this internal work requires additional energy from the body which can significantly increase your metabolism after weight exercise more than after cardiovascular exercise. Now the increase in calorie burn is not huge like during the exercise, but with working out for 50 min at 50% of your maximum oxygen uptake, 15 times a month for 12 months you can burn an extra 92,400 calories or the equivalent of 26 lbs of fat with just the oxygen consumed after exercise needed to bring your body back to normal. Pretty neat huh!
Another factor to consider is what type of fuel your body is using during workouts. Weight training tends to utilize carbs more during the actual workout, but afterwards fat is utilized more to meet the energy demands of the body in its recovery phase; especially when higher intensity workouts are performed.

The Increase in Lean Muscle Mass! Everyone knows that properly performed high intensity strength training stimulates muscle growth/development. What you may not know is how your muscle changes your metabolism. First, your resting metabolic rate will increase with an increase in muscle mass because muscle burns 3 times as much energy as fat. Second, the more muscle one has the more post-exercise oxygen consumption. So if you can gain muscle, doesn’t have to be a lot, you will burn more calories during your workout, after your workout and throughout your normal activities!

Starting strength training at higher intensities will increase your calorie burn (mostly carbs) during the exercise and an increased utilization of fats after the strength training; elevating your metabolism for 2 – 15 hrs after. If you can increase your fat free muscle mass you will increase the amount of calories burnt during the exercise and at rest. So if you really want to start to work on your beach body, start to think about that metabolism and how to get it revved up and working harder! For more information on changing your workout or ideas on how to increase your metabolism contact any one of our qualified personal fitness trainers or the fitness director Jacob Galloway.

Summer Goals! Are You Ready to Take Your Fitness to the Next Level?

So you made all these great goals months ago. When was the last time you really checking in with yourself and made yourself accountable for the goals you have set? Are you on track, are you accomplishing the small goals you set for yourself to reach the bigger one? It’s time to stand back and reassess. Remember what you were like 5 months ago when you set these goals for yourself…

“This is my year, I really want to change my life and live better. I am so motivated right now; I know I can do this. I’ve set a plan; I have step by step directions for myself, a sure plan. I’ve involved my wife and my best friend at work, they know what my goals are and they are going to help me stay on track. I’ve given myself adequate time to achieve these things and little successes along the way will really help me get where I want to go. I’m pumped, let’s do this!” Now it’s 5 months later. All those Yoga classes you meant to attend (just one day a week, I can do that) have gone by the way side. You meant to drink 8 glasses of water a day, you were really good about it until March came along and you started traveling for work. Now somehow you only manage 8 glasses once or twice a week. You told yourself that by your 6 month mark you would be down 10lbs. When you set that goal you thought, “10 lbs in 6 months, that’s stupid easy, I should be able to do twice that no problem.” Now the scale shows you are down 4.5 lbs and you only have one more month to get to that -10lbs you told yourself would be no problem. It’s really getting down to crunch time and you are starting to sweat. Part of you thinks, “Who cares, this is stupid, I won’t die if I eat a plate of spaghetti the size of my head, maybe next year….”

Get a grip! So maybe you haven’t been a good as you could have. Maybe your wife tried to get you to go to Yoga with her every week for a month and she got tired of begging and dragging you. Maybe the 5 mile runs turned into weekend walks to breakfast. Maybe that triathlon you signed up for has come and gone and you never even got in a pool to really train let alone in a wetsuit to actually participate. Take a moment, put yourself back in the shoes you wore 5 months ago when you made these goals. You had a great plan, you had all the intentions in the world, you were ready, you were tired of not moving forward. You decided, (YOU, not your wife, not your co-workers, not your dog, YOU) YOU wanted to do this. Re-visit those goals. See how well you were doing, look at how motivated you were, and remember why these things were important to you in the first place. If you really want this, get back on the horse as they say. I say, stop being such a girlie man and do what you’ve set out to do. Don’t give up. It’s not always perfect and sometimes you’ll fail but that just makes success all the more worth while. No time like the now to change your life. If you need to make new goals, make new ones. If you need to tell your favorite barista about your goals, tell her (although don’t be offended if she doesn’t care or thinks your totally weird). Do what you think you have to do to make a better you.

Remember this is your life we are talking about. You can do anything you set your mind to, really, anything. It takes effort, it takes will power, it takes some sweat (and maybe a few tears). But I know you can do this, the time is now!