Look and Feel Better Once and for All
Publication date: 12/12/2013
Have you ever made New Year’s resolutions that you didn’t keep? My experience is that all of us have had good intentions to do things over the years, yet we didn’t follow through. We usually start out enthusiastic about the change, and then after a while our enthusiasm goes by the wayside. Why is that?
It’s my contention that the old adage “The road to nowhere is paved with good intentions” is probably more true than we want to admit. My friend and colleague Art Turock, author of many books—including a classic on health and fitness entitled Getting Physical—argues that the problem stems from the difference between interest and commitment. For example, when interested exercisers who have started a jogging or walking program wake up and find it is raining outside, they lie back down and say to themselves, “I think I’ll exercise tomorrow.” However, when committed exercisers wake up and find it’s raining, they get out of bed and say to themselves, “I think I’ll exercise inside today.” People who are interested in doing something will do it if all goes as planned—but give them a hiccup or two and they don’t follow through. People who are committed to do something will continue to do it, no matter what. In other words:
They keep their commitment to their commitment.
So let’s get real. What have you been wanting to do for a long time but just haven’t been able to accomplish? Maybe it has to do with fitness—physical activity and weight control—which I had procrastinated about for a long time. Or perhaps it’s more about improving yourself on the inside or other aspects of a healthy lifestyle, and you’d like to focus on becoming more resilient, creative, generous, or empathetic. You might want to push yourself to improve your communication skills, get organized, do volunteer work, or spend more time with your family. Maybe you’ve been making excuses for years instead of sitting down and writing that novel or learning to speak French. This book may help you move from being interested in doing it to being committed to doing it—no matter what.
Beginning January 1, 2011, the Boomer generation began turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day. This rate will continue for 19 years. Research shows that many in this generation intend not to retire but to continue to work and play hard. Many others can’t afford to retire because of unfortunate circumstances or poor retirement planning. Either way, it is imperative that adults maintain their optimal health and fitness no matter what their age.
Every year in January following a New Year’s resolution, thousands of people begin an exercise program with the idea that it will change their lives forever. By the end of March, about 90 percent of those who started are no longer participating—not because they have changed their minds about the importance of exercise, but because exercise is hard work and they are not seeing the immediate results they had hoped for. Whatever the reason, they don’t follow through.
This book follows my journey from interest to commitment about my fitness. The western heroic legend of the lone wolf who succeeds at lofty goals based solely on strength of will and sharp wit is strong with many people. This “John Wayne myth” isn’t dead—it’s just not effective. As you’ll learn, I could not keep my commitment to an effective fitness plan alone. I needed help. That help came from my coauthor Tim Kearin, a health and fitness coach who had been patient with me for many years.
Each year Tim listened to me make an announcement about what I was going to do about my fitness that year, and then he watched me not keep my commitment. Year after year we went through the same routine: Tim would receive a call from me early in the year—usually February, since I didn’t want to join the New Year’s resolution crowd—to begin a fitness program. I would get underway with enthusiasm, but after a month or so I would gradually become too busy to keep my commitment to my commitment. The process would start again at the beginning of the next year.
So follow along and see how Tim and I broke this ineffective cycle. I know Fit at Last will help you behave on your good intentions and keep your commitment to your commitment, no matter what issue you are working on.
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