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9 Easy Ways to Become Fitter This Year

9 Easy Ways to Become Fitter This Year

With the New Year upon us, it seems resolutions are on everyone’s minds with hashtags, tweets, and facebook statuses proclaiming new fitness and healthy-living goals for 2014.

Unfortunately, however, many people make the mistake of attempting to make too many drastic changes with their New Year’s goals. The key to changing habits is making small changes and focusing on one thing at a time.

Here are 9 easy ways you can move toward your 2014 fitness goals.

1. Make your goal so small (at first) that you can’t mess up.

The mistake many people make after the new year is dreaming too big. Now don’t get me wrong – vision is super important – but if you shoot too high you will only get discouraged. The key is to start small, build consistency and confidence, and then increase your goal.

Want to form a running habit? Try running just 10 minutes a day. Yoga? Do 10-minute yoga routines. Once you master those, move on to something more challenging.

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2. Focus on exercise that you ENJOY.

Too many people make exercise a chore, something that they have to do to say they did it or to lose extra weight.

Wrong wrong wrong.

You should exercise because you love it. Intrinsic motivation should drive you. Begin by doing the exercise that you love. Once you begin letting joy guide you, you will be exercising more often in no time.

3. Hold yourself accountable.

Many people make the mistake of keeping their goals to themselves, but all  keeping your goal a secret does is decrease the likelihood that you will meet it.

Instead, try joining a support group. Tell your friends or family. Once you tell someone, either virtually or in real life, you will be more motivated to get it done, whatever it is.

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4. Choose consistency over length of workouts.

It’s a mistake to workout for 5 hours once a week, when you could exercise 30 minutes a day. Consistency helps build a habit, and helps your body grow accustomed to exercise regularly.

Choose small, consistent workouts over long, irregular ones.

5. Reward yourself with [healthy] positive reinforcements.

Psychology teaches us that positive reinforcements are more motivating than negative ones. If you want to build a habit, encourage the habit you want to build.

Love smoothies? Reward yourself with a low-sugar fruit smoothie, not a 700-calorie sugar bomb. Love chocolate? Reward yourself with some healthy dark chocolate, not an entire package of Oreos. Love socializing? Reward yourself with just one or two low-calorie cocktails with coworkers after work.

6. Focus on ONE fitness goal at a time.

One of the cons to big dreaming is the desire to take on too much. The trouble with this is that the more goals you add, the easier it becomes to get distracted from your goals.

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There is only so much energy that can be invested in goal-setting; the more goals there are, the more limited the energy. Instead, pick one goal to focus on, and add more when you accomplish that one.

7. Write it down.

Studies upon studies have supported the power writing down goals has. They key is to write down what you want to accomplish.

Want to form a running habit? Write: I will run for 20 minutes every day. Yoga? I will attend yoga class 3 times a week. Then, DO IT.

8. Be specific.

A mistake many people make is producing over-generalized goals. They might say “I want to be fitter” or “I want to get better at yoga.”

Instead, make your goal as specific as possible, breaking it down into small steps.  Include how many times per week, what exercise, how long, and any other relevant details.

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9. Cultivate a positive mindset.

Positivity is the key to any ambitious vision. Without positivity, you can’t achieve nearly as much. A positive attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: when you believe you can accomplish something, you make the attempt, and put in the work necessary to get it done.

Try soaking up positive quotes, videos, and mantras to motivate yourself to accomplish your goals.

What do you do to stick to your fitness goals?

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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