How Not to Drop the Ball When the Ball Drops

Fitness Resolutions can be as difficult to make as they are to keep, but resist the urge to opt out.  The start of a new year is the perfect time to dream big.  The Fitness path from the life you have to the life you want is marked by action.  2020 is a blank page –step by step, you can pave the path to a better life.

Most of us reassess where we are with regard to weight loss and general Fitness and where we want to be as a new year approaches.  Some of us are full of unrealistic expectations (like lose 30 lbs in 30 days), while others feel they have no control over their future.  In reality, we have more control than we’d like to admit, especially when they concern our own well-being (eg.  Lose Weight, Gain Strength and Get Fit). We wouldn’t be where we are today without transforming thoughts into action.  But we also didn’t come this far, to only come this far. 

The majority of Americans make Fitness resolutions every year.  Often they have to do with exercising more and eating less.  Many of us wait until 11:59pm on December 31st to ‘cut and paste’ our fitness goals from the previous five years onto our agenda.  Based on past experience, we have little or no hope of ever achieving them.  That is why  the majority of us fail to keep our fitness resolutions.

It tends to go something like this: January 1st all-in, full speed ahead, January 2nd this is harder than I thought…January 12th this is stupid, I give up!  Rather than concede defeat, we tell ourselves we don’t really want it, or that we just can’t do it. 

We’re not going to get different results by taking the same actions this year, so here are some important tweaks you can make to your strategy:

#1

DECIDE what your best life looks like

The first mistake many of us make is to set Fitness and Health goals based on other people’s values.  Subconsciously, we resent having to meet the standards of anyone other than ourselves.  Our mind senses this discord and self-sabotage ensues.

This year, why not think about what is most important to YOU, and how YOU want to spend your time?  If you choose a Fitness goal that aligns your desires with your values, you are much more likely to succeed.

We owe it to ourselves and the world to be our most authentic self, and that is at the heart of the matter.  As Paulo Coelho points out in his novel “The Alchemist”, when you put your heart and soul into a worthy pursuit, “the whole universe conspires to make it happen”.  This is a great book to read for motivation. 

#2

VISUALIZE your outcome in as much detail as possible

VISUALIZE your Fitness and Health outcomes in as much detail as possible:  People experience some of the same joy planning a vacation as they do taking it.  The same can be true for planning your next year.  What would it feel like to weigh 10 pounds less?  Creating a vision board is a great way to keep the positive energy of your dream front and center.  Using a mantra that encapsulates your new attitude is another great tool.  A third technique you can use is to write down every reason you want to accomplish your goal, from the tiniest to the most significant.  The first time I lost a substantial amount of weight, I wrote down every reason I wanted it to happen and I’d read it each time a hurdle hit.  It worked!

#3

TAKE BABY STEPS

Break up your big goal into small, manageable action steps.  If your resolution is to take control of your health, you may need to exercise more and eat better.  Your vision board could include a photo of a leaner you, and your mantra might be “I am stronger than temptations and excuses, I am on my way to being my best self”.  Your action steps could be to be physically active at least three days a week, to eat less junk food and more vegetables, and to meditate on a weekly basis.  

#4

ASSESS YOUR PROGRESS

At the end of each day or week, take stock of what’s working and what isn’t.  Keeping a simple fitness journal is a great way to do this.  Be patient and empathetic with yourself.  Adapt your strategy based on your results.  Add more challenges as you see you are able to meet your demands, and are on the right trajectory.  Your internal dialogue should always start from a place of empathy, as you are accepting and attempting a difficult challenge.  If you screw up, rather than beating yourself up about it, just get right back on track.  Nobody is perfect but perseverance pays off.

In addition, you may need to get rid of any negative self-talk.  For instance, my sister-in-law told me I would never get rid of my post-baby fat.  Instead of internalizing that thought and making it a self-fulfilling prophecy, I saw it as a challenge.  Not only did I ultimately lose the weight, but I also became much leaner and stronger than ever before.  I did it by starting with small steps, but never losing sight of the bigger picture.  My heart was in it because my desire was in line with my values.  I wanted to be active with my kids and to be a good role model for them. 

#5

NEVER GIVE UP!

One thought, one action and subsequent baby steps can eventually get you to your desired destination.  An authentic Fitness goal will drive you to take action.  Action creates hope, momentum and energy.  When the ball drops this January 1st, you can capitalize on the excitement of the moment, and it will give you the extra push you need to get a great year rolling.

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Healthy Holiday Recipe Salad

Healthy Holiday Recipe: Damage Control with Delicious Winter Salad

While many holiday recipes will use peppermint or feature decadent desserts to impress your friends, family, and colleagues, we’re going to focus on the part of the holidays no one talks about: the rest of your meals! When you’re eating nutritious healthy holiday recipes, the “damage” that holiday parties cause will be much less. So we’re focusing on three things missing from most holiday recipes that will keep you healthy all winter long: Protein, Fiber, and Micronutrients. Additionally, this time of year everyone is in a rush, who has time to cook healthy meals? We’re keeping the prep time on this one to under 10 minutes!hea

Ingredients for this Healthy Holiday Recipe: Winter Chicken Salad

Total Prep Time: < 10 minutes

Quantities Listed Serves 4-6

Ingredient List:

– 2 Packages of Pre-Grilled Chicken Breasts

– 2 Bags of Pre-Washed and Cut Leafy Vegetables 

– 1 Cup of Organic Seedless Raisins

– 1 Tub of Organic Hummus

– 1 Cup of Sliced Almonds

Preparation Instructions for this Winter Recipe for Fitness Success:

  • Heat chicken in a large skillet for 2-4 minutes
  • Empty the greens mix into a mixing bowl
  • Add the raisins and almonds, followed by the chicken
  • Add several large dollops of hummus throughout the bowl
  • Add butternut squash to large saucepan and cook on low to medium heat until soft to the touch (6-10 minutes)
  • Serve, adding cinnamon to the butternut squash with salt as desired, and enjoy! Bon Appétit

This healthy holiday recipe for fitness success was developed by Coach Will H. Hansen and has been published here by the author. Want to save time rushing back from the gym in time to prepare dinner? Try out exercising at home with a complimentary workout where we come to you! Call (844) 704-9477 or click here to reserve a time that works for you!

Winter Fitness Recipe for Success Plate

Butternut Squash and Chicken – Winter Recipe for Fitness Success!

After our last recipe highlighting the often overlooked Sweet Potato, now we’ll work it’s component Butternut Squash! This winter recipe for fitness success will keep you nourished, warm, and fit through the holidays! Be sure to check out our other healthy recipes to keep the variety going all year long.

Ingredients for this Winter Recipe For Fitness Success

Total Prep Time: < 20 minutes

Quantities Listed Serves 2-4

Ingredient List:

– 1lb Chicken

– 1 large bag of Kale

– 1 bag of Butternut Squash Cubes

– 1 tbsp Avocado Oil (for Kale sautée)

– 1 tsp of Himalayan Salt

– 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning

– 3 tbsp Ground Cinnamon

Cooking Instructions for this Winter Recipe for Fitness Success:

  • Preheat Oven to 375 degrees
  • Place chicken on a tray, add Italian seasoning and bake for 15-25 minutes until fully cooked through
  • Add avocado oil, kale, and a splash of water to a large saucepan
  • Sautée Kale for 2-5 minutes, according to taste
  • Add butternut squash to large saucepan and cook on low to medium heat until soft to the touch (6-10 minutes)
  • Serve, adding cinnamon to the butternut squash with salt as desired, and enjoy! Bon Appétit

This winter recipe for fitness success was developed by Coach Will H. Hansen and has been published here by the author. Want to save time rushing back from the gym in time to prepare dinner? Try out exercising at home with a complimentary workout where we come to you! Call (844) 704-9477 or click here to reserve a time that works for you!

Health Research for the Holidays

Top 4 New Health Research for the Holidays

The holidays are here, and while it tends to be a time people ease up on their health and fitness goals, it’s important to not lose track of new developments that can help you reach and maintain your goals. Today, we’re sharing the top 4 new health research publications for the holidays!

Top 4 New Health Research for the Holidays

1. Protein for the Holidays?: A new study from Purdue looks at if we should be trying to eat more protein, such as through the holidays and in the new year. The results? Unless you’re actively working to lose weight or build muscle, you may not need as much as you think.

2. Global Report on Youth Physical Activity: Produced by the World Health Organization shows that in 2016, 81% of those age 11-17 did not meet the one hour a day level for moderate- to high-intensity activity. Consequently, urgent action is needed to improve these levels, especially for adolescent girls, as the United States is tied with Ireland for worst (146 countries included in the study) for greatest gap in activity between boys and girls.

3. Teen Social Media and Body ImageA new report in the International Journal of Eating Disorders demonstrates a strong correlation between both number of social media accounts and time spend on social media, with incidence of disordered eating.

4. Sports on the Brain: New study shows how the brains of athletes are more efficient at sensory processing and have greater nervous system function than non-athletes, supporting the notion that sports and physical activity enhances brain function.

Want to learn how to turn information into action, and action into results? We’ll schedule you a complimentary workout where we come to you at your convenience! Call (844) 704-9477 or click here to reserve a time that works for you!

January 1st Fitness Motivation

The Magic of January 1st Fitness Motivation All Year

Every year, millions of people gear up for their big January 1st fitness motivation kick, and it works! (For a few days…) At that time, people feel like they’re on the top of the world, able to crush their goals without hesitation. While January 1st gets a lot of flack among fitness professionals, it does help when nearly everyone you know is motivated for some kind of goal they’re actively pushing themselves towards. It’s often even an impetus for people to try working with a personal trainer to guide them to success! The problem is that many people don’t build the positive habits to make those changes stick and that their January 1st fitness motivation only comes around once a year… In this article, we’ll cover 3 ways you can tap into that same indomitable will any time of the year!

1 – Major Life Changes

Maybe you’re about to move houses, start a new job, or your kids are about to go off to college. Anytime you’re in a new location, have a new weekly routine to adjust to, or find yourself with more free time suddenly, it’s the perfect time to commit yourself to make new healthy habits! Just like that, you’re creating your own personalized conditions superior to the old January 1st fitness motivation.

For example, when you step into that new home if you decide that you’re going to hold a plank while your Keurig brews, start with day 1 and you’ll have a much easier time maintaining your habit. All you will have ever known in the new environment is the new positive behavior, and you’ll likely fall back into it without thinking.

2 – After Breaks from Routine

Another day, another dollar, routine day after routine day, then suddenly: you go on vacation, take an exciting trip, finish a project you’ve been working on for a long time, or see the end of a sports season you’ve been invested in. Your routine is thrown out the window and what’s left is a perfect opportunity to decide what your new routine will be!

This is an excellent time to take the initiative and decide that you’ll use this opportune clay to mold the You 2.0, healthier, more fit, that you want to become.

3 – Just Do Something!

Start today! (Or at least the closest day that ends in a “Y”…) You don’t need to have it all planned out, to what exercises you’ll do in what order, or how many grams of broccoli to eat at dinner next Thursday, you just need to make a decision and build small wins for yourself!

Doing so will build positive momentum upon which you can build a more substantial plan (planning is, at some point necessary after all, for sustained success). While “jump and build a parachute on your way down,” isn’t always great advice, it is essential that you start! Isaac Newton got it right with his first law of motion that, “an object in motion will stay in motion, and an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.”

What are you waiting for?! Do 10 jumping jacks, take a walk, or climb the stairs an extra time. Yes, right now… If you hear all kinds of obstacles in your mind coming up, building momentum by hiring a personal trainer will help you instill the accountability and positive habits that will guide you to long term success.

Tired of waiting for the January 1st fitness motivation to kick in? Try out working with a personal trainer for free! Call us at (844) 704-9477 for a complimentary workout in our new North Andover Fitness Studio or in the convenience of your own home or apartment building!

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Written by Coach Will H. Hansen and shared here by the author.

Stay Fit this Holiday Season Dovile Squat

Stay Fit This Holiday Season: 3 Step Cheat Sheet

The Holiday Season is here and for many, that means their fitness goals take a back seat, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Here’s your three-step cheat sheet from local fitness experts Golden Home Fitness for you to stay fit this holiday season:

1 – Enjoy It! (Mindfully) 

Stay Fit this Holiday Season Will

When you hear, “stay fit this holiday season” it may conjure thoughts of tasteless, sugar-free cookies, skipping parties for the gym, or other restrictive activities. This is doing it all wrong! Paraphrasing the wise boxing coach and fitness writer Ross Enamait, it’s not what you do between Christmas and New Year’s that messes you up, it’s what you do between New Year’s and Christmas. This is the time of year where it’s okay to be present with loved ones and enjoy the often all-too limited time we get to share with one another. The key is to try to enjoy yourself MORE, not LESS. As a personal trainer, what could I possibly mean by that? Eat that cookie like it’s the last cookie you’ll ever eat, savor that wine, that cake, that champagne, and so on like you’re the most discerning critic you can imagine. Then once you’ve been completely present and have actually tasted what you’re consuming, rest on a satisfied gut.

The problem for most is not that they are at the Christmas party, or that they ate a cookie, but that they devoured a box of cookies mindlessly while watching a Lifetime movie, or that they drank the entire bottle of wine trying to distract themselves from a dry holiday office party conversation. More than just a buzzword, being mindful when you indulge will help you stay fit this holiday season.

2 – Drop the All or Nothing (Pick Your Spots)

To add on to number one, be your own best advocate and pick your spots! If you’re at a party and you can choose from store-bought cookies and delicious homemade cookies, or special reserve wine versus generic box wine, this is the time to be your most discerning, snobby self! Focus on quality over quantity and you’ll find yourself more satisfied and in better shape when January rolls around.

When it comes to goals, realize that maintaining where you are is a valiant goal this time of year! Many people let the wheels fall off the wagon and gain notable weight every holiday season, so even maintaining where you are is a great place to build on when the New Year comes.

3 – Don’t Do It Alone (Hire a Coach or Enlist an Accountability Buddy)

Stay fit this Holiday Season Coach

You’re embarking on a journey that many people set off on, but relatively fewer succeed at, as all New Year’s resolution statistics show. On any journey with risk, it’s essential that you don’t venture into the unknown all alone!

Enlist a coach, like we provide at Golden Home Fitness, or find an accountability buddy to keep you on track! Having an accountability partner will keep you honest when you want to reach for that third cookie, but know you should really stop. A good coach or partner will check in on you regularly to see how you feel you’re doing and help you decide on any adjustments to your strategy.

Want a coach to help you see your best results yet? Call us at (844) 704-9477 for a complimentary workout in our new North Andover Fitness Studio or in the convenience of your own home or apartment building!

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Written by Coach Will H. Hansen and shared here by the author, featuring photos of Coach Will and Coach Dovile Zemaityte from the 2018 Golden Home Fitness Toy Drive for Shriners Hospital for Children.