Happy New Year, friends! I hope you had a fit, fun and successful 2016. I know a lot of people talk about 2016 being a drag, and not to minimize anyone else's pain, but 2016 was a great year for me. I have a roof over my head, food on my plate, a job (or three), friends, family and you. Sure, we lost some celebrity icons in 2016 and there are political and social issues that seem to be cultivating fear in the masses. I choose to think and act positively, to try to approach life from a grateful and loving heart instead of a place of fear. There are problems in the world but all I can do is to try be a shining light in my own little way. I fail sometimes, but I try and that is enough.
But I digress. Here we are in 2017. For some it may feel like a fresh start. I love that the New Year inspires the world to want to make positive changes in their lives. But New Year's Resolutions don't have a great track record for success. Why is that? Why do we want to change but then fail to take the actions necessary to follow through? I am as guilty as any.
After 42 years of experimenting (aka trying and failing), I know that going all in on an aggressive goal on January 1st usually doesn't last. After a few weeks or even a few days you end up burned out, stressed out or worse, injured. Then you go back to just doing what you always do, because well, it's easier that way. But doing what you've always done will never inspire growth and change.
Whether your goal for 2017 involves a diet or exercise plan, a professional goal, a financial goal or anything else, the key to success is sustainability.
Whatever your goals are for 2017 evaluate each of them for sustainability. Ask yourself, is this something that I can do for the rest of my life? Not 12 weeks, not 6 months, but the rest of your life.
A 60 day no carb challenge? Fails the test. I can tell you right now I am going to want to eat carbs again in my remaining years on this earth. Period. No question. (Besides, we as athletes, this includes you, need carbs to thrive.)
A 6 day-a-week one hour high-intensity workout plan? Maybe this will work out fine for the short terms, and maybe you will even lose some weight, but this is not sustainable long term (aka the rest of your life). You are much better served sticking to 20-30 minutes most days of the week alternating between high and low intensity workouts. Think of it like this: Would you rather workout hard and diet for 12 weeks, lose 30 pounds and then gain it all back once the program is over? Or lose 30 pounds over a longer period of time and keep it off for the rest of your life?
Whatever your goal, make it something that is sustainable for the rest of your life. Suffering for 12 weeks won't benefit you in the long run. An old lady on her deathbed doesn't remember that 12 weeks from her 30s when she worked out or dieted really hard. Temporary actions lead to temporary results.
If you really want something you have to make commitments to yourself that may be uncomfortable at first, but small consistent action over time will snowball into big results.
The big secret: Choose something that is sustainable over the long term. Commit to small action every day. Be consistent over the long term. That's how you have a successful New Year's Resolution.
I wrote a post called "How to Make Exercise a Daily Habit" if you want some ideas to get started on your sustainable workout goals. Remember it is always best to start slow, you have the rest of your life to build on it.
What are your new year's resolutions? Do they pass the sustainability test? I am going to start getting up early again, at 5:30am to workout some days and work on my blog and business other days. It is a good habit that has fallen to the wayside and a positive change I can make in my own life in 2017.
I thought this article on Breaking Muscle was outstanding and illustrated my point even further. "Changing Your Life is Not a 45 Day Challenge."
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It’s week six of the nine-week holiday healthy habits challenge. Our mission this week is to eight 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This post gives you tips on how to make vegetables taste delicious so you’ll want to eat more, and how to include more vegetables in your daily diet.
Can there be benefits to getting off track of your health and fitness goals? Focus on the positives while you work to make better choices. Learn how to learn from your mistakes to improve in the future
If it seems you are doing everything right in regards to diet and exercise, but still not feeling your best and seeing the results you desire, lack of sleep may be to blame. Join us for week five of the nine-week holiday challenge to learn how to set your environment for success to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep for best results in life.
Week four of the holiday habits challenge is all about why you need to drink water, determining how much water do need and strategies to stay hydrated.
This week in the 9-week holiday challenge we are focusing on intentional movement. How can you add intentional movement into your day, three times a day, every day this week? It can be formal exercise, but it can also be choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from the entrance at the store. Build the healthy habit of moving more each day.
10 tips for a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner. Throw out the heavy diet restrictions and enjoy this time with your friends and family. Make better choices when possible, be mindful, and eat slowly to have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving meal.
If you spend a lot of mental energy on the things that you should be doing, consider that “should” is a dirty word. Reframe what you should do into what you want to do, what you can do, and what you will do, and let everything else go. Align your actions with your goals and values and you’ll never “should” on yourself again.
Join me for a nine-week holiday challenge to gain fitness, not fat this holiday season. No extreme diets or exercise plan, just nine simple habits practiced over nine weeks to finish the year strong, and start the new year with a foundation of healthy living.
Get to the bottom of the age old debate, what’s best for permanent fat loss, running or weight loss? Learn how to get the most out of your workouts for the best results.
There’s a fine line between self-care and self-sabotage. Are you taking care of yourself or making excuses? Learn when you need to take a break and when you need to get to work.
if you’ve tried to exercise consistently, but had trouble staying on track, try these real-world tips to make exercise a regular habit.
I spent a decade yo-yo dieting, then four years ago lost the weight once and for all. During my journey I learned there are certain fundamentals of permanent fat loss. Before you spend another dollar on a program, a diet book, exercise equipment or supplements, make sure have the basics covered first. You may have to act and think differently than in the past to get better results in the future.
There will always be another product, another promise, another miracle for sale in the fitness industry. How can you stop falling for the hype and focus in on the behaviors necessary to achieve your goals? Learn more about how mastering the tools and techniques can be the answer.
I attended a seminar presented by Peter Twist at the IDEA World fitness convention on the seven steps to achieve resiliency, happiness and peak performance.
There are a few universal truths when it comes to achieving big goals, whether in fitness or in business. If you’ve been successful in one area of your life, you can apply those same principles to reach new goals. Once you’ve mastered the process, you can achieve any big goal.
The other F word, failure. Is it a dirty word or a necessary part of learning and growing? Can failure ever be a confirmation to quit, or should you always press on? Read more to learn about my personal experience with failure and how it changed my life for the better.
There’s a positive shift in the fitness industry. This trend towards mindset mastery can help us achieve our fitness goals. Make three shifts in the way you think, what you see and what you do on the road to success. Shift your mind to change your life.
Learn all about BlogFest, the best-kept secret inside the IDEA World fitness convention. I share my Lea Genders Fitness unofficial and unauthorized BlogFest awards to honor the standout experiences in my epic weekend of learning, community-building and fun.
Fitness wearables can be great tools for tracking movement, but can you take it too far? In this article I explore the pros and cons of fitness wearables. Learn how to get the most out of your wearables without sabotaging your results.
Are you confused by all the health and fitness information that you read on the internet? Is there too much conflicting information that is hard to sort out? In this article learn how to cut through the BS to figure out what will work best for you and your lifestyle.
Fitness professionals, trainers and coaches reveal their own health and fitness confessions to show that you don’t have to be perfect to get results. Spoiler Alert: Your trainer is human too.
Have you ever been working really hard at the gym and eating well and were frustrated when you stepped on the scale because it seemed like you weren’t making progress? Read this article to understand that the scale is a liar and why your scale weight doesn’t matter when you’re working to lose fat. Learn how to look at the big picture to monitor progress on your fat loss journey.
If you’ve heard you should be lifting heavy but not sure what that means or afraid you’re not strong enough to lift heavy, I’ve explained it all in this article. You’ll learn how to determine the appropriate weight to choose for your individual fitness level to achieve results, not injury from lifting heavy.