“The decent method you follow is better than the perfect method you quit.” –Tim Ferriss
2013 is here!
Which means everyone is making New Years health resolutions like it’s their job. Setting goals is good and writing them down is even better. This year, I’m putting my health and fitness goals on the web for everyone to see. I got this idea from my girlfriend’s sister, who wrote her 2013 goals on her blog. But she took it a step further. Most people set New Years goals and forget about them within a month. She actually went back and evaluated her New Years goals for 2012 a year later which I thought was really cool. Here is her post. So I’m going to try the same thing. I’ll define my goals in this post and then in about a year, I’ll write another blog post and rate myself on each of the goals. I think this will help hold me accountable for them.
So here goes…
This year, rather than setting really lofty health and fitness goals I’m going to aim to develop consistent health and fitness habits. I’ll admit, even though I’ve maintained my ideal body weight and strength over the last few years, I still struggle regularly with junk food cravings and being a couch potato. So, I think at this point, I just need to focus more on making better day-to-day health decisions. Case in point: I just got back from a two-week binge of eating whatever I wanted without working out at all (while my dad was out running 10 miles). Sure, I was on Christmas vacation but still. “Come on, dude, you’re better than that” is all I thought after reflecting on it. So I may not have a single grand slam goal in mind, but for me, eating better and being active every day for a full year will in itself be a huge accomplishment. So in relation to this, I have three specific health and fitness goals in mind.
Goal #1: Eat at least one fruit or vegetable every day
I’ve come a long way from the kid who refused to touch anything that even resembled a fruit or vegetable, but I know I can still do better. After reading Eat to Live, I realized that even though my consumption of fruits and vegetables has increased dramatically, it’s still nowhere near where it should be for optimal health. My diet is fairly clean during the week, but my weekend cheat days can be disgusting. I still have cheat days where my only meal is two thirds of a meat lover’s pizza or something along those lines. So maybe this will force me to change that to half of a meat lovers pizza and an apple. Nothing mind-blowing, but a step in the right direction. Maybe instead of getting a side of fries when I go out for a burger, I’ll now opt for a side salad. Again, the ultimate goal is to develop better habits.
Goal #2: Do something active at least six days per week
Something active doesn’t have to mean a full blown workout. I think we all know that recovery time is critical to building muscle and maintaining a healthy immune system, among other things. I want to be slightly more active on my rest days, though. So something as small as a five minute kettlebell session, a handful of pushups or even a walk around the block will work. Generally, between regular strength training workouts and soccer, I consider myself pretty active. So really, I just want to force myself to get off my bum on those few days when I literally do nothing. In this post on Fitness Black Book, Rusty Moore describes Matthew McConaughey’s fitness rule of “breaking one sweat per day” in order to easily maintain low body fat levels without formal exercise. My guess is that this goal will probably result in me going on more walks which is good because I don’t think I walk enough.
Goal #3: Eat my first meal after noon at least six days a week
This is something I probably do right now, but I want to make sure I keep it up. With my diet not being perfect, I credit intermittent fasting with the primary reason I am not grossly overweight. I also credit intermittent fasting for the improvement in my health stats from my college days when I used to eat three or more times per day. About three years ago, I started out fasting once a week or so and over time, I increased it to the point where I am almost fasting every day. The Lean Gains protocol is what I have settled on and it’s become second nature to me. In fact, I now realize that it’s perfectly healthy to skip breakfast and even have a light late lunch. Needing to eat every two to three hours to keep your metabolism going is one of the biggest diet myths out there. Regular fasting improves insulin sensitivity, gives your digestive system much needed breaks, and ensures that you spend at least some time in the absence of food energy which forces your body to burn stored fat as fuel.
One more thing…
Now that my New Years health resolutions are out on the internet for everyone to view, I’m going to track each of these three goals in a spreadsheet and revisit them in a blog post at the end of 2013. One final thing I’m going to do to help keep me motivated is attempt to tweet each time I do something for Goal #1 and Goal #2. I can’t guarantee I’ll do this every time, but I’ll try. I’ll include the hashtag #2013goals in each of these tweets. So starting today, those of you who follow me on Twitter will see an update every time I eat a carrot or run a mile. If you think this will annoy the crap out of you, I suggest you unfollow me now. If you think it’s awesome, then follow me. Better yet, retweet my small victories! All the best in 2013!