Health clubs, gyms, and exercise trainers know that they will make the majority of their income in the first three months of the year. They capitalize on the sweat of New Year’s resolutions made by people who are intent on finding a more svelte reflection in their mirror. Sometimes there are even waiting lists because so many people are trying to crash through the doors, sincere in their desire to crash their bodies into shape.
Yet by April people are beginning to drop newly established workout routines and eating habits and revert to their former lifestyle. Those New Year’s resolutions are tossed into the wastebasket along with candy wrappers and soft drink cans.
Why? Because people lose their focus. It’s a common problem in many endeavors, but especially in adopting a healthy lifestyle.
So what’s the answer?
I have discovered that the key to maintaining focus on any activity, especially being healthy, is to be fully engaged in four areas – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
If you are going to adopt a healthy lifestyle, you must include a reasonable exercise routine. It needs to be something you do at least four days a week. Anything less than that does not qualify as being fully engaged in the process. Remember, this is not exercise in order to lose weight. It is exercise in order to be healthier.
The mental component to a healthy lifestyle means that you plan your meals. If you buy groceries without having a pre-planned menu, the chances are great that you won’t have balanced, healthy meals. Before you leave to go on a trip think ahead on how you can maintain your healthy eating habit. Also, think about ways you can diversify your exercise routine to avoid boredom and burn out.
But just being engaged physically and mentally won’t be enough to make you stay the course. You must be emotionally invested in being healthy. You should exercise and eat healthy with an attitude of joy, not resentment. Be excited about overcoming temptations to eat that piece of cake or to sleep in and not exercise. Every day that you live a healthy life should create feelings of happiness and contentment. A positive attitude will go a long way toward helping you stay focused.
There is one more way to be fully engaged in being healthy that is key. Our spirit must be an active participant. The way to achieve this is to dedicate your healthy lifestyle to God. Do it as a way to glorify him and to honor him. When trying to decide what to eat or whether to get up and exercise, ask yourself, “What would please God?” This one simple question goes deeper than thoughts or feelings. Our body is God’s temple. He lives in us. How we treat his temple is a direct reflection on how we feel about him.
The reason health clubs and gyms are empty in the summer is because people have allowed themselves to unplug in one or more of these ways from their goal. If you find yourself slipping, do a self-examination. More than likely you will discover that you’ve lost focus in one of these four areas.