Andrea Metcalf
Personal trainer Andrea Metcalf knows that putting yourself first is easier said than done. She's offering five steps that will help you "get it."
Every year, millions of people take the time to reflect on the past year. It is the first step to moving forward and making changes in life. There is no better time to make changes than now! It just takes a little reflection, planning and strength to be successful. The easy part is to look back and be a Monday morning quarterback when it comes to your diet, workouts, daily living regimen and your personal relationships. The hard part is deciding which of these areas to change to enhance your life and be happier. Based on more than 255 clinical studies, happier people live longer, are healthier, earn more money at their jobs, are more helpful, have better relationships and handle difficult situations better than unhappy people. 

Your health should be your first priority. But in working with many people, I have found that the need to take of others supersedes that of taking care of ourselves. I like to start by asking my clients to respond to this statement: "I take time every day to making my life better" on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being strongly agree, 2 agree, 3 not sure, 4 disagree, 5 strongly disagree). Once they have answered this question, we go to work to figure out how to make this statement a daily mantra. My expertise lies in helping make people healthier. So I tell them to go "GET IT!" 

G is for goal setting. E is for excitement, and T is for tracking. I is for information, and T is for team. You'll need all these parts to make changes happen.

Learn how to "GET IT"
Set realistic goals that can be broken down into monthly achievements. I think of these as small goals that lead to the bigger one: your best life. Change becomes more permanent each month. Make sure your goal is written down, measurable and realistic. My personal goal for next year is to improve my diet by being consistent with taking my supplements, eating at least five servings of vegetables a day and reducing sugar intake by only allowing desserts twice a week.

E - Excitement
Call it excitement, enthusiasm, energy or whatever you like. You have to have emotion tied to your goals. They are best when associated with a positive experience, which is why I chose excitement in the "GET IT" plan. My reward of a new workout outfit or going out to a movie gets me excited and feeling good about my goals. The energy you put into your health appreciates like no other.

Some people journal their experiences to reflect on their successes. Tracking your goal is key to reaching it. If you have ever applied for a new job, your updated résumé if the reflection and tracking of being qualified for this new position. It gives you the confidence to know you are ready and able for the challenges ahead. My client who lost 309 pounds tracked her weight loss on a calendar. A small rose denoted a pound loss. A large rose denoted 10 pounds lost. Every month, she would see a beautiful display of her hard work. She has kept the calendars and the weight off now for three years. Go Beverly!

Information is the key to understanding the best way to get something done. Information can be from the Internet by discovering the calorie counts of certain foods or the personalized program you may receive from your trainer. If you wanted to make a low-fat, healthy version of French onion soup, you could invent it yourself or use a tried and tested recipe. Either way would produce a result, but I'd rather taste the latter. Get all the information you need to get started on your health program, including a health checkup from your physician.

Every winning program has a team of support. Yours may be friends, family and co-workers, but it doesn't have to stop there. You can find numerous online programs tailored exactly to your goals. I send e-mail reminders to myself, and I used Facebook, YouTube and QIK videos with one client to help set goals, track successes and inspire others to lose 100 pounds in 90 days while keeping a full-time job. By the way, he did it!

It has been said that no one can make your happy but yourself. It's true of your health as well. So take charge this upcoming year—go GET IT! Because only you can make it happen!

Start Andrea's Live-ilates!
3 easy moves to get you aligned
Cut stress at the store with Shop-ilates


Next Story