#I) Get in shape
|Photo By EJMC|
1. Go running daily - the late Zig Ziglar often joked about how he used to weigh over 200 lbs until he decided to start running one day. On that day he ran to the end of the block and back. The next day he ran about a block and a half an then came back, and so on... until he was running miles upon miles each day.
It only takes a small start and a commitment to continue to succeed.
2. Make a commitment to go to the gym
Q: how do gyms stay in business?
A: They bank on the majority of "members" showing up on Jan 2nd, 3rd and 4th and then giving up right around the 5th, 6th or 7th.
However, most would go bankrupt by year end - not to mention have no room - if EVERYBODY they were charging month after month showed up EVERYDAY! Be that type of person who is still going to the gym daily, who knows the staff by name and most importantly show up.
3.Get a workout buddy - I personally don't have a workout partner because of my schedule. That being said, I would love to have one. A workout partner can keep you accountable, give you a reason to go to the gym and give you a spot if you're doing heavy lifting.
4. Set mini fitness goals - If you have a goal - setting mini-goals is a great way to help you measure your progress and encourage you to continue. For example one of my wife's recent goals was to lose several lbs by a certain date. We figured out if we broke this down to weekly goals it would be a little bit over a pound a week to hit her goal. If we broke that down to days it comes to a matter of ounces. Focus on the small to achieve the big.
5. Join a competition - I've participated in the Body-for-Life competition a few times. It's a competition for people across the country to see how they can change their body over a 12 week period. Although I've never won the competition it's always a great feeling to simply finish - you get a little certificate showing that you finished and you get the satisfaction of seeing how you looked on day one and how you look on day 90.
The biggest loser TV show is also doing a work from home competition this year - to find out more about that program click here.
#II) Eat Right
|Photo By the Recipe Drawer|
6. Paleo Diet - This is based on Dr. Loren Cordain's research on what the diet of our healthier more active hunter-gatherer ancestor's would've eaten.
7. Atkins Diet - This is a protein-heavy, low carb diet invented by Dr. Robert Atkins a medical doctor who at first promoted a diet heavy in meat and cheeses but his company Atkins international has backed away from this a little. It may be helpful to know that Dr. Atkins suffered a heart-attack about a year before he passed away in 2003.
8. Blood type diet - A diet inspired by Dr. Peter DÁdamo, author of Eat Right For Your Type - is a just what it sounds like - a diet based on your blood type.
9. Vegetarian/Vegan - Vegetarians eat no flesh - with the exception of eggs in some cases. Vegans eat nothing that originates from an animal.
|This might not be the best way...|
11. Dave Ramsey - This is one of my personal financial hero's. The author of Total Money Makeover. He helped me get out of debt and he hates owing other people money - like I do now.
14. Read PF Blogs: There are a wealth of personal finance blogs on the Internet. Some of the best are Get Rich Slowly, The Simple Dollar and Man vs Debt . These are all blogs I've read and enjoy.
15. Write your own PF blog - A few years ago, I found myself deeply in debt and only after I started my own PF blog about my experience did I become quickly educated and focused on my finances. My blog was anonymous and I would say if you find yourself deep in debt - this might be advisable so you can be open and honest without letting the world know your business. At the end of my blog I was out of debt and on to a new career, in finance.
#IV) Quit Smoking
|Photo by matteo.maretto|
Drawbacks: If you're a smoker, you've likely heard these all before but humor me:
- Increases the risk for cancer
- Increases likelihood of impotence
- Increases risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure
- Reduces levels of folate, low levels of which can increase the risk of heart disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease
- Results in low-birth-weight, premature babies
16. Buy Nicorette gum
17. Gradually reduce the number of cigarettes (or packs if you smoke multiple packs a day) and keep track of your progress.
18. Try the Nicoderm Patch
19. Make a list of other things to do instead of smoking and start doing them when you get the urge for a smoke - replace your habit with something else that feels good but is also good for you.
20. Set a quit date and promise yourself to quit cold turkey on that day.
For more details and a strategy - check out this article on Reader's Digest:
|Photo by US Army Alaska|
21. Soup Kitchen - in just about every town big or small there is typically a "soup kitchen" or community lunch program somewhere in town that could use your help either serving, cooking or even soliciting donations from local businesses and organizations. I've had the pleasure of serving in this way for the last several years in one capacity or another.
I'm currently on hiatus still adjusting to my <1yr old son. That being said, the intrinsic benefits are immeasurable. Sometimes clients will go out of their way to heartily thank you for the meal.
22. United Way - United Way has somewhat cornered the market on volunteering here in the United States with over 1,800 organization in 45 different countries they're hard to beat. If you have United Way office in your area - e-mail, call or stop by and you'll likely be inundated with opportunities to give back.
23. Senior Centers - checking with Volunteers of America or Meals on Wheels are both great ways to reach out to the elderly population.
24. Big Brother/Big Sister - According to Big Brother/Big Sister website a study found that:
after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, the Little Brothers and Little Sisters, compared to those children not in our program, were:
- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 37% less likely to skip a class
- 33% less likely to hit someone
25. Craigslist - There are endless opportunities to volunteer on craigslist from things ranging from festivals to the elderly to soup kitchens - etc.If you happen to be in the central Ohio area like me you can click here to volunteer.