Sunday, October 17, 2010

8 Small Changes = Big Wins, Over Time! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

When the summer was beginning to wind down, I knew that keeping up my workout routine was going to pose a challenge. I know I am not alone with this sentiment.  That was one of the reasons that we started TEMT: to keep up our motivation and encourage each other to find the time and ways to take care of ourselves!
Here are 8 small changes I am trying to make in my daily practice so that I don't lose my focus on staying healthy! They may not be new ideas for you, but putting them down here means I will remember to practice them. Feel free to add yours in the comment section as well!
  • Take the steps At my school, there is a very nice long staircase that separates the lower part of the school from the upper part. Since I get to school early, I have the perfect opportunity to "run" the steps a few times to get my heartbeat going. This is, of course, not a substitute for a session of "cardio" but over time, it adds up to increased minutes of active movement. 
  • 30 minutes is enough time to squeeze in some exercise I have always seemed to maintain this all or nothing approach to working out. If I don't have more than 30 minutes I often say, "I didn't have enough time to exercise today." I must fight this false notion!  I am vowing here and now to take 30 minutes of my lunch time at least twice per week to walk with a friend. It may not provide the "all sweaty" feeling of an intense workout, but it will help to maintain my fitness level.
  • Lift some weights I keep a pair of dumbbells under my desk and try to use them at least 3 mornings per week when I arrive at school. I can squeeze in sets of exercises to work out my biceps, triceps, chest and shoulders. 
  • Keep a bag in the car Sometimes one of my tutoring students will cancel, or I have a 30 minute period I can take to go for a run before getting in my car for the commute home. If I have the bag ready, I can find a place to change and de-stress with a run after a busy day.
  • Have healthy snacks handy  I don't know about you, but when I don't plan ahead with some healthy snacks, I am much more apt to grab something in the staff room. Fortunately, there are often healthy fruit or veggie snacks there, but I try to be prepared. When I take the time to nurture myself with healthy snacks, I am much more inclined to exercise as well.
  • Include the workout on that to-do list When I see it written there, the intention becomes more of a reality.
  • Set reasonable goals If you promise that you will work out 5-7 days per week, but have only been able to achieve a goal of 3-4, why not shoot for a slightly longer or more challenging workout? Make sure your goals are achievable and won't lead you to abandoning them altogether.
  • Be kind to yourself and don't compare to others!  I'm not sure how this one applies to others, but I know that I am my own worst enemy at times. I need to focus on encouraging myself, not criticizing or comparing myself to someone training for a marathon. When I meet a goal, I need to acknowledge myself for the achievement!
What has helped you achieve your fitness goals? Care to share your challenges and successes?


  1. Great post Joan! I'd like to add to the last one - don't compare yourself to yourself. For many of us, having the time to workout is easier at different times of the year. If longer workouts were the norm in the summer, but you're lucky to do 15 or 20 min. in the winter, so be it. Making your goals realistic is what's most important, and the fact that you don't stop all together!

  2. Hi Heather!
    Thanks so are so right! I really needed that piece of wisdom.