“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing this is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.” –Unknown
Don’t worry this is not a new diet fad or exercise requirement! The basic idea is pretty simple (based on “Eat that Frog!” by Brian Tracy) – your frog is your most important, highest impact and sometimes the most difficult task of your day. It is the task you are most likely to “put off”. For some of you, that means your frog is EXERCISE! I have taken some of the concepts from Brian Tracy’s book and applied them to helping you make exercise an important part of your day.
1. Most importantly, make it a habit.
Any behavior can be learned through practice and repetition. Habits take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. The time varies depending on how complex the behavior is, how difficult it is, and how important the habit change is to YOU. The more motivated you are, the more quickly the habit is likely to feel automatic. And when exercise does become automatic (a habit), you will feel great about yourself!
2. Plan your exercise time in advance.
If you know your day is busy, set a time aside that is dedicated just to your workout. It still counts, even if you have to shorten the time. 10 minutes, 3 times a day is just as successful as 30 minutes straight.
3. Be action oriented.
Don’t wait to get started. Commit to yourself! Get everything you need; clothes, shoes, watch, etc., then set a date and go!
4. Know what to work on.
Have a workout plan ready to go, whether its strength training, walking, running or swimming. Planning in advance will help get you organized; you’ll know what you need to pack, where you need to go and what time.
5. Use your time wisely.
If you’re not sure what time of the day works best for you, try different times of the day to see when you have the most energy. Once you know, set that time aside and make an appointment with yourself.
6. Understand your constraints.
Things will come up and interrupt your schedule. Don’t beat yourself up. You may have to miss one day, but continue with your routine the next day. Don’t give up because of one bump in the road (or wart on the frog?). Use that day as a recovery day and then you’ll be rested for the next workout.
You are important! And that frog will be your best friend (or pet) when you’ve become a stronger, healthier and happier person for incorporating exercise into your day!
- Wendy Hildebrand
Corporate Wellness Manager, UTC