Remember the Billy Crystal movie “City Slickers”?
Along the trail Jack Palance asks Billy Crystal, “Do you know what the secret of life is?”
Crystal responds, “No, what?”
Palance holds up his index finger and says “This”.
Crystal says, “Your finger?”
Palance says, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean (bleep)!”
Crystal, puzzled, says, “That’s great, but what’s the one thing?”
Palance smiles and says, “That’s what you’ve gotta figure out”.
Well, I’ve been hearing the usual resolutions from people about how they’re going to get fit (since we are starting a new year) and I cringe at the intensity of the regimen they lay out for themselves – yeah, I’m gonna get up an hour early every day and run 10 miles and work out 5 days a week at the gym and eat only lean poultry and swear off alcohol and, and,and…
And wind up quitting in about 3 weeks in most cases because they’ve set themselves up!
Don’t get me wrong – I’m all in favor of setting high goals but I’m also in favor of reaching those lofty goals.
So back to Mr. Crystal and Mr. Palance – you want to get fit this year? Great! Go for it! But do yourself a favor and add some strategy to your goals.
Consider one thing you can change, or start doing, or stop doing for that matter, and get that one thing started – today.
Once you’ve got that in place, have met success for a while, and the new behavior becomes simply a part of you, add (or subtract) another thing and then another…you get the idea.
You don’t take on the next challenge until you’re ready, but the cumulative effect can be tremendous.
So maybe one vegetarian day a week will help you realize you can be strong and fit without steak 7 days a week. Maybe adding one more workout each week will help you break through that plateau you’ve landed on. Maybe simply changing your routine so that Monday isn’t always chest day (as it seems to be for 95% of male gym-goers) will shock your body into greater change.
Give it a shot – do that one thing – and have a rewarding and successful New Year.