Team Up for New Year Of Success

From Jan. 23 edition of The Lancaster News

As 2008 begins, everyone makes realistic and unrealistic resolutions. Many of you will have goals related to your health and wellness, while others set goals related more to materialistic things or taking steps toward having financial freedom.

Regardless of what your goals are, the best place to start is by proper planning.

Planning is the key to success, especially when it comes to your health and fitness.

Every year at this time, people contact me in their quest to lose enough weight in a month to fit into that perfect dress or suit by Valentine’s Day or some other upcoming occasion. No matter how well-intentioned that is, it’s a pretty unrealistic on their part.

Set goals a day at a time

You must set goals for one day at a time, versus 30 days in advance. Start with small goals to achieve larger goals later. The No. 1 mistake made by most people when setting health and fitness goals is setting goals that are far beyond their mental and physical abilities to achieve them. Their motivation is often driven (and encouraged) by television ads and infomercials. You should be excited about your decision to adopt a healthier lifestyle. However, please don’t be misled by unscrupulous marketers who push your emotional button.

I want to encourage you to keep your goals attainable with planned, measurable steps. This allows you to achieve your goals in phases and rewards your continued success. Success, in turn, builds confidence to encourage you to work toward your next goal and plan of action.

The team behind success

Natural bodybuilding is a sport that is individualized just like wrestling. They have something in common with forms of individual achievement that aren’t sports related. Behind the success of any athlete, CEO, housewife or average person is a team effort. As I prepare for the upcoming Team Universe competition, there is a team of people – who have played or are playing – a part in helping me achieve my goals.

Kelly Steen at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster’s Gregory Health and Wellness Center helps me keep track of my body fat percentage throughout a 13 1/2 week, pre-contest training regimen. International Federation Bodybuilding (IFBB) pro Johnny Stewart helps me develop my stage and mandatory posing presentation.

There are others that I could name who support me morally and financially, but at this point, I think you get the picture. You must develop a team of people who believe in you and your goals. The team of people in some cases is already around us; however, it is just a matter of asking them for their unconditional support.

A housewife who wants to lose 60 pounds needs 100 percent support and encouragement from her husband and vice versa. This applies to everyone, married or not. You can be single or the son or daughter who needs family support.

Behind every successful person is a team of people who helps them become a success. Make 2008 the year to improve your health by getting into shape. First, develop a realistic plan to get you on the way to building a better body. Then, surround yourself with a team of positive people to support you in achieving those goals. Be a success in 2008.

– Fitness expert and bodybuilder Kennett Washington is president of Healing Strength Personal Training.