This is the first of ten in my series about getting yourself into shape and staying in shape. I’m not just talking about bulging muscles and ripped abs. I’m talking about the fitness needed to lead. To lead a long life, to lead you co-workers, to lead your family, to lead nonbelievers to Christ. I’m talking about the type of whole mind, body, and spirit fitness it takes to be the best leader you can be.
Step 1 is the first step for a reason. Drop this one and you’ve blown the whole thing. Step 1 is about planning ahead. If you fail to plan, then you have planned to fail, it’s just that simple. You can’t “wing it” when it comes to the most important things in life, and believe me, your health is at the top of that list. Your family needs you to live a long and active life. Your friends, co-workers, admirers, followers, all need you to live a long and active life. So what are you going to do to ensure that you’re here for many decades to come and that you’re running on all cylinders so that you can be at your best every single day?
- Create a plan – Get out some paper and a pencil and start writing this all down. Set dates to accomplish each step and hold yourself to them.
- Set a start date – Choose a day to begin this program. Make that day your “starting day” for every week. I start on Sundays. On Sunday plan. By Sunday I usually know what my up-coming week will look like, so it makes it easy for me to plan out when I’ll work out, what type of workout I’ll do, and what I’ll eat.
- Plan your meals – Choose what you’ll eat and when. Make sure you’re being fair to yourself and you eat within the calories you want to eat, but are eating something you can tolerated. Don’t go fish and rice from day one. It may be too hard for you to stick to.
- Go Shopping – Once you know which day’s you’ll be eating at home and which day’s you have to go out, make a menu that fits your goals and go buy all the food you’ll need to eat for the week. Don’t forget, you’ll be eating 6 times a day in small portions.
- Plan your workouts – What exercises will you do? You may want to start out slow, especially if you haven’t worked out in a while or haven’t gone to your doctor to get your vitals tested. Write down exactly what you’ll do. For example, you may just want to start off walking for 20 minutes. If you’re more advanced you might write down all the exercises and number of sets you want to do.
- Tie your shoes – I got this one from Matthew McConaughey. He says the most important step in exercising is tying his shoes. After that, the ball is rolling and the next logical step is to go outside and run. For me it’s my gym bag. I pack it up an set it by the door. Maybe for you it’s setting out your work out cloths. Whatever step one is before you work out, get it ready to roll. Make it easy on yourself to get the ball rolling, after that it’s easy.