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Planning our year: the specifics post.

Tue, Feb 1, 2011

MizFit Muzings, Sears Fit Club

Yes, People, we are getting all kinds of serious up in herre today. I decided to map out my year and, as long-term readers are aware, I always like to drag you along for the ride.  This post is way too freakin long. Read now.  Print for later.  Bookmark.  Whatever you choose—just join me.

Welcome to February.

The month in which most of us realize our New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside.

Panic not, oh misfits like I, if January is the month to identify what we’re striving for, then February is the perfect time to kick-off healthy changes.

Goal achievement in general (and healthy lifestyle attainment specifically) is all about setting ourselves up for success through a two-part plan:

1. Identify what you’re working to achieve. Instead of saying you want to lose weight or get fit, break it down into specific goals. For example running a marathon, losing 30 pounds, or eating healthier.

2. Break larger goals down into smaller more doable parts that you I can incorporate gradually For example, running a 5K or adding more fiber into your food plan. These bite-sized pieces help make even the most grandiose of notions feel down right manageable (can I get an AMEN?).

That’s precisely what February is about at Casa MizFit: taking the overall healthy lifestyle goal of January diving it up into eleven new healthy habits so that it all feels less freakin overwhelming.

Please to visualize each monthly change as adding a layer to the foundation of a home.

Each habit we add is a crucial element in keeping our foundation solid.

As a result, it’s important to retain our previous habits even  focusing on the current month’s addition.

MizFit tip: Be me? Ive printed this out, cut it into 11 segments, and paper-clipped each healthy habit to the corresponding month on my paper calendar. #nerdalert

Set to git superfly organized with me & break it all down?

Let’s go.

February: Keeping in mind the notion of setting ourselves up for success let’s begin with a fairly easy goal: vitamins. In an ideal world we’d get all the vitamins our bodies require from food-based sources. It’s become increasingly difficult to achieve this, however, even with the healthiest of diets.

This month commit to a daily multi-vitamin. Interested in taking this month’s healthy habit a bit further? You might decide to supplement your multivitamin.

Studies have shown that vitamin D and additional vitamin B-complex can be helpful. Vitamin D, gleaned also from the sun which is in short supply this time of year, can aid in regulating cell growth, boots immunity, and prevent bone loss.

Feeling a smidge sluggish? B complex vitamins might be just what you need. The B complex vitamins (actually a group of 8 vitamins) not only help give you healthier hair and nails, but also aid in the break down of carbohydrates into glucose (which translates into more energy for you).

March: Water, water, and more water. Experts may disagree on precisely how much water you need to drink, but there is no dissension with regards to the fact we all need more! The plan this month is to increase what you’re currently drinking.

Some people like to measure out their target water consumption *daily* so they have a visual reminder. Others choose to physically check off each glass they drink . Whatever method you choose this month focus on staying hydrated as studies show, by the time we feel our thirst, we’re already well on the way to dehydration.

Factors that impact the amount of water you might require are: exercise (how much fluid do you sweat out daily?), environment (hot temps will make you lose water through perspiration and heat during cold months can deplete) and illness.

AprilGit out and WALK! Spring is here! Are you enjoying it? Have you headed outside for a long walk recently? If not, this is the month to start.  The first thing we all tend to ask is how long or how often we need to do this.

Remember, we’re setting ourselves up for success. Are you currently walking once a week? Perhaps add in another day or two. Already walking three times a week? Maybe try increasing your pace this month. The benefits of walking are numerous. This healthy habit isn’t just about enjoying the weather you’re also controlling your blood pressure, decreasing your heart attack risk, and elevating your good cholesterol.

May: It’s time to ask that personal question: how regular are you? May is all about getting enough fiber.

Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plant cells and a crucial piece to living a healthy lifestyle. Not only does fiber reduce blood sugar spikes which increase fat storage it also reduces your risk of colon cancer and helps you feel fuller longer.

Getting in your 25- 35 grams of daily fiber is an easy task when you know where to look.  Bran cereals, peas, beans and broccoli are all fantastic sources of fiber.  It’s important to keep up April’s healthy habit during the addition of May’s. Fiber absorbs water so you’ll need to maintain or even increase your water consumption as you start this healthy habit.

June: Summer is finally here! The walk which felt great in April might be feeling a tad too hot. Did you join a gym in January? Now is the time to add in the healthy habit of using that membership. Don’t yet belong to a workout facility? This is the month try out a membership. Most gyms offer free trial periods in the summer to lure us indoors—look around your area and see what you find!

July: Can you believe it’s been six months since you set your goal? It’s time to check in and see how you’re doing. Have you been successful in adding new habits each month while maintaining the others? Have you struggled to stay on track?

This month’s healthy habit is focusing on recording your goals so that you don’t lose sight of them. This might be making a list and placing it on your fridge or using a goal tracking website or group.  Whatever works best for you.

August: Stretching! Stretching will reduce soreness, help keep your joints flexible and make daily living easier! It’s perfect to fit in after your walk or gym-time as your core body temperature will be elevated and your muscles warm and pliable.

Remember, stretch slowly, don’t bounce, and if a stretch feels painful: STOP.  Some people intuitively know what “feels good” with regards to stretching.  If you’re uncertain begin by stretching your large muscle groups (back, chest, and legs) and progress s-l-o-w-l-y from there.

September: Whether you’re involved in the back to school rush or not—life seems to pick up pace in the fall. One thing that can fall by the wayside (given its need for preparation) is protein consumption.

The question continually arises regarding how much protein we should consume. This month the answer is: perhaps more than you’re getting. Whether youre a meat eater or a vegetarian take this month to get creative in the kitchen with your protein sources.

October: The call of the sugar is high this month. Everywhere you look Halloween candy is on display. While we might be able to stay resist the candy sugar by many other names is hidden in our foods.

This month start reading the ingredients in the foods you eat. Some sugars are, indeed, obvious (beet sugar, cane sugar) but did you know that many ingredients ending in ose (dextrose, fructose) are also sugars?

Become a label-reading informed consumer and check out exactly what you’re putting in your body. Search your foods for hidden sugars.

November: With the holidays approaching life once again picks up pace. This month’s healthy habit is fitting in exercise when life gets hectic. Your workout might not be at a gym, but you *can* maintain your fitness level.

Remember 10 + 10 + 10 DOES equal thirty! Studies show that breaking 30 minutes of walking into three 10 minute pieces gives the same results.

December: Holy CRAPBALLS It’s almost 2012. Can you believe how far we’ve come simply by layering healthy habits upon each other? (MizFit note: I knew we’d rock this!)

Take a moment and reflect upon the changes we’ve made. This month focus upon the incremental shifts you’ve made and the healthy lifestyle which is the result.

Is there still a piece you’re struggling with? Too much sugar? Not enough fiber? Have you slacked on the exercise? Identify what healthy habit you need to work on and make that your focus this final month.

There you go, People. A too too long post yet all my secrets for how I plan to kick ass and take names in 2011. Here’s hoping you join me (**raises her protein-shake filled glass in a toast**) or at least help me stay accountable.

This post is brought to you by the Fit Minded Peeps at Sears Fit Club.

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39 Responses to “Planning our year: the specifics post.”

  1. Dawn says:

    Get monthly reminders Carla! I will do my best to follow them. Hugs

  2. Reen says:

    Miz, you’ve inspired me to work out my plan for 2011. I know WHAT I want. Now it’s time to set down more clearly the steps I will take to get there.

    I plan on working on this later this morning, once I’m finished with the current rush job.

    P.S. 5:00 a.m. is a little early in my world.

  3. Lindsay says:

    Thanks for this Miz.
    YOU ROCK.
    I am printing :)

  4. Lynda says:

    Holy long post Mizzy!!

    I am going to print it and clip the pieces to my kitchen calendar.

    Thank you for all you do for us.

    Happy Vitamin Month.

  5. Nettie says:

    This is why I come here, Carla.

    You could have gathered this into an ebook and sold it to us and yet you give it all away freely.

    May it flow back to you and bless you with abundance.

  6. Tina says:

    This is great, Miz.

    I really like how you’ve layered the stuff and ended in December with a “what do you still need to do.”

    I disagree though and say make an ebook and sell! :)

    xo

  7. Colleen says:

    Great post as usual ;)

    I like how you work on 1 thing each month. I feel its better to work on introducing 1 new healthy living way each month this way you are not waking up 1 day overwhelmed like oh no ita impossibe.
    I’m all about the slow changes over time adding up to 1 big healthy transformation :)

  8. LaShanda says:

    Great ideas! I tackled creating 31 days of healthy habits for January on my blog! I love your idea breaking it down into months! Great blog!

  9. Diana - Scale Junkie says:

    This is exactly what I do too! On the first day of every month I take a look at where I am and what I need to improve, tweak as necessary!

  10. Joanna Sutter says:

    You are on it! Please rub off on me, pretty please!

  11. Allie says:

    I am back just to add that I printed this and taped to each month on my office calendar.

    Thank you!!

  12. Kerri O says:

    Great list! I’m re-evaluating my goals at the moment, checking in, tweaking where necessary, I am striving to do this monthly. Layering in, hmmm, will have to ponder that.

  13. Jody - Fit at 53 says:

    I raise my whole grain toast with PB and my homemade protein bar to you! CRAP, I feel like a slacker.. I best get my butt in gear!

    You are too much! I am all about just getting thru but I best change that now! :-)

  14. JustDaisy says:

    Great ideas. My plan will be different, but the concept is brilliant.

    I’ve just completed my first 4 weeks of 6 day a week fitness schedule I developed in late December after falling off the fitness wagon during the holidays. I’m really enjoying the new routines and variety.

    February marks the time for me to focus on improving my dietary intake. I am struggling in this area, and rely heavily on my husband for all the meal planning and preparing (I really don’t like cooking at all, plus his work schedule is more condusive to cooking). Well, I think it’s time to get myself more involved, because hubby just isn’t making the best of dietary choices. My plan is minor, but really all I feel I can commit to at first……plan/prepare 2-3 evening meals per week.

    I need to do some serious thinking on the rest of the year’s goals, and willl get them documented by this weekend.

    You are so inspiring to this Bumblin’ Band member. Thank you!!!

  15. Helen DoingA180 says:

    When one uses building blocks like this, the next thing they know, there’s a strong foundation. A strong foundation cannot be rocked.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  16. Morgan @ Life After Bagels says:

    Did somebody say planning?!?!?

    Ahhhhhhh I may have a crush on this post ;)

  17. Gena says:

    Thank you for this.
    It’s bookmarked.

  18. suzanne says:

    Those are great goals! I’ll be following along :)

  19. deb roby says:

    I have one goal for the year: HEAL. AND STAY HEALED.

    It’s like eating an elephant - I can only do it by trying each day.

  20. Gena says:

    Oh and I would love to hear more about your day to day stuff ;)

  21. Virginia says:

    Love to share this content on facebook. I shared this article on my facebook today. Most interesting post i ever saw. I will tweet about this. honestly saying this is the article a person like me searches on internet.

  22. Lori (Finding Radiance) says:

    Wow - I have never actually broken down my goals in a 12-month list. I do a yearly list, then each month I focus on something that needs my attention some. I agree on the specifics. Nebulous goals yield nebulous results.

  23. Melody says:

    I love the reminder to KEEP our old new ;) habits when we add another. That’s where I tend to fall short.

    I’d like to hear more about your typical day too.

  24. Patrick says:

    I GOT IT! The reason why I am a FAN OF MIZFIT…
    You can talk about how regular I am, or am not; and make it something I want to think more about.

    Seriously, we often talk about taking things one day at a time. And we do well by ourselves when we ‘dwell’ on the here and now, not the distant tomorrows. But that does not mean we ought not spend some reasoned amount of time to long range plan. Long range planning is where dreams become possible so that they can then become realized through our effots in the here and now.

  25. Thea @ I'm a Drama Mama says:

    I love the idea of paper clipping your goal on the calendar. Yay for visual reminders!

    My goal for the year is to run a race a month. The different races require different training…all of which goes straight into my planner so that I know exactly what I *should* be doing every day.

    Already, I’m doing more for myself than I ever did last year.

  26. Yum Yucky says:

    I had to run some errands in the city today, and the walk felt so good. Too bad it was short lived due to the snow and ice everywhere. I really craved that walk, but did not want to fall and bust my azz.

  27. Lyn says:

    I love how you break this down into doable bits.

    And I’ll vouch for the vitamin D… it has saved me this winter!

  28. angela says:

    This is totally awesome. I need to make myself a list like this. Now I just need to find some time to do it. ;)

  29. Blaine says:

    Excellent example of how to break down your goals and keep the journey from overwhelming you. Keep up the great posts!

  30. Janell says:

    Wow, this post was difficult to read. Scary how time flies. Good pointers though. I think I’ll be good with water in March. I’ll commit that far. haha
    Miss you.

  31. tricia says:

    Looks like a great year! I need to make a timeline for my goals. Goals for my goals so to speak. Mini steps add up to great things.

  32. Dr. J says:

    Like a movie storyboard! I like it!!

  33. Sagan says:

    I love this!!!

    For me it’s all about portion sizes. I’m pretty good with just about everything else (or at least, with being able to quickly get back on track if I fall off the wagon ;) ), but portion size is one that I find tough to STICK TO - I know what a serving size is but following through on that can be tricky.

    And stress. Managing stress is a biggie :)

  34. Kelley Burrus says:

    Love. Printing and referring! Thanks for the comprehensive inspiration as I work on my “AFTER” photo.

  35. ideas to increase membership says:

    really a good tactic to work.good information ideas to increase membership

  36. Lianne Ellworths says:

    this is cool, i never thought about this kind of stuff before.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention How to set specific monthly goals for healthy living | MizFitOnline -- Topsy.com - 01. Feb, 2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joyce Cherrier, carla birnberg. carla birnberg said: New post: Planning our year: the specifics post. http://mizfitonline.com/2011/02/01/year-planning/ [...]

  2. A day in the life of a misfit. | MizFitOnline - 04. Feb, 2011

    [...] day-to-day life in Casa MizFit can be Groundhog’s Day-esque enough of you asked about it here I figured Id [...]

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