How many of you have invested in some sort of exercise equipment in your life that ended up being used as a clothes rack, etc.? How many times have you started an exercise routine (perhaps after the New Year) and didn’t make it past the first few weeks? How many times have you looked in the mirror and wished that you could lose those few extra pounds, build up your muscles, etc.? How many times have you wished that you weren’t so tired during the day? How many times have you wished you had more self-confidence, especially during key moments when you are interacting with others at home, work, or anywhere that you happen to be?
All of these questions are interrelated. If you want to be able to change your initial answers to the questions above, you must start with formulating a plan. I suggest that you utilize a common application like Microsoft Excel or perhaps a similar product from Open Office (free!) to create a weekly exercise schedule that fits your current age, level of fitness, etc. I suggest that you refer to Google and spend some time researching different exercise routines (there are hundreds of options). My personal favorite is the P90X program from by Beach Body. I pick and choose which P90X videos to use coupled with other exercises that I like to do. Regardless of what muscle group I am working, I use P90X to warm up with every time I exercise…warming up is extremely important! For those of you who are new to the exercise world, here are a few very important things to remember (and not to ignore!). Always warm up and stretch before working out, only work each muscle group once per week, spend at least one day per week working your rotator cuff muscles (they are easy to injure, but easy to strengthen), spend one day working all of your pulling muscles (biceps, back, etc.), spend one day working all of your pushing muscles (triceps, shoulders, and chest), spend another day working your legs, and spend one day working on your cardio. If you happen to have limited access to fitness equipment and happen to think that you can’t get in shape without a bunch of expensive equipment or a gym membership, keep reading! You don’t need a bunch of equipment to get in shape. You can get in incredible shape by performing body weight exercises (click this text for an example).
In the event that you are curious, my favorite exercises are pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, dips, and curls. I have a few key pieces of equipment: dumbbells (2 lb. to 40 lb.), Lebert XL dip bars, pull-up bar (mine is homemade & mounted on the wall), and P90X pushup stands. Click Here for an excellent article that is in alignment with my current routine.
How does any of this relate to effective leadership and self-confidence? As you embark on your fitness/wellness journey, you will gradually start to have more energy. In time, your new physical strength will spill over into inner-strength (self-confidence). Don’t confuse my comments about your new muscles and confidence with being cocky and/or arrogant; that is not what I am talking about nor do I support any such attitudes (actually, they are the opposite of what I preach…be humble!).
In case you are wondering how to keep from quitting your new exercise routine and returning to your present state, I highly recommend that you stay focused on the end results/goals. Furthermore, I recommend that you add a few lines to the top of your weekly schedule that includes the purpose/goal that you are striving to achieve. If you experience issues with tough physical exercise, go out and walk (it has amazing benefits all on its own).
Please remember that this process takes time and dedication. It will not always be easy to keep pushing forward, but the results are well worth the effort.
If you are struggling with eating right, I highly recommend that you jump into a modified form of the very popular Paleo diet (modified means not totally extreme!); it has great benefits, is simple to follow, does not require portion control, and does not require you to count calories (read and research it for yourself).
Oh yeah, drink plenty of water and prepare to give up other less healthy drinks; it is well worth the effort. Remember, it will not be easy, but you can do it!
Are you willing to take the time to increase your fitness level, eat better which will ultimately increase your self-confidence and energy levels?
Do you want to have the confidence to stand up for what you believe in, especially in the key moments of your life?
You need to start with the basics, build up your physical self which will spill over into your inner-self.
What are you waiting for?
I can do all things through Him (Jesus Christ) who strengthens me. –Philippians 4:13