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Awhile back I read Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Mr. Covey lays out seven very effective ways that, when implemented, will change one’s life.

It’s been a very popular book in the business world. But, why stop there?

Can we employ these to other facets of our lives? Let’s take a look at how applying these very same seven habits will make your fitness more effective.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Everything that you do, from sleep, to food, dealing with stress, and exercise, affects the health of your body. When you come to that realisation, the first step has been taken.

Choose to go back for a second helping of Thanksgiving dinner, and there is a consequence. Take a month off of exercise – consequence.

Being proactive is simply the understanding that the choices that you make have an impact on your goals.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Setting goals is the only way to get to where you’re going. Have you ever just gotten in your car, and started driving? Did you end up where you wanted to go?

Try this exercise that I learned in a college art class. Get a piece of paper and a pen. Turn the paper long ways, and put a dot on either end of the paper. Now, put the point of the pen on one of the dots. While looking only at the point of the pen, draw a line to the other dot.

Now, draw two new dots, and do the exercise again, only this time I want you to only look at the dot on the other side of the paper. When done, look at which line is straighter, and has fewer squiggles.

Having goals to work towards is like keeping your eyes on that second dot.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

In all aspects of life, there are some things that are just more important than others. You should take a weekly and even daily inventory of what those things are.

After completing Habit #2, your health and fitness should be included somewhere on this list. Depending on just how important your health and fitness is to you will determine its place on said list.

I like to write out all of my priorities. Next to each, mark it with a number, 1 through 4, 1 being über important and 4 being “eh, I’ll get to it when I can”. Then rearrange the list with all 1’s together, etc.

Each day, those 1’s have to get done. When those are complete, work on the 2’s, etc. If you get to any of the 4’s that’s, awesome. If not, they will wait.

Continued next week….

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