by Jeff Pesta
New Year’s again. How can I stay committed to this year’s exercise adventure?
Being committed means you stay dedicated to a cause. Seems to me it’s probably easier to stay committed to exercise as a cause or idea rather than do the work itself! But the new year is the time for many of us to take these things out of the abstract and get cracking on some real commitments.
You want to lose a few pounds, have more energy and cultivate a positive outlook on life. Let’s say after looking at running, swimming, weight-lifting and everything else under the sun you settled on bike riding.
Commitment – Preparation
Now to be committed you’ve got to find out as much about it in as fun a way as you can. So, make your way to your local bike shop and talk to a salesperson who is also a rider. Plan on spending $3000 all in for a good road bike and the accompanying equipment. Your bike will probably be about $2300, then pedals, water bottles, bicycle shoes, extra tubes, tires and something to carry them in while you ride. Next, jump onto the internet and look for a riding group. The benefit is they will teach you to ride properly in the street, and you will have the power of accountability in numbers. Finally, you will develop some new friends over the next few months, a great start to developing good habits in the new year.
Commitment – Tricks of the Trade
Now, when it comes to riding itself, I see new riders making common mistakes. The first mistake: if I want to go fast, I have to be in a high, difficult gear. Being in a hard gear is just hard. You’ll get exhausted and everybody will be way ahead of you and you might just plain quit.
But here’s the trick. You can go faster in an easier gear for a longer period of time than a hard gear. This technique is called spinning. It can be counter-intuitive and uncomfortable and seem downright silly at first, but stick with it. Your legs should be moving at 90 to 100 revolutions per minute, and you might want some extra equipment to track your cadence (the speed at which
your pedals spin per minute). Sometimes it feels like you are bouncing up and down on your seat like crazy, but don’t worry about this. You will develop a smooth rhythm over time.
The end result once you learn this technique: riding effortlessly while getting strong and no longer getting left behind by the group.
Commitment – Excellence is a Habit
So often in life, we develop good habits with a little sleight-of-hand or mind trick with ourselves, especially at the beginning. Now instead of focusing on exercise, you’re enjoying yourself and dropping pounds without even thinking about it.
Writer Will Durant put it well, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Keeping your commitments, even for something as seemingly small as a resolution to exercise, helps you develop a lifestyle of commitment and follow through.
Good financial habits don’t create and cultivate themselves. At Pesta & Pesta Wealth Management, we believe that healthy finance is a lifestyle made up of small commitments practiced over time. If you’re ready to get serious about your financial health and develop good habits in the new year, give us a call.