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Can you use this scorecard for a major victory in your fight against atrophy?

Definition of atrophy from Encarta® World English
Dictionary

at·ro·phy n

1. the shrinking in size of some part or organ of the body,
usually caused by injury, disease, or lack of use

2. weakening or lessening of some ability

vi
to weaken or waste away through disuse or the effects of
disease

My secret plan that made personal history in goal setting.

You know it's that time of year again. You're thinking about your Resolutions and goal setting. I recently asked about 200 people this one question: What is the one thing that you could start doing today that would improve the quality of your life?

They emailed their answers to me. I found that nearly ALL replies showed this answer: get more exercise, get in shape, lose weight. So, I'm pretty sure you have similar goals. After all, exercise helps your heart and may prevent the onset of Parkinson's. Exercise positively clears up an atrophied mind.

Still, the hard part is fulfillment: DOING IT! Since I've been doing it for decades, I consider myself somewhat of an expert. Here's how I DID it... (FREE scorecard / goal setting form below.)

... My 4-step plan on how to think, act, and mold a healthier body even if you can't lose weight! Plus new tricks to fight personal atrophy.

1 I wrote down a list of things I COULD do if I were really going to exercise. I did NOT consider my list a commitment. I just jotted down my ideas, even activities I had never done before.

2 Alongside each activity, I jotted down how much time it would take IF I were to do that activity. This gave me some idea of when I could do it - IF I were to do it. I then wrote a possible schedule, based on my daily activities - IF I were to do it.

3 I developed a "scorecard" that would show my participation (IF I decided to participate).

4 I thought about where I could post the scoreboard where I could see it as a daily reminder.

By this time, my mind had been tricked into saying, "OK, I will schedule 6 days a week with Monday off." (Notice the sudden enthusiasm and tendency to over commit!)

(Read on to get your bonus download!)

"OK Mike, what do you mean by scoreboard?"

I will show you actual scoreboards examples in a moment. First, let me explain. My scoreboard ROWS show every day in a month. Its COLUMNS list all my exercise possibilities. That way, I can track everything.

Here are the exercises (columns) on my list: walk, run, row/aerobic, jump rope, tai chi (fast set), hsing yi, ba gua, (open), (open), chest, back, Tibetan rites, chi kung, chi coiling, tai chi, stretch, abs. Naturally, my list would be different from yours, should you choose to experiment with this idea.

I use the (open) columns for unspecified activities I want to include sometimes. Variety is the spice of life!

I also have columns for recording data from my Polar Heart Watch (aerobic zone arrows), recovery time. If you get into aerobic training, you'll want a heart watch. I also have a column for weight.

Do I do all these exercises everyday? Heck no! Just take a look at this scoreboard from February '04 when I was spending every minute writing a book.

Feb 04 Less

For this whole month, I only took three 30-minute walks!

Here's a more typical scoreboard.

Aug 03 More

Obviously, I don't get around to every exercise every day or month. But, I have this theory that any exercise is 100 times better than none.

Yes, but how do you deal with your own mind?

When I am traveling, I usually run for exercise. It's a good way to relieve the atrophy from sitting all day. For example, here's a journal entry from a recent trip…

[…] From the motel, I run up a hill, turn left past the park where skate-boarders practice, then run the bridge across the Colorado River. Wow, that water is moving! I continue running to the lumberyard then turn around.

I run facing the traffic so I can see oncoming cars. Today's cars are so quiet they can sneak up from behind.

Some people are satisfied with running occasionally - or not at all. Fine. But, if you're going to run, I recommend some basic equipment. Good shoes (I check Runners Magazine for shoe evaluations) & running shorts.

I use a Polar Heart Watch for all aerobic training. For me, running without a heart watch is like driving without a speedometer. Also, I use a Timex watch with several timers and alarms.

I follow a written program that specifies a safe program of progress, and I keep a written progress record.

When running, I must deal with my friend, the mind. (The mind is the voice in the back of your head that sounds like you. It says things like, "Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.")

I remember running everywhere as a kid. That was fun! Then, one day my mind said something like,

"Hey! What's the rush? Take it easy! Walking is fast enough. Sit down. Have a snack! Take a rest. Better yet, lie down. Take a nap."

So, I quit running around. If you quit running as I did, then later you decided to run, you probably discovered the mind's resistance. Even if you've run hundreds or thousands of miles, the mind will always try to make deals like this …

"Hey Mike, it's too cold and windy... Be careful! You might fall down... You've run enough for today... Stop! You can run longer tomorrow."

"But I've only been running 90 seconds!"

"Hey, that's plenty! Don't overdo it! You might over-train and hurt yourself! You've got your whole life to train. Run a couple more minutes then have a donut!"

"A donut? You know I've sworn off donuts."

"OK, a brownie. You love chocolate! Look! There's the convenience store. It's OK. Just this once, pleeease!"

"Maybe I'll stop on the way back."

"That's too long! By then, you could be in the hospital because some idiot ran over you! C'mon, there's always tomorrow! Get a brownie and just walk today. You can always run tomorrow, OK?"

"NO DEALS! Tell you what... Check back with me in 10 minutes."

Within 10 minutes, my mind quits whining and starts nagging like this...

"Hey! Pick it up! You can't expect to improve when you run like a slug! Get Moving! ...yada...yada...yada..." 

The mind never stops.

The bad news: running causes heart, lungs, muscles, and bones to wear down. The good news: the body knows how to repair itself.

So, just tell your mind, "NO DEALS!" And keep training! If you need more motivation, here's a damn good reason to get in shape and stay in shape! (Opens in new window.)

It's your move!

OK, here's a blank scoreboard that YOU can download and tailor for your own exercise program. Print out as many copies as you need.

http://www.SeniorManagementServices.com/Images/training-scoreboard.pdf (Right-click and choose "Save Target As")

In this otherwise blank form, notice that the right-hand columns show your aerobic zones (arrows) and weight.

My scorecard should get you started. It's your move. Some people say they aren't interested in exercise. I think it's a way to hide the fact that they simply don't think they can do it.

Are you really going to JUST DO IT this year? Or will you just lay there like a chicken with its body cut off?

Here are those steps again:

1Write down a list of things you COULD do if you were really going to exercise. Do NOT consider your list a commitment. Just jot down your ideas, even activities you've never done before.

2 Alongside each activity, jot down how much time it would take IF you were to do that activity. This will give you some idea of when you could do it - IF you were to do it. Then write a possible schedule, based on your daily activities - IF you were to do it.

3 Use my "scorecard" (or one of your own) that would show your participation (IF you decided to participate).

4 Post your scoreboard where you can see it as a daily reminder. Update it everyday.

But wait, I have one final question!

How could you use a scoreboard system like this to score a major victory in your fight against atrophy and dis-ease in your own business?

You decide. Don't let atrophy stunt the growth of your business!

Until next week...

Questions? Comments? Send me an email.

Best Regards,

Mike Hayden

Mike Hayden, Principal/Consultant
Your partner in streamlining business.

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