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Time To Start a Fitness and Self Improvement Program

By Tom Venuto - author of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle

Depending on whose figures you go by, the average person gains between seven and twelve pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years – and that’s not muscle weight we’re talking about!

Most people throw in the towel and expect to get in worse shape over the holidays. It often starts right after the Thanksgiving feast, when you rub your hands over your slightly distended, pumpkin pie-filled belly, realizing that you must do something.

But then you say to yourself, “Why bother to start now when I have four Christmas parties, two family dinners and the New Year’s bash coming up? Candy canes, eggnog, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, champagne… Ah, what’s the use? I’ll start on January second.”

Typical procrastinator.

Did you know that procrastination is a habit? When there’s something you know you should do, but you don’t do it immediately, you make it more likely that you'll procrastinate again in the future.

Action and initiative are also habits. Every time you take quick and decisive action, you make it much more likely to take action again in the future.

Habits are powerful. A habit is an automatic behavior pattern that you perform with little or no conscious thought because repetition has embedded that behavior in your subconscious mind. Nearly all the actions you take every day are habits – the time you get up in the morning, what shoe you put on first, what you eat for breakfast, the route you take to work each day, and so on.

Habits are like swift currents; it’s easy to let them sweep you downstream but it’s very difficult to swim upstream, against the flow. That’s why you must develop good habits that move you in the direction of what you want.

Good habits are difficult to form, but once formed, they are just as difficult to break as bad habits. Bad habits are easy to form because you don’t have to do anything to form them – you create them by default. Just choose to do nothing, and you begin developing the inaction and procrastination habits.

Most people see the end of the year holidays as the worst time to start a regular program of fitness and personal improvement because there are so many temptations, distractions and obstacles standing in the way.

I propose that the holidays are the BEST time to start a fitness and personal development program, or to upgrade your existing one. Why? Because the holidays are now and NOW is always the best time to take action.

The roots of a habit are formed in as little as 21 days. By starting now, you will already be leaner, healthier and more muscular when January 1st rolls around. You will have a huge head start on the procrastinating masses and you’ll have momentum that carries you through the year. You’ll put yourself in the group of winners who get in shape and stay in shape all year long and keep yourself out of the group of losers who make flimsy New Years “resolutions” only to fold like cheap beach chairs before the end of February.

There are basically only two things that keep you from going after what you want: Negative influence of others, or your own bad habits. But if you take a moment right now to set some clear and compelling goals and take the first step towards them, you will be less likely to be affected by the influence of others or swept up by the currents of old habits.

If you don’t know HOW to set goals or you don’t know HOW to eat or exercise, DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU! That’s only an excuse to procrastinate. You don’t need to know how. All you have to provide is the wanting and the will to act.


Author Tom Venuto

Tom Venuto is a bodybuilder, gym owner, freelance writer, success coach and author of "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle" (BFFM): Fat Burning Secrets of the World's Best Bodybuilders and Fitness Models. Tom has written over 150 articles and has been featured in IRONMAN magazine, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Muscle-Zine, Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise. Tom's inspiring and informative articles on bodybuilding, weight loss and motivation are featured regularly on dozens of websites worldwide. For information on Tom's "Burn The Fat" e-book, click here.

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