Happy healthy habits in 2020, Forma Gym, Tracy Beckham

Here’s to happy, healthy habits in 2020

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I love the positivity of January, when people are open-minded to the idea of happy, healthy habits that can transform their lives. Whether a person wants to lose fat, build muscle or maintain the levels of fitness and health they’ve already achieved, the new year is an ideal time for a new mindset and a new or improved plan. 

Put food first – and keep it positive.

It might be hard to believe, but 80% of improving health, fitness and strength revolves around food and nutrition choices. The 80% nutrition + 20% fitness rule states the importance of nutrition in the equation. What you put in your body, as well as when, how much and how often, creates the foundation for what you can get out of your body. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet!

Your attitude about physical fitness, food and bodyweight has everything to do with how easily you’ll be able to make small, positive changes. So, why not set yourself up for success by making some vocabulary changes?

Don’t diet. “Eat!”

What sounds more fun, eating or dieting? The word “diet” gives food a negative connotation and implies deprivation just for the sake of weight loss. But an improved nutrition plan is the opposite of deprivation; it’s a gift to yourself. In some cases, it can include more calories than your current eating habits do!

To create your plan, the first thing I want to know during our nutrition consultation is what your current nutrition plan looks like. Don’t worry; it’s not uncommon for someone’s current nutrition plan to seem completely unstructured, and that’s okay.

By looking at the way someone already eats on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis, I can discover patterns and make little suggestions that you can live with – and enjoy!

Take small steps toward realistic goals.

In the early stages, I don’t want anyone to think of a nutrition plan as permanent or as a full-year outline; it’s going to change over time, as it should. All I want anyone to do is view it in little, measurable chunks. What minor changes can they make tomorrow or the next day? Or what items can be added or removed over the next four weeks?  

I create a nutrition plan that we can look at in daily, weekly, and four-week blocks.  And I always ask people to think about what motivates them. That way, we can incorporate a reward for each goal they achieve.

Pretty soon, one small, positive change happens at a time. Maybe it’s replacing orange juice with an actual orange; replacing a packaged fruit-and-nut bar with a hearty handful of unsalted nuts and unsweetened, dried fruit; or replacing packed and processed foods with whole foods, natural from the ground.

Your new plan will fit your life.

As we create a nutrition plan, I look at what’s going on in every aspect of a person’s life. Are they happy; stressed; single; married; divorced; traveling a lot? Do they have kids and, if so, how old are they? Are they in a new job or are they about to retire? What are their hobbies? How often do they eat out and order in? What kinds of things get in the way of their progress? 

Knowing all about someone’s life helps me put together a plan for their lifestyle that includes goals they can actually achieve. It also helps me make realistic suggestions. My job is to take the obstacles out of your day and life to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Don’t work out. “Train!”

We already know that 80% of planning and habit-forming efforts should go toward the nutrition aspects. But simultaneous, achievable fitness training goals feed the success of the overall plan.

Once again, it’s important to stay positive. Think of physical fitness, movement and strength not as work but as training that nudges you towards your goals. That’s because nutrition and fitness training feed on each other.

It’s not a myth. It’s true: When you start to exercise you eat better. And when you eat better you have more energy and motivation for training. Pretty soon, you start seeing and feeling results and you discover that your happy, healthy habits are transforming your body, your mind and your life.

Come see the experienced team at Forma Gym in Walnut Creek or in San Jose. We’d love to hear all about your goals and help you make positive changes in 2020. 

Healthy Food, happy healthy habits, Forma Gym, Tracy BeckhamLearn how to build the best diet for you at Forma Gym’s  Build your Perfect Diet seminars on Saturday, February 22nd in Walnut Creek and on Wednesday, February 26th in San Jose. They’re free and open to members, guests and the community. Use the links above to reserve your spot.

Realistic goals, youth athlete, elite athlete, David Miller

Ditch the resolutions – set Goals!

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What’s easier, setting goals for a few things to accomplish this month, or resolving that you’re going to do one or two amazing things all year? 

I’m asking rhetorically. A career working with elite athletes has taught me that thinking of a goal as a single, major accomplishment you hope to achieve isn’t nearly as effective as thinking of each goal as a series of dozens, or even hundreds, of micro goals.

You can still indulge in the fun of daydreaming about the end result. But let’s first break down the steps for how to set goals that are so realistic that your daydream becomes reality.

Purpose and intent

Over the years, I’ve listened to a lot of people’s goals. Consistently, the best ones are those that not only make life better for the goal-setter, but that improve the lives of people around them.

Because of that, I encourage people to form goals that extend beyond themselves. 

It’s not too different of a mindset than the “hero’s journey,” where the hero faces risks and difficulties in order to help the village back home. Sure, your fitness or health journeys may not save entire villages, but you certainly can frame your goals the same way.

Consider the greater purpose of any goal. If you want to lose weight or increase your endurance, who will benefit besides yourself? There’s always someone. 

If you’re happier because you’re more fit, then the people closest to you will be happier. If you’re healthier because you’re making better decisions about food, then people around you might join you and adapt their eating habits. Positivity is contagious.

Map out monthly “micro” goals.

Once you’ve thought of your end goal and who will benefit from it, evaluate where you are today. Sometimes, we overreach, which distorts our perspective of how far we have to go.

For example, if I have a weight-loss goal but I don’t even eat fresh vegetables, then my first micro goal isn’t to lose weight; it’s to replace some of my junk food with fresh produce, even once a day.

If my goal is to run a marathon, but I don’t yet jog more than two miles twice a month, then my first micro goal might be to jog two miles twice a week.

Taking a realistic look at where you are now and where you want to be helps you to realistically see the steps in between.

“How can I mess this up?” Be honest.

You know yourself better than anyone else does. Just as important as figuring out how to make something work is acknowledging what’s going to get in your way.

Remember your vices from the outset. You know what they are. They’re the things that get in the way of the good things you planned to do. One person’s might be Netflix binges and chocolate; another’s might be social media; someone else’s might be work-related. 

Whatever your vices are, by being aware of them, you’ll not only notice when they distract you (and they will, I promise!), but you’ll learn new habits to help you avoid them. 

Hold yourself accountable – and share.

I tend to work in four-week blocks of micro goals. I try to figure out how long it will take me to reach each micro goal and I make corrections along the way. By mapping out what went right, what went wrong and what got in the way, I can better plan out the next four-week block. 

For some people, sharing goals with someone they trust helps keep them accountable. There are plenty of members and staff at Forma Gym who would be happy to cheer you on.

Finally, always write down and track your goals, using whatever device, app or other method you’re most likely to follow. Take note of your successes, your challenges, the corrections, adaptations and surprises you encounter. Being able to look back on your progress (and your holdups) is just as important as being able to envision your future success. 

Reward yourself.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to acknowledge your own achievements. Give yourself credit every time you hit a goal, micro or major. 

Keeping track of the produce you substituted for candy or the miles you jogged all month is worth celebrating. Take credit for your hard work in preparation for your next miniature milestone.  

Make a plan, stay optimistic, celebrate your successes and enjoy every win.


Celebrate the small stuff

By Export, Fitness, Mind Body, Nutrition No Comments

You have permission to be proud of yourself.

I am fortunate to have worked in the fitness industry my entire career, and to have witnessed some amazing accomplishments, from small but important to massive and life-changing. I have seen members achieve things they could have never imagined when they first joined Forma; it’s one of the great joys of working in this industry. 

Along the way, I’ve learned quite a bit.

Among the most important things I’ve learned is that the key to  staying on track is a positive mindset with willingness to celebrate all the “mini” accomplishments of a fitness and health journey. 

Give yourself a pat on the back after a great workout or after just making it to the gym. Likewise, congratulate yourself for choosing an apple instead of potato chips. 

By focusing on what you’re doing well, you’ll create positive momentum in moving from one step to the next.

During my 30 years in the health and wellness industry, I’ve learned that people who focus more on what they have actually achieved go farther – and  feel better about themselves – than those who scan the horizon, focusing for too long on what they have yet to accomplish. 

Forma Gym Fitness Director David Miller will get into more detail on goal-setting in an upcoming blog. We know that goal-setting looks very different from person-to-person; we want to help each individual develop a formula that works with their personality, habits, motivations and known distractions.

In the meantime, it’s time to celebrate what each of us has accomplished already.

As 2019 winds to a close, let’s look back on the forward motion we each made this year, in every aspect of life.

Maybe you made some positive changes to your diet this year, such as reducing sugar, adding vegetables, or drinking more water. Give yourself a pat on the back. Tell someone how it feels.

You might have started a regular walking schedule this year. Even 2-3 times per week for 20 minutes is beneficial and worth celebrating. Put your walking shoes back on and give yourself an extra mile as reward.

Did you try a new Mind/Body class or a Pilates Reformer class this year? Maybe you’d never thought yoga, barre, or even water exercise would be your thing, but you discovered that not only can you do it, but that you enjoyed it. Tell the person you met in class how you feel about it. They might celebrate you, too.

Or maybe you lost a few pounds or got a little stronger in 2019? Wow! Allow yourself to focus on how that accomplishment feels.

Even if you want or need to lose another 10 pounds, you’re moving in the right direction. Reflect on the mindset that allowed you to get where you are today and congratulate yourself.

Did you average two additional hours’ sleep per week? Excellent. Share your accomplishments and ask other people to tell you about theirs. Then listen, wholeheartedly, and support people when they share their accomplishments, especially the little ones.

The “small stuff” is the big stuff.

While you’re celebrating, be sure to remember to be grateful for the ability to do everything you can do. There are few actions or mindsets that are more liberating or joy-filling than those involving gratitude.

Remember to thank yourself! Then thank anyone who motivated you, knowingly or not, to achieve some of the steps towards what you hope to achieve.  

Having trouble noticing your accomplishments or figuring out which are worth celebrating? Come talk to one of us at the gym. I guarantee that any member of our team can help you discover an accomplishment you might not even realize you made. 

Go on. Be BOLD. Stop by the front desk or ask any one of us around the gym how to get started celebrating yourself and looking forward to what’s next for you.