Posts tagged ‘goal setting’

On the Way to Being a Centenarian

A few months ago, I decided to go for the goal of being a centenarian.

It’s one of those things you don’t think about when you’re young. Everyone wants to live long or just assume they will. But how long? Most people would answer as long as possible. Since I believe in applying business principles to my personal life, I’ve decided to go one step further by stating a bold goal and taking the necessary steps to succeed in that goal.

Originally, I had set my goal at 90 years. But then I decided why slack off here? Why not go all the way to 100? So, here it is I am going for the full century.

I have a few good things working in my favor to start. The first is good genes. Both my parents are still alive and in relatively good health. My father is close to 80 and my mother isn’t far behind. Both my maternal grandparents lived past 80 years old. The second statistic working in my favor is that I have never smoked in my life.

However, I have a couple of big obstacles. The first is that when I stated my goal of being a centenarian, I met the definition of being obese—literally (which is a euphemistic way of saying that I was plain fat). Being obese is defined as having a Body Mass Index or BMI over 30. The second obstacle is that I have a lot of stress in my life, but I am working on reducing it by working smarter (more about that in a later post). There is a third obstacle which I believe will be easier than the other two to conquer. That is to increase my social interactions and connectivity. (Running a growing company doesn’t leave you much time to hang out with the guys).

I’d like to talk about my first obstacle to become a centenarian which is being overweight or obese. With the exception of those with certain medical conditions, most people are overweight because of poor nutrition and physical activity behavior. In other words, the reason I was obese was because I wasn’t eating right and I wasn’t spending enough time exercising.

During a talk I attended by an inspirational speaker Joe Dillon, he remarked that you will not find too many 90-year-olds who are overweight. I certainly couldn’t think of one 90-year-old who was overweight. This was probably the start of my quest to engage in better nutrition and physical activity behavior.

So, what am I doing now? For starters, I am watching my calorie intake. I don’t really walk with a calorie counter around me. But I know based on measurement done by a physical trainer that I need about 2,000 calories, and I try not to exceed that intake.

The second thing that I started is to exercise about five days a week for at least 30 minutes. To get me going, I set a goal of running a 5K in 29 minutes by December of this year. Originally, my goal was 25 minutes for the 5K but this would not leave me much time to work on my tennis or golf game. Re-evaluating this goal and adjusting it to realistically meet my desires and expectations was important to helping me succeed.

So, far I am on track. Since setting my goals I have lost about 25 lbs. In terms of exercise, when I started running a 5K, a few months ago I was huffing and puffing to make it close to 35 minutes.  This morning, I finished a run of 3.03 miles in 30 minutes and 28 seconds. With some positive determination and willingness to work, meeting this goal was easy.

Won’t you join me in being a centenarian?

May 31, 2011 at 8:32 am 2 comments

Get a Coach

One of the many reasons that professional players are better than amateurs is that they have better coaches. Or perhaps I should say they have more coaches. Did you know that many of top players in sports team have their own coaches or coach-like consultants to help them improve a specific aspect of their game, such as posting-up or shooting free-throws? Similarly, most top executives in companies of all sizes use a business coach.

Why do business executives or athletes use coaches? An executive or an athlete may have more technical skills, natural talent or knowledge than the coach, so why hire someone else?  The simple reason is that it works.

For anyone reading this who thinks that they can’t afford a coach, let me point out that we all have coaches available to us. Your coach can be a co-worker, spouse or friend. In fact, you can return the favor to the person who is “coaching” you by being a coach for them in the same or a completely different area.

Here are a couple of advantages of coaching and why everyone needs a coach:

  • You can’t see your own mistakes: As humans, it’s very easy for us to see what’s wrong with people and much more difficult to see what’s wrong with us. Proof? Get a few of your co-workers together in one room, ask one of them to go out of the room and then ask the question to the remaining colleagues: “Guys what’s wrong with him or her?” I feel confident that more than likely, you will not hear, “This is the finest person in the world. There is nothing wrong with him or with her.” Just like a coach can see natural tendencies you have when you’re swinging a golf club, a coach selected from friends, family members or co-workers can help point out these natural tendencies that can hold you back.
  • A coach can hold you accountable: If you are an athlete and you expect to train at certain times, the coach will hold you to that. Having a coach can be very useful to hold you accountable to do the things that will help you reach your goal. Suppose you have a goal to lose weight and to reach that goal you plan to exercise three times a week. Having a friend to hold you accountable for going to the gym makes it more likely that you will indeed show up.  If you’re looking for work, you might have a “coach” hold you accountable to the number of resumes you’re sending each week or the number of job fairs that you are attending on a monthly basis.

The “coaching” arrangement doesn’t have to be formal.  For example, if you want to lose weight, it could be that you have a friend go to the gym to exercise with you. This means that if you don’t show up, you would have to cancel your appointment at the gym with your friend. It could also be that the arrangement would consist of showing a log to the person serving as your coach on what date and time you went to the gym, what activities you performed and for how long.

Having goals mean nothing if you’re not following the plan. If you don’t execute the strategies and tactics to reach these goals, you probably won’t achieve them. Having a “coach” holding you accountable to following the plan can go a long way in helping you reach your goals.

March 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

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