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As we begin 2021 with new goals, fresh starts, and all the other things we want to do, change is on our minds. Right? But we do this every year! With each new year, do we really ever change? Do we really meet the goals we put in front of ourselves? Some of us do! But many of us think,


“Well, the next year will be here before I know it”

Many of us have these issues, and it’s not due to a lack of trying. EVERYONE wants to be healthier. The reason many of us do not reach our goals is due to not having the right mindset, truly a lack of focus on the correct things.

To change our mindset, we need to change our focus. If we don’t control our focus, other things will. Do we focus on things we can control, or things we cannot control? One example I’ve heard,


“My work schedule is crazy and I don’t know when I can squeeze in a workout”

If you don’t know your schedule, just find that first place to start. Starting is the first step in changing our behaviors and reaching our goals. If you get up each day at a consistent time, wake up 20 minutes earlier and do some stretching or some body weight movements (squats, lunges, push-ups, crunches, etc.). Make sure you are always tracking what you do in a journal or online tracker such as MyFitnessPal. When tracking, keep progress in mind and record any exercises you complete, and take special note of food intake, sleep patterns, and stress levels. Tracking something is better than tracking nothing. By tracking even ONE thing we create a new behavior pattern, which will make the next item we track even easier. Another example given to me is,


“I’ve tried everything before, so why start over?”

If you truly have tried everything, then you should have the answer. Most people I work with tell me “I’ve tried everything”.  They’re not lying about trying, but it’s “doing” that matters. When it comes to our health we can’t “try”, we must “do”. Things you can try are a new group fitness class, a new lifting technique, or a new food. Things we need to do are consistent exercise, physical activity, proper nutrition 80% of the time (yes you can have cheat meals), stretching/flexibility, adequate sleep, and a focus on having less stress in our lives. My last example I’ve heard,


“I don’t know what I am doing, so why start?”

If you don’t feel like you know what you are doing or need a change (that works with schedules) meet with a personal trainer. The YMCA of Greater Omaha provides a complimentary wellness program called the Get Started Program, where you can meet with a trainer to establish goals, take measurements and an assessment, and create a game plan to reach your goals.

By changing the things we can control, and seeing the things that are not controllable, we are now controlling our state of mind which will only make for a more positive and optimistic future. So many things that were once impossible, are now possible with a good state of mind and focus.

Change your focus, change your health!

John Whitmyre, Downtown YMCA & Charles E. Lakin YMCA Health & Wellness Director

Category: Health & Wellness
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John Whitmyre is the Health & Wellness Director at the Downtown YMCA in Omaha and Charles E. Lakin YMCA in Council Bluffs. He is a Lifestyle & Weight Management Specialist, Sports Injury Specialist, and Certified Personal Trainer. John has over 10 years of training experience in regards to fitness, nutrition, and mindset coaching. He spends his free time with his wife (Kayla) and three children (Ellie, Michael, & Layla).