Submitted by Terry Shannon

Another New Year, another set of resolutions. The "Five Rules" submission below is an excellent read to help you get motivated.

terry shannon is a personal trainer and fitness nut. he offers the following advice:

"I make my living helping people get fit, but in reality you don't need me. You can do it all yourself if you just follow a few basic rules."

Here are Terry's "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Eat what you want - in moderation.
You want a cheeseburger? Go ahead and eat it. You want a chocolate bar? No problem. You don't have to go on a restrictive "only eat A, B, and C" type diet as long as you eat in moderation. There is a big difference between having a cheeseburger and fries once a week, and going to McDonalds every day. There is a big difference between eating a candy bar every now and then, and eating one twice a day...or worse yet, as a meal replacement. Eat what you love, just do it in moderation. And mix in salads, smoothies, and other healthy meals.

2.) You have everything you need to exercise right now.
Many people put off exercising because they don't have the right equipment. They say:

- "I'll join a gym next month."
- "I'll get a new bike in May."
- "I need to get a new pair of shoes or some work-out clothes first."

It is nothing more than procrastination. You can drop down right now and do ten push-ups. You can do ten squats. You can go outside and walk or jog, or find a bar and do ten pull-ups. You don't need fancy equipment, a big gym, or new clothes. Squats, push-ups, and pull-ups are body weight exercises that will impact your body as much as - if not more than - all the expensive equipment in any gym. Stop waiting on external things to happen before you make internal changes.

3.) Visualize who you want to be.
People underestimate the power of visualization. If you hold a picture of who you want to be in your mind and focus on it - what you look like, what you feel like, how you act, what you say, what you do...the person you want to be down to the smallest detail - you will naturally move towards and evolve into that person.

4.) Fixing your mind is as important as fixing your body.
What is "fixing your mind"? It means ridding yourself of the negative thinking, the bad attitude, and the destructive self-image. Visualizing - as mentioned above - is key. Surrounding yourself with positive people and focusing on positive information (turn off the nightly news!) is critical. And even if your body is not how you want it to be, revel in the fact that you are improving day by day doing #1 - #3 above.

5.) Take the first step, and don't stop once you do.
I could have said "just do it", or "take action". What is important is to start. Can you do twenty push-ups right now? Maybe not, but you can probably do a few sets of five. And if you do that every day, in about a week you will be able to do twenty. And then thirty. And then fifty. Have a salad or a smoothie every day; at first you may not notice a change, but after a week or two you will have more energy and your clothes will fit a little better. There is an old proverb that says "every journey starts with a single step"...take the first step, and don't stop once you do.

Terry currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona.