I'm in the worst shape of my life, said Will Smith. What shape are you in after lockdown?

My tennis friends agree, our skorts, shorts and Dri Fit tops are riding a little higher and fitting a little snugger than they did a year ago when the global pandemic ripped across the planet.

We’ve played tennis every weekend for 6 years. Our waistlines expand and contract in proportion to the amount of court time we share. Today it takes me another second to pick up a tennis ball, now that I have a spare tire to reach over.

I grew a spare tire eating foods high in sugar, carbs and fat to insulate me from uncontrollable fear of dying. I'm reluctant to abandon comfort food, even though I may no longer need it. How about you, is there something you started doing to insulate against the wrath of Covid that you are about ready to release from your life now?

Have you Lost, Gained, or Remained During Covid-19?

Do you find it hard to get motivated to get back into the life you had before Covid-19? For me, the thought of not buying ice cream, shepherd's pie, sliced bread and frozen french fries makes me want to run to the refrigerator and grab a spoon and start eating.

Change Starts with Making a Commitment to Yourself

What might you commit to doing for yourself that would symbolize life after lockdown? My commitment looks like this.

  • I'm committed to feeling more energized by the food I eat (vs. comatose) now that I’m no longer afraid of dying from the pandemic.

  • I'm committed to dating again and feeling comfortable in my clothes when I go out and meet someone

  • I'm committed to looking my best for my family when I see them again in September after 2 years absence.

What will this commitment involve? For me it means adjusting my diet, for you it might be something very different.

I know from experience that for my body type, drinking more water a day, eating meals within a 10 hour window, adding more leafy green vegetables and protein will bring me energy. What are the positive habits that make a difference to your energy levels?

Next Decide on the Outcome you Want

My Outcome: “To feel more energized I will…”

  • Take preventative steps toward my health by visiting my health care team (doctor, dentist, eye care specialist) and learn my current biometrics

  • Raise my heart rate every day

  • Strengthen my core and improve my flexibility

  • Adjust the ratio of food types I consume

  • Increase my hydration

Now Turn your Commitment into a Measurable Goal

Committing to feeling more energized becomes real once it’s measurable. This is where a SMART goal comes in handy. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.

This is how I will reach my outcome using smart goals. What's a SMART goal you will create for yourself?

Specific: State exactly what is to be done.

  • I will drink 7 glasses of water each day

  • Eat 50% green leafy vegetables on every plate of food

  • Visit the Dr. for a physical and learn my stats: weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, waistline, BMI, bloodwork

  • 20 minute resistance training/yoga on days I don’t play tennis

Measurable: This is what is needed to achieve the goal.

  • I will track my progress by writing down water, food, heart rate high each day

Achievable: Determines how the goal can be reached.

  • By weighing myself once a week

  • By getting a second physical in six months time and compare results

  • Measure my waistline, thighs and arms each month and compare

  • Ask my tennis friends to hold me accountable and see if they want to join me

  • Create a reward for reaching my goals by buying a new tennis outfit

Relevant: Ensures the goal remains attainable and inspiring.

  • Heart: Increasing my heart rate to 141 bpm with resistance training

  • Flexibility: Attend group yoga classes in person again

  • Intermittent Fasting: Eat my meals between 9am and 5pm and fully digest overnight

  • Hydration: Make it fun by pouring out all 7 pints of water and lining them up on the counter at the start of the day

  • Leafy Greens: Eating 50% more veg knowing they are going to reduce my risk for diabetes, lower my cholesterol and improve digestion

  • Constant Energy: Get a steady stream of energy throughout the day as my blood sugar levels are no longer spiking and making me feel dozy

Time-Bound: Specify the time and/or date by which the goal needs to be attained.

  • I will re-evaluate my goal after a month based on the results I achieve

  • I will decide them if I need to recommit to doing this for another month

  • I want these changes to be a consistent part of the lifestyle I had before Covid-19 took over my life.

We are all going through a big adjustment. What works for me will be different for you. However, what is true is that the process of making a commitment, declaring on an outcome, and using SMART goals works for achieving any goal. So go ahead, use it!

Now I have my plan, all that’s left is to start the process, yet I delay. Why? Do I start on Monday? Do I empty the freezer first? Please leave your suggestions on when I should start in the comments below. Thank you!

Photo of Will Smith on Instagram, May 2021

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