A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

When I decided to lose weight earlier this year, I took many small steps to help me get started. Over several months, I read everything I could find, asked others for tips, and collected tools that would help me reach my goals. As I learned, I put many new ideas into practice. I bought yoga pants and loose shorts for working out, found a digital scale for weigh-ins and a digital kitchen scale for weighing food portions. I bought a gym membership and set goals for working out every day. I also bought a new pair of gym shoes and downloaded various fitness-related iPhone apps.

I have the fitness tools and equipment that I need, and I feel confident that I know WHAT to do, but sometimes actually DOING it is difficult. I am motivated to eat clean and do cardio, but sticking with strength training is a challenge for me.

A few months ago, I bought a set of Jillian Michaels dumbbells. They sat in a box on the floor of my bedroom for awhile, then I finally committed to 10 minutes of strength training each day. Over the last three weeks, I completed three, 10-minute sessions. Instead of beating myself up for not reaching my goal, I am taking steps to a better path.

For the next week, my new goal is to be consistent with my strength workouts. For inspiration, I picked up a couple copies of Oxygen magazine.

In the Fall 2011 edition of Oxygen’s Collector’s Issue Off The Couch, there are a couple of great workouts for beginners:

1. Your All-Purpose Home Workout with dumbbells and a resistance band.

2. Head-to-toe fit…In just 15 minutes! which involves “5 total-body moves that don’t need any equipment.”

In the November 11 issue of Oxygen, I found this: Stunning Shoulders in Only Four Weeks. This workout requires the use of dumbbells, and most of the moves are done in a standing position.

Because I would like to improve the look of my arms and because I prefer to stand while exercising, I have decided to start with the Stunning Shoulders workout. I will also use selected parts of Your All-Purpose Home Workout for arms. As I get more confident, I plan to add additional routines for future workouts.

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