I say it every year: I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. (If you want to change your life for the better, why wait until January 1?) I do, however, believe in goal-setting and I think the year-long time period can provide a satisfying measure of our ability to improve.
Last year my fitness goals were to improve my strength and maintain a consistently healthy lifestyle, and I feel like I accomplished that. In 2018, I’m building on that foundation by working to improve flexibility and endurance. So consider this a sneak peak at what you’ll be reading about over the next 12 months.
I’m that person whose pelvis tilts backwards when I try to do a seated forward fold. My lack of flexibility not only limits my range of motion, but it also puts me at risk of injury. I’m all too painfully aware that I’m on the dark side of 35, so if I want to stay active I need to do everything I can to take care of my body.
I plan on accomplishing this goal by doing more yoga, which is something I really struggle with both physically and emotionally. I was always kind of an awkward kid; I couldn’t consistently throw and catch a ball and tripped over myself constantly. I never really felt like I belonged, and I saw that physical awkwardness as the most obvious sign that my feelings of otherness were valid. So when I go to a yoga class and I can’t get my body into a position or I’m simply doing a pose that feels awkward, all those feelings come rushing back. I combat them by mentally competing with others in the class based on strength or speed – two attributes I feel secure in. And then I start watching the clock.
I’m excited to try and move past that block, as I think exploring that side of myself will likely have benefits that reach far into the other corners of my life. Especially because I equate my lack of flexibility with my physical awkwardness, so I think any progress I make in that department will give me an exponential emotional boost.
GOAL: Attend yoga at least once a week.
As with yoga, I find it really difficult to find focus during distance runs…but for completely different reasons. Awkwardness aside, I think part of the reason I’m a gym rat and not an athlete is that I tend to compare myself to others, and that’s when I fail. Since running is mostly a solitary activity, I don’t get stuck in that trap. Instead, I can generally spend the first 2 miles enjoying a beautiful day or feeling inspired by a particular song on my playlist. But as I get tired, I start hitting a mental block. I start asking myself “Why am I doing this? What am I trying to prove? Who am I competing with?” and then I ultimately get bored and the rest of the run is torture. As a result, I tend to run the same 3-mile loop because I know I’ll be finished in 30 minutes or less.
Clearly, that’s doing nothing for my cardiovascular or mental fitness, so I’m trying to take a more mindful approach to my runs while also increasing my distance. I’m reading up on basic techniques, mediative running, and experimenting with different routes, terrain and playlists (music is SUCH a motivator for me) and will of course blog about it all.
GOAL: Run a 10k
I’m really looking forward to sharing my journey and also learning about yours. How do you push past mental blocks to achieve your goals?