A guest post from fitness blogger Ashley:
Today was the day for me to finally run my 10k. I must say it was a strange experience to run a race that I actually trained for. Usually I just wake up and run it and then I’m sore for the next week because I shocked my body and it got mad at me. It was a good feeling to actually feel prepared. I was able to set some expectations for myself on how I wanted to do based on how my training leading up to it went.
I think goal setting is essential for success. I have learned a lot about myself just by deciding to try running outside for 30 days. Obviously I didn’t run everyday but I averaged about three days a week. I would have never been able to run what I did today at the pace that I did without that initial goal in mind and the execution of my plan. I found that my weekly goals were just as important in my success as signing up for the race itself. I really don’t mind running after all, I would’ve never thought that. I learned to give things a try more than once (the only thing I admittedly will never try again is hot yoga) and allow my body to get used to it before I give up and quit. My body learned to endure through the hot and the cold, the long and the short distances. I’m glad it is over but the journey to the finish line paid off and I’m proud of myself.
Here are some things I want you think about…
Think about your workout routine. Do you feel like you get everything out of it that you want to? Is it fun or over time do you get bored with it? Do you set small goals for yourself or do you find yourself always just after a large long term goal?
I ask you these questions because sometimes I feel like people go through the motions. They show up at the gym and think that’s enough. If you are going to invest your time at the gym, it’s important to know what you want out of it and work hard towards obtaining that. You should be feel like you got what you wanted out of your workout. I find that even though I don’t sweat as much during a tough yoga class, stretching and flexibility for me is a different kind of hard. I have a goal in mind for each workout. For yoga, at the end of class I want to feel more flexible, relaxed and refreshed. It’s important to have those thoughts in my mind otherwise I would think I didn’t do enough. In reality, flexibility is just as important for my body as getting my heart rate up.
If you’re bored at the gym, try something new. You never know if you like something if you never give it a try. We are creatures of habit and sometimes become content with what we are doing because it’s easy and familiar. Last week I tried a barre class. I thought I would need a tutu and we would be working on stretching and plies and a lot of ballet inspired moves. I was completely surprised at how much I liked class and how many ballet moves we didn’t do. My abdominals were contracted almost the entire class. My muscles were worked in a completely different way than I would normally work them but the burn was the same, if not more intense than it usually is. I was apprehensive to try it and so happy I did in the end. It’s another thing to add to my list of activities I want to incorporate into my weekly schedule now and all it took was for me to take a step outside my comfort zone.
Small goals and small successes are the stepping stones to getting to your ultimate goal. Whether it be losing a pound a week or being able to run for fifteen minutes straight, it doesn’t matter as long as you always have something to work towards. Those small goals will help you get to your 30 pound weight loss goal or your half marathon. I like to feel some sort of success every week and I think everyone should. It gives you the push to keep on keeping on.
So this week take a good look at what you’re doing and set a goal for yourself. Try something new. Allow yourself to find success somehow on a small scale. Embrace your body and listen to it. You only get one after all.