Monday, February 27, 2017

Small Wins Can Help You Achieve Big Fitness Goals

I love to watch the beauty of athletics. At different times in my life I have wanted to climb mountains to their peaks. I have wanted to be a leaping graceful dancer. I have wanted to swim and be like a mermaid. I have wanted flow in yoga, and run effortlessly on and on and on. But after a few classes or a couple of tries, I always gave up. Because it hurt my lungs, made my muscles ache, and mostly because I just wasn't as good as the people that I was comparing myself with. 

The thing that I was failing to realize was, that those dancers on stage, those marathon runners, those Olympic swimmers had literally been training for years, real dedicated training. Some had probably been training their whole lives.  Did I really think that going to yoga three times was going to have me doing relaxed handstands on top of red rock cliffs?  No, .....  but well,  Yes!  How silly is that? 
Having a great big fitness goal is a worthy pursuit. It can help lead you to accomplish things that you might have thought you would never be able to do. When you realize that even those people that you admire in their fitness, once upon a time, had a first class, stepping into their running shoes for a first time, or jumped into the pool and may have thought... "Well, what now?"
But one of the amazing truths about our bodies, is that by accomplishing small goals, by trying to make a little bit of progress each day or week, We CAN reach those lofty goals. We can be calm stunning Yogis, We can make a list of mountains that we will conquer in our lifetime. We can run a marathon before we turn 40, or 50, or 60... Heck! We can do anything!

Here are some tips that I have found can lead to achieving those smalls goals, and each small goal gives us success and brings us closer to those huge accomplishments that we want to achieve. 
Pick a Time to be Active
Look at your schedule and then be honest with yourself. When are you going to do this? You are so worth that 30 minutes of activity. And that 30 minutes of being active will pay you back in more ways that you can could. Better health - physically and mentally. Less sickness, better mood, you'll make friends and find a community complete with encouragement and support. 
So set a time, Will you be able to do it first thing in the morning? What about right after you drop the kids off at school?  What about just after lunch when you lay your babies down for a nap. This sounds strange, but 4:00 is the perfect time for me.  Everyone is home from school, had a snack. the big kids are home to entertain the little kids and I don't have to start dinner yet. I used to spend this time browsing social media and getting caught up Netflix, but it makes so many positive benefits in my life to spend that time on doing something FOR myself that will actually make me feel better about myself. 
Research the Best Pathway to Your Big Goal
I downloaded a free app on my phone that outlined a program to get me from being a no walking couch potato to being able to run a 5K.  For some that may not seem like a lofty goal, but when you get winded walking to the mailbox, running any type of race can seem like a goal you will never achieve. 
Begin Slowly and Realize the Process Matters
Now that you are ready to safely start, you have set time aside for yourself to begin, all that's left is to get started. But I challenge you to enjoy each day. Mindfully participate in each activity.  If you are starting a walking program for example, make sure to enjoy your neighbors beautiful flower beds, feel the sun on your face, and the wind blowing your hair. Listen to the birds and the crunch of the road under your feet. Smile at people when you pass them or give a friendly wave. Perhaps download some of your most favorite songs (or begin to find some new favorite songs). Each time we are active, it is not just to complete the final goal. Every Single Time has benefits, Please take time to enjoy each one. -- even if it is just spending some time on yourself. The process may actually mean more to you in the end than finally reaching your goal. 
Keep Track of Your Small Wins
Was today the first time you have walked a whole mile? Good for YOU! Maybe you have memorized your first dance routine. Perhaps today was the first time you did your favorite exercise video without stopping. Way To Go!! Maybe you thought you would never ever get that far, but you did. Celebrate!
You are now stronger, healthier and a better you than when you started.