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My SMART Fitness Goals

Sunday, July 07, 2013

I went to the gym yesterday for the first time since I moved to New York City, almost three and a half years ago! (There are automatic, individual fans on cardio machines now? Whaaahhh?? YES!!!)

Now that I've set myself up for success in terms of fitness, I think it's a great time to think about my long-term goals and to break them up into smaller chunks.

Spark Coach suggested breaking down the goals into fitness, nutrition, and weight loss goals, and I liked that idea a lot. Today, I focused on developing fitness goals that are meaningful to me. Out of the three goal categories, fitness is probably the most challenging area for me to think about, since it's the area around which I feel the most emotional instability.

Two years ago, I tried to train for a marathon too quickly and it backfired on me big time. I did run two half-marathons in the process, but I kind of hate running now. I have been afraid of locking myself into a "training" mindset again, since I tend to push myself too much. I set the bar too high and then I avoid the work-outs when I'm afraid I can't reach the level I've set for myself. I would like to have specific performance goals that are meaningful to me, but I want to be careful not to set them too quickly.

However, I do want to maintain a fitness regimen. I want to take care of my body and my heart, I want to have good muscle tone, and I want to be physically fit and capable of doing strenuous activities. I just want to really focus on this becoming a part of my life, so I want to make sure that I incorporate it gradually and enjoyably.

During a period of wanderlust, I accidentally subscribed to Backpacker magazine, and the first issues came last week. Matt and I looked through them and are completely hooked. We really want to get outside more. Today, I suggested that, as a couple, we should make it a goal to go on an overnight hike in each state of the country. We want to explore the country more, and this seemed like a great way to do it. Matt agreed! We're really excited about it.

This is a lifetime goal, so we're not going to be dropping everything to achieve it, and we haven't camped out overnight once yet together (although we did just buy a tent for an overnight we have coming up in July). So we're going to need to gradually build our skills and physical fitness to complete the kinds of trips that we'll want to do. I think that this could be a great way for us to build physical fitness into our life together.

Therefore, when I'm setting my fitness goals, part of the goal is about my fitness routine, and another part of it is about building fitness into our life together. I really want fitness to be something that I gradually incorporate into my life so that it feels like something that is fun.

With these thoughts in mind, my long-term fitness goals are:

- In the month of January 2014, I will maintain a routine fitness schedule involving cardio 4x a week and strength training 2x a week.
- By the end of this year, I will have gone on at least 4 hikes that are longer than 5 miles.
- By the end of this year, I will have found an event, race, or hiking goal that is challenging and meaningful to me that I will commit to do by Summer 2014.

How I'm going to do this:

- I will stay focused on keeping my workouts varied, interesting, approachable, and fun.
- I will start waking up early in the mornings on a routine basis.
- I will be forgiving to myself when I don't make it to work out, but I also need to hold myself accountable and prioritize a make-up workout.
- I will work with Matt to incorporate fitness into our life together. We will work to prioritize being active together as a way to spend time together. We will prioritize getting out of the city more often as a way to enjoy nature and challenge ourselves.

What I'll do by the end of July:
- I'll be active each day for at least 10 minutes.
- I will show up at the gym at least 10 more times by July 31st. (Once I'm there, it doesn't matter what I do--it's getting there that counts at this stage in the game.)

I'm intentionally setting the goals very low, especially for July, since my problem in the past has been setting too many rigid, ambitious goals too quickly. The moment I miss a workout or do an easier workout than I'd planned on, I feel guilty and discouraged and then abandon the goal altogether. So in a way, my ultimate goal is to keep my fitness goal-setting in check so that my goals are motivating, not self-sabotaging.

With that in mind, I feel really good about these long-term goals, and I'm looking forward to setting more interim goals every month.

Any readers out there--what do you think? Fitness goals are the area I'm weakest in, so please give me feedback! I'd love to know what you guys think might be good areas to work on to make fitness feel like an integral part of my life.

Next up will be nutrition goals--these I'm VERY much looking forward to!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    lol, I love the part about the fans on the treadmills! So true!!! :-D I had the same thought when I joined my local YMCA last month. I sweat like a mofo, so it is super handy to have. All of ours have TV screens as well, though I like to keep my chin up when I run, I find it makes things easier. As for goals, I think that is super admirable, and definitely a good thing. It is important to strive for those goals, but to not let it derail you if you do not accomplish them for some time to come. My big goals are so simple, it is to workout three times a week, commit at least 30 minutes of cardio in those workouts, and to push myself to run faster and lift more weight each week, even if it is only in small increments. The success of that, before all else, will help set me up to dream bigger in the future, and I like that. :-D
    1803 days ago
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    1805 days ago
    Sounds like a good start to me! I love the idea of the overnight hike in each of the states. That's something to really look forward to!

    1806 days ago
  • TONYAB2000
    I think you have a great start in both short term and long term goals. Hiking sounds like a blast and I wish we could do it more often but it's hard to plan things like that with the kiddos. As far as your July goals, I think it's smart to start off easy and work your way up. You don't want to overwhelm yourself emotionally or physically. I think in some ways that is exactly what I did and now I am definitely feeling the backlash. I am lagging and dragging, trying to figure out what happened to my motivation. Keep at it. I think you will do great!
    1806 days ago
    Sounds like you have a lot of good goals in there. I'm impressed you joined a gym in NYC - when I lived there, I didn't because it was too cost prohibitive, and the cheap option (NYC parks and recreation gyms) were not conveniently located to where I lived. Also, you are motivating me, so good on you!
    1806 days ago
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