By Michelle Jezycki
“This is the year I will run that marathon” says the non-runner. “This year I will lose that extra 35 pounds I have been carrying around,” says the perpetual dieter.
In this season of resolutions and lofty goal setting, which unfortunately mostly ends in short-lived wishes, lies a solid opportunity to focus inward on the subtle but impactful changes we can make in our lives to live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Start with smaller, more attainable fitness goals and celebrate the small victories along the way. Instead of jumping from couch potato to marathon runner, start with “moving forward.” Perhaps your 3-month goal is to complete your first 5k. Don’t run yet? No problem! Start by walking!
Schedule “you” time 3 times a week and begin by walking for 30 minutes every other day. Forward motion is your mantra! After getting accustomed to that routine/habit, move to walking for 1 minute and jogging (not “sprinting”) for 1 minute, repeating the interval for the entire 30 minutes. Celebrate that accomplishment! Next add another 30 seconds or minute to the interval and walk 1 minute, jog 2 minutes for 30 minutes and so forth. Continue building this gentle, attainable but effective schedule right up to the 5k you have identified and use that “race day” as a celebration of the effort and progress you have made up to that point! See the volunteers along the route as your own cheering squad, celebrating you! Enjoy the journey!
When we set our fitness goals too far ahead, we cannot see or identify the small steps necessary to achieve that goal. This can cause us to feel we “failed” and we give up that short-lived resolution. Instead, start small and build with fitness goals that are more attainable. Promise yourself to get moving and get on your own path of forward motion. Participate in a 5k? Charity walk? Neighborhood walking club? You choose! Make that commitment to and for yourself today! What are we waiting for? Someday is not a day of the week!