Celebrate What You Did

It would be really easy to get down on myself about yesterday, because I didn’t get started on my running the way I scheduled myself to do. Other appointments and then some family responsibilities came up, and then it was suddenly far too late in the day to go walk a bunch. I mean, I don’t sleep easily if I work out right before bed.

But I’m not getting down on myself. Instead, I’m going to celebrate my accomplishments! Here’s what I did:

  1. I did my pushups and sit-ups for the second day in a row!
  2. I recorded everything I ate for the second day in a row!
  3. I ate within my calorie budget for the second day in a row!
  4. I practiced my guitar!

And you know what? I feel pretty good. And I will get started training for a run. Because I want to, not because I have to!

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Following Through

Every year, I see some sort of meme proclaiming that some large percentage of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by January 3. Or something like that. Honestly, it seems to vary every time I see one.

If you can’t trust Lincoln…

To be honest, though, they’re all probably right. Most New Year’s resolutions fail, because the excitement wears off and the reality of hard work sets in. And it’s hard to be enthusiastic about hard work for its own sake.

With that in mind, then, how do I plan to follow through on a bunch of goals that aren’t ‘New Year’s resolutions’ but which happen to have kicked off on New Year’s Day?

With a lot of work, that’s how.

More seriously, my wife and I spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve going through Michael Hyatt’s Five Days to Your Best Year Ever program, which was all about setting goals and then following through with them. Here’s a really quick version of the important things I learned from the class:

  1. Write your goals down.
  2. Make them big, big enough that you have to work hard to achieve them.
  3. Make them measurable, so you know what success looks like.
  4. Reread them daily, to remind yourself what they are.
  5. Review them weekly, to make sure the process you have for achieving them works.
  6. Review them quarterly, to see if you’ve succeeded and, if you haven’t, to see if they need to be revised or replaced.

There’s a whole lot more to it than just that, of course. But all my goals are written down, and the action steps are plotted out and scheduled, and I’m feeling really good about them. Kind of nervous, because they’re big goals, but excited.

And a touch sore. Right now, even five pushups is a lot of work.

New Year, New Resolutions

It’s January 1 and, in the spirit of the day, it seems like a good time to talk about my goals for the year. Or, at least, the resolutions that are relevant to this blog. After all, you all probably aren’t here to read about how I’m picking up the guitar again. Right?

I mean, sure. Let me know if you really want to hear about that. I’m… not good. Not yet, anyway.

But on with the health goals! To start with, I didn’t set a weight loss goal. No ‘lose X pounds by December’ statements, or anything like that. I’ve put too much focus on weight and not enough on other health measures as it is, and I see no reason to keep beating that dead horse. Instead, I set three achievement goals. Here they are:

First, by December 31, 2019, I will be able to do 50 pushups and 50 sit-ups. I can do 5 pushups and 10 sit-ups right now, so I clearly have a way to go the plan is to do that five and ten each day and then, every week, do one more. I figure that, at that pace, I’ll hit my target around the end of October.

Second, by December 31, 2019, i will be able to run three miles in 36 minutes. Right now, three miles takes me about an hour, so the goal is to increase my speed from 3 mph to 5 mph and be able to sustain it. So, I plan to hit the (boring) treadmill three times a week for 36 minutes, starting at 3 mph and cranking the speed up 0.1 mph every other weeks. If all goes well, I’ll be hitting my goal in mid-October.

Third, I plan to be a yellow belt in taekwondo by December 31,2019. I think that’s aggressive, because it would be two belt tanks this year, so I’ll be finding out.

Thee. My goals. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about my plans to follow through on them.

I… Did Not See That Coming

Yesterday I tried to really commit myself to getting back on track. I made sure to get up and go walking on all my breaks, I made sure to track all my calories, and I fully intended to begin (but did not actually start) my exercise program. Sadly, due to some last minute changes in plans, I ended up taking my son to IHOP for dinner.

Don’t get me wrong, here. I enjoyed taking him out, and he enjoyed having a “dad and son” pancake dinner. He chartered away, and told me about his day and a bunch of eight-year-old jokes, and generally proclaimed me the “best dad ever”. I had a great time.

I also assumed I blew through my calorie budget. Because, you know, I ad a Belgian waffle platter. So, imagine my shock when I finally ran the numbers just now and came in 100 calories under budget.

I did not see that coming. But, I succeeded!

Cold, Wet, and… Sunny?

Last week was a weird, weird week. The whole week was cold, with a dusting of snow that turned into rain, and then warming up into the low 60s by the end of the week. It was not, sadly, the sort of weather that made me feel gung-ho about hitting my walking goals. Or about any other goals, really. Mostly, I stayed inside and wrapped myself in a blanket. Except for my martial arts lessons, that is.

It wasn’t a wildly successful week for me, is what I’m saying.

At this point, I’d love to say I have a plan. But, really, it isn’t a plan that I need. It’s motivation. I feel likeI’ve lost my way, here. So, I’m going to try and get back to basics: walking, martial arts practice, some sit-ups and push-pa, and tracking my calorie budget. But more importantly, I’m going to try and get back to why I’m trying to do this. I need to get back in touch with my motivations for having started this exercise and weight loss project, or I’m never going to succeed.

Hopefully, I’ll have a few thoughts to share with you (and myself) over the next few days.

Turning The Wrong Way

Ridiculous story time.

Yesterday, I decided to run through the first kata (and yes, I know that’s what they’re called in karate, not in taekwando; I just don’t remember the Korean Word) I’ve been learning. It seemed like useful practice, and I needed to do something for exercise. So I take my stance and run through it. It goes well, and there’s enough room in my living room to do the whole thing. Bonus!

So I go through the whole thing three times. At the end, I’m feeling pretty good. And then it hits me. See, there’s two points in the form where you make a 270 degree turn, right? Well, both times in each run through – for a total of six times – I turn the wrong way. I went through the full 270 degrees, but stunned on the wrong leg and faced the opposite direction.

From an exercise perspective, it wasn’t wasted. But, from a getting it right perspective? Not so useful.

Back For Real. Really.

So, yeah. Insert standard boiler plate about having been gone and needing to get back to work and all that. You’ve read it before, and I’m not going to make any dramatic promises. I’m just going to say I’m going to try and do a better job of keeping up with this blog.

Thanksgiving went pretty well for me. I technically gained weight, but I’m really not going to stress about 0.6 of a pound. Not over a week that includes the American Festival of Food. Instead, I’ll note that despite a mild weight gain my pants are feeling looser and I have to tighten my belt another notch. All the martial arts I’ve been doing seems to have helped redistribute some of the weight. Possibly because I keep having to use muscles I don’t normally use. I’m not sore, but I sure am feeling it in my hips and inner thighs.