Healthy Choices Are Important

Despite having to eat out for dinner, I came in under my calorie budget! Yay! And even though I didn’t get my Taekwondo practice in, I did walk almost 6 miles again – mostly through the simple practice of going outside and walking around my building on each break.

So, yeah. I feel good. And possibly more importantly, I’m remembering that my daily activities aren’t my goal. My goal is health, and the daily activities are just pre-planned ways to achieve that goal. So, if I don’t get my Taekwondo practice in but I do walk six miles? That’s still a healthy activity.

It seems like a valuable lesson.

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I Could Beat Myself Up

I really could, and it would be super easy. After all, I fell hard off my goals last week and didn’t adhere to my calorie budget and gained three pounds as a result. Beating myself up and giving up would be incredibly easy.

I’m not going to do that, though.

Here’s the reality of the situation: I’m just now trying to embrace (reembrace?) living a healthy lifestyle and making choices that will guide me towards that lifestyle. I’m going to get distracted from time to time. But that’s not a reason to give up, because a healthy lifestyle isn’t a goal to be reached. It’s a change in the way I live.

So, I’m not beating myself up. Instead, I dusted myself off and walked a little over six miles. Because I wanted to. And I went to Taekwondo, because I wanted to. And I ate within my calorie budget, because I wanted to.

I’ll get there. I just might be taking the scenic route to do it.

Relaxing Into Success

One thing my Taekwondo instructor tells me all the time is to relax. The secret, he says, is to stay loose. To move like a whip, flowing until the moment of impact. It’s a lesson that I am still struggling to learn.

I think I got it today, though. A little bit.

Remember how I was talking about Bob Ross yesterday, and how that inspired me to exercise? Well, that same feeling followed me all through the day. I ate within my calorie budget because I wanted to, not because I had to. I got up and went walking on my breaks, not to tick off a check box on a chore list but because it felt good.

In short, I relaxed. And then the things I really wanted to do came easily.

It was a good day.

Thankfully, The Wagon Is Slow

It’s been a rough six weeks or so since the start of the year. I won’t bore you with the excruciating details. Suffice it to say that there were family matters, and illnesses, and an unexpected but fun trip to Nashville, and that I generally fell off the wagon for a bit.

Thankfully, it’s a slow-moving wagon.

Like this one

So now, back to work!

I’ve reset my goals to the starter g point – 5 pushups and 10 sit-ups, and 2.5 mph on the treadmill, and 10-15 minutes of taekwondo practice with my son on nights I don’t have class. No need to beat myself up, right? The goal is health, after all. Not perfection.

See you all on the trail, pardners!

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!

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.