Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How to get Habitual-Goal Getters 2013

Well here we are, the first full week of the New Year.  I'm sure there are many of you that have made resolutions or set goals for 2013.  The big question is, when life starts to get crazy, will you be able to keep them?   Many resolutions tend to be vague things like, I am going to lose 10 lbs which is immediately followed by a restrictive diet and crazy foray into exercise because that's what you feel you need to do.  After a few weeks, you feel deprived and want just one treat.  That one treat turns into 5 and then you feel guilty. Somewhere along the way working out becomes a chore and you're back on the couch, right where you started.

STOP THE INSANITY!!!  It doesn't have to be that way.  With a little bit of planning and focus you can make your goals a reality.  It's all about getting habitual.

Break it down to Baby Steps

When people make resolutions, they tend to be grandiose in nature, they want to make a complete overhaul of everything.  They don't really think about the change that is actually needed to get to where they want to be.  Once they start to think about it, it usually results in analysis paralysis.  You feel like perhaps you've taken on too much and don't know how to go about getting there so, you end up saying "screw it".   In my experience, I've found that in order to be successful at keeping your resolutions or goals, you need to break it down into smaller steps that you can work at making into habits.  For example:  I want to lose 10 lbs.   How are you going to do that?   Take the time to look at your diet.  Do you drink pop with lunch?  If so, replace it with water.  Make one small change and keep at that change until it becomes a habit.  Once you've got that down, pick something else and keep at that until it becomes a habit.  No, it's not easy.  If it was everyone would do it. Sometimes you need to take baby steps.

Find Something You Love to do and JUST DO IT  

I can't tell you the number of times I've had people tell me that they wished they loved running.   I always ask them why and the response is generally the same:  "It just seems like such an easy thing to do".  This is true, you don't need a membership, you don't really need any fancy gear (I can't believe I'm saying this with a straight face) all you need is a decent pair of running shoes and some comfortable clothing to get started.  I get it.  That was me when I started.  That's why I chose running. From an effort level, it was easy, all I had to do was go out my front door and put one foot in front of the other.  From an intimidation standpoint, it was also easy.  I could go out by myself.  I wasn't worried about walking into a gym full of uber fit people and fumbling my way around the machines and free weights.

It wasn't love at first step when I started running.  My first attempt at running was much like losing my virginity:  awkward with a lot of fumbling around.  And much like "bumping uglies", it takes some practice before you actually start to enjoy it.  I wasn't born the runner that I am now.  Persistence (mixed with a healthy dose of stubbornness) is what made me into the runner I am today.  I guess what I'm saying is that although I didn't love it right away, I liked the appeal of running enough that I wanted to keep at it and that, my friends is the KEY.   To quote my favourite band (Rush) "It takes a little more persistence to get up and go the distance."   Find something that appeals to you enough that you'll keep at it. 

If you always have to force yourself to go to the gym or get to that Body Pump class on a regular basis, chances are you won't stick with it.  Sure there are going to be days where you just don't feel like going.  I have days like that with running.  Funnily enough, those end up being the days that I have some of my best workouts.  It's a fine line between finding something appealing enough that you want to stick with it and forcing yourself to like it because you think it's what you need to do to lose weight, get stronger, or whatever.  Getting fit doesn't need to be complicated, you really just need to get off the couch and get moving.  You need to find *your* thing and do it.  I guarantee that once you love (or at least stop hating) what you're doing, it will just become another thing you do.  Your thing.  Once you find your thing, chances are you'll meet others who also share your passion. 

Buddy Up 

There's nothing like being held accountable by a friend to keep you motivated.   That's why I find group training runs so great.  People are expecting you to be there and when you're not, you always get grilled a little.  At least that's how it goes down in my run group.  Making a regular workout date with someone is a sure fire way to make sure you don't skip your workout.  The friendship and cameraderie are an added bonus.

Sign up for Something

Sometimes this can be the only kick in the pants that you need.  If you've started running, bite the bullet and register for a 5k race.  The reality of an impending event can be a great motivator to get out and train and crossing that finish line will be something that you will always be proud of.  Don't be afraid to let people know your plans either.  You may be surprised at just how many cheerleaders come out of the woodwork to support you.

Speaking of which, if you're looking for a little help and support in achieving your 2013 goals, then I strongly suggest you get on Instagram (if you're not already) and get in on the #GoalGetter2013 action.  The lovely ladies that brought you the December #HolidayADay challenge have gotten together again and put this challenge out there to help people stay accountable to their 2013 goals.
Instead of a month long challenge, they've broken in out to focusing on a goal a month.  So, you pick your goal and take a picture of you working toward your goal and hash tag it with #goalgetter2013progress.  Easy.  And, as an added bonus, these ladies are putting together a monthly newsletter with all sorts of tips & success stories that you can subscribe to.  Genius!

So, if you're looking for a little extra help check out these ladies blogs and follow them on Instagram. 

  I'm up for the challenge, are you?



Mindy Bobe said...

What an awesome awesome post!!! And thanks so much for the shout out! Can't wait to see your #goalgetter2013 pictures!!!

Phaedra Kennedy said...

Thanks Mindy - and it was my pleasure. I think it's a great idea!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the love P, let's kick 2013's a**!! ;)

Phaedra Kennedy said...

No problem Kat!! Let's DO THIS!!! :D

Unknown said...

Thanks Phaedra! What an amazing post :). I, like you, didn't fall deeply in love with running at first step but have learned to love it more everyday and I'm not sure of what I what would do without it now.

I can't wait to see all of the Instagram posts and all the goals being reached this year. I just know it is going to be the most amazing year yet!

Beka said...

This is awesome phaedra!!! I feel so warm and fuzzy knowing we are inspiring you!!! Count on being held accountable! ;)

Anonymous said...

Bahahaha! I love it Phaedra!! I about peed myself from laughing when you likened running to sex. If it's cool with you, I'd love to post this on the Goal Getter facebook page. :)

Abby said...

Great tips. I find that having a friend to work out with really helps keep me motivated. And just like Gina, the sex metaphor cracked me up.
Thank you so much for sharing. I cannot wait to see all your pictures. Those you took for #holidayaday were great!

Phaedra Kennedy said...

I am TOTALLY with you! If I couldn't run, I really think I'd lose my mind.

Phaedra Kennedy said...

I will!! :D

Phaedra Kennedy said...

ha ha ha...glad you enjoyed it. :D

Phaedra Kennedy said...

Thanks Abby! So glad you enjoyed it!! :D

Kate said...

Fantastic tips. I love what you have to say about loving what you do. People assume I just picked up running one day and stayed the same. Then they whinge when they start and find it difficult. Hopefully this inspires a few people to really go after something they like!

And thanks so much for the shout-out!

Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness said...

Awesome advice! I totally agree, especially with find something you love! I think one huge reason people give up on the gym is that they just don't know what they LIKE to do! And classes can be a little intimidating at first. Do some homework, try some new things, brave the Group X classes and keep on searching until you find your 'soulmate workout'! :)

Phaedra Kennedy said...

No problem Kate and thank YOU. :D

Phaedra Kennedy said...

Thanks Rachel! Very good point!!