I recently read an article about how to motivate yourself to work out. It said the best way to get moving is to set small goals for yourself. You can’t wake up one day and say, “I’m going to run a marathon!” then try to do it all within a week or month. If that’s your mindset, you will defeat yourself before walking out the door.
Instead, you have to set milestones. Markers. Goal posts.
For the last several years, I would try a workout for a few days but always ended up back on the couch. It’s easier to sit and watch “Dancing with the Stars” than to exert the energy at a gym.
I’d done it before
About ten years ago, I decided I wanted to get down to 120 pounds by the time I was 30. So, I joined a gym.
I worked out six days a week, like the magazines said I should. I got a trainer. I ate fruits, veggies or small meals every two hours. I avoided caffeine and wine (during the week – I mean, I wasn’t crazy).
I got down to 128 pounds. Then, the only thing I was losing was my hair. I couldn’t lose any more weight. I would work out harder, longer, two times a day if needed. Nope. Nothing worked. I ended up malnourished and so frustrated. So, why bother?
Then, I moved to Dallas. I didn’t have a gym or structure like I had before. It was now up to me (in a new place with a new job and new responsibilities) to fit a workout into my new life.
- Boot camp
- Personal trainer
None of these things worked. So, I stopped trying.
For some people, running is a hobby. I used to enjoy it (and probably still would, were it not for a weird tibia to patella issue). So why not try to rekindle that passion for this new sport I call hobby hunting.
The author of the article for motivation mentioned “couch to 5k” programs. I’d heard of these before and thought, “Eh. Why not? What do I have to lose except those unwanted pounds?”
Up and at ’em
I downloaded C25K, got up before work on a Monday, laced up my highlighter-yellow Nike’s and headed to my gym.
The first workout is simple enough:
- Walk five minutes
- Run 60 seconds
- Walk 90 seconds
- Repeat steps two and three for 20 minutes
- Cool down for five minutes
By minute 16 of this, I was spent. Sweat was pouring down my face and I was out of breath. Why didn’t my gym have adequate air conditioning for those of us with extra blubber?!
But when it was over, I had that old feeling: I’d accomplished something. I was successful before 7:00 a.m. The sky was the limit!
Ouch, ouch, ouch
Until I woke up for Day 2. My legs felt like someone had put glue in my muscles. Rolling out of bed was literally that. Putting weight on my legs was almost agonizing.
But, as the article said: I had to make small goals. Day 2’s goal was to get back on that treadmill. So I stretched, laced up my highlighter-yellow Nike’s and headed to my gym.
Day 3: I stretched, laced up my highlighter-yellow Nike’s and headed to my gym.
By Day 5, my C25K program was over for the week. But knowing how hard it was to get through the first few days, I decided to keep at it.
My new goal: get a perfect “move” week on my Apple Watch.
Heading into Week 2
I have accomplished so many small goals in the last week, I’m looking Week 2 straight in the face with a smile. I can do this!
I’m holding myself accountable. I’m letting you hold me accountable.
I don’t know if it will turn into weight loss. Right now, I just want to see if I can finish this. I want to be able to run 3.1 miles without gasping for air.
Then, I’ll set another small goal for myself.
Keep moving the goal post.