Today I began a new 30 day challenge. I had originally intended to go from one challenge right into the next but I wasn’t really ready to do that when the time came. I liked that I’d been able to incorporate writing into my every day life and I hope to continue that habit- which is why I didn’t want to over extend myself with another challenge right away. I also wanted to choose another challenge that is something that I can see myself (hopefully) continuing after the challenge is over. So… I’m challenging myself to work out every day for the next 30 days.
I’ve done pretty well in the past with workout challenges but they often fizzle after a while. I decided that this time I wanted to figure out what went wrong those other times and see if I could correct it.
- I usually throw myself in, full force and then burn out. Part of the problem is that I try to do too much- if the recommended 20 minutes a day is good then 40 minutes will be twice as good! Right? Well, no actually. Most studies show that 20 minutes a day is sufficient for heart and blood glucose health as well as improved energy levels. These are my reasons for exercise so it makes sense to base my workout on these guidelines. In an attempt to avoid burnout I’m limiting my workouts to 20 minutes.
- I usually get bored. I find something I like, like the elliptical machine, and do it for all of my workouts. This works great for a few weeks and then the thought of stepping onto it one more time makes me want to pull my hair out. I’m going to diversify my workouts with a variety of activities that I know I enjoy in small doses: elliptical, Wii fit, yoga and walking.
- I’ve also had problems with choosing an activity that can be easily derailed. Recently a foot injury kept me from using the elliptical after I’d been diligent for months but if I’d been using yoga and Wii fit I could have continued working out even with my injury. Other times I’ve had to give up gym memberships due to finances, stopped driving to a free gym when gas got too expensive and stopped walking because it was too hot/cold/rainy. Diversifying my workouts will help with this obstacle as well.
- In the past I’ve tied my success to weight loss instead of improved health. As a result when my weight loss stalled I would give up. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy learning to let go of my issues with weight and this time my primary goal is health.
- I am forgetful. I would often decide to exercise on specific days of the week and then get to the end of the day without ever thinking about it. I’m hopeful that making it part of my daily routine will help it become second nature, making me less likely to forget.
- In the past I’ve been too rigid with my schedule. In an attempt to overcome my forgetfulness I’ve tried to establish a time to work out every day. However, my life doesn’t work like that- I have to be more flexible because sometimes 3:00 PM works better than 8:00 AM and other times 5:00 PM is the only time I have. This time I’m going to attempt scheduling a time on each individual day, according to that day’s schedule/activities. I generally make a to-do list each morning so I’ll just add working out to that list along with a time.
- Finally, I think public accountability helped with my writing challenge so I plan to post my daily progress on Facebook.
I’m feeling good about this and while I’m sure there will be obstacles for which I haven’t planned I’m confident I’ll be up for the challenge.
Wish me luck!