Exercise: A new set of goals
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My relationship with exercise is very all or nothing. I'm either out every evening training for a marathon or a Tough Mudder, or I'm sat on the couch eating cheese and avoiding lycra at all costs. It's been this way ever since I was a teen - I just can't seem to find that elusive balance.
It seems that I can only ever motivate myself to workout and keep going when I have a big goal in mind - a new distance or a time or a challenge. I know it can't be healthy for me to swing wildly from uber fit to absolute slob and I don't want to keep going through the same old cycles for the rest of my adult life. I also know that putting this pressure on myself to keep chasing these big goals can have detrimental effects on other areas of my health. I'm a guilt tripper y'see, and there's nothing like missing a few runs on your training plan to make you feel like a big ol' failure.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I feel like I need to set myself some new goals, ones that aren't focussed on weight loss or running 26.2 miles in a faster time. Because I know exercise can offer me so much more than that - it makes me happier, it makes my body feel strong and tight and it gives me a sense of achievement that can set my whole day up right.
So with that in mind, here are the new exercise goals I'm going to be working on:
1) Mix things up
Rather than always heading out for a run when I want to exercise, I want to try some new things and keep mixing it up so I don't get bored. I'll keep running as part of my routine, but I have also booked some spinning classes and would love to try a Pilates class too. Any suggestions for fun and new ways to work out are very much welcomed!
2) Make exercise a priority
Whenever my schedule gets too busy, exercise is always the first thing to go, which I know is bad for me both physically and mentally. Exercise is a really great way of squeezing in some quiet time to mull things over and burn off the bad vibes, and so I want to work on making some time for me two or three times a week.
3) Focus on how I feel
It's all too easy to become fixated on how many inches we have or haven't lost, or how fast we ran our most recent 5K, so I really want to make a conscious effort to notice how exercise makes me feel. I want to appreciate the endorphin rushes, the greater self confidence and the really great sleep you have after working out - these are JUST as, if not more important as feeling slimmer!
4) Enjoy it!!!
Without a doubt the most important goal on this list is to really make sure I'm enjoying the exercise I do. As soon as something becomes boring or a chore, I find it all too easy to make excuses and start slacking, so for the next few months I'm going to be really focussed on finding classes or exercises that I thoroughly, wholeheartedly LOVE. Because life is too short to pound it out on a treadmill, right?!
I'd love to hear any exercise goals that you guys have! Do any of you have similar challenged to me with finding a good balance?