Good morning and happy Monday, friends! For all of the Patriot’s fans out there- what a game, right?! Boston is a great city to live in during times like these… I think it even helped soften the blow of this storm today 😉
January is generally a month of setting goals for the upcoming year. It’s a time a reflect on the previous year and to think about what you want to achieve in the upcoming year. While I tend to stay away from setting specific “I’m going to do X, Y, and Z in 2015”, in favor of just being mindful about things I want to continually improve (loosening up, stressing less, relaxing more, etc.), I did have a few fitness-related goals this year:
- Improve my push-ups: Rather than wide arm, drop down a few inches push-ups, I want to do them with my elbows tight to my body and with dropping my chest all the way to tap the ground and come back up. The strength required to do this is much more than I thought it would be, so my goal this year is to do LESS crap push-ups and MORE real push-ups.
- Do 10 unassisted Pull- Ups & Chin-Ups: Again, this is a move that seems so easy, but is really very challenging since it requires so much strength. It’s such an incredible exercise to incorporate into your workout routine because it utilizes so many muscles and is a great functional exercise.
Over the past month, I’ve been working towards improvement in both of these areas and I wanted to share some tips that have helped me. You may not have fitness-related goals for 2015, but I think these tips can be applied to a whole range of goals- fitness-related or not.
1. Make a plan. Simple enough, right? But for me, I find that if I write something down and detail out exactly what I want to accomplish, it’s much easier to figure out how to chip away and work towards achieving that goal.
2. Practice. Practice makes perfect, right? If you don’t practice whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, it’s probably not going to be easy to achieve and master. For me, this means to practice REAL and CORRECT push-ups. It means to practice pull-ups. It’s not easy and can be very frustrating when you see how far you have to go, but you have to start somewhere! Which leads into my next tip…
3. Start small. If you’ve got some really lofty goals, it may feel so overwhelming to figure out how you’re going to change. For me, 10 pull-ups seems like SO MANY. But when I break it down and make mini goals like “today I’m going to try to do 1 pull-up”, it makes it seem so much easier and doable. And for push-ups, I started with 2 consecutive good push-ups. Throughout the day and my workouts, I’d drop down and do 2. The next week, I started doing 4. I had mastered the 2, so I knew I was ready to move up. It’s only a matter of time until I’ve grown and developed the muscles necessary to bang out 10 😉
4. Do things to support the end goal. Sometimes in order to achieve a goal, you need to supplement your journey with things that will help the end result. For me, I want to be working on increasing my upper body strength and my upper body muscles that will help assist when I’m doing push-ups and pull-ups. I’ve been working on lifting heavier for chest press and shoulder press. I’ve been working on using the TRX bands to help build up muscles and mimic the movements necessary when doing pull-ups. Banded pull-ups are also a great way to build up those muscles. If your goal is to grow your blog, maybe think about taking a writing course or linking up with another blogger to expand your audience. If you’re trying to get healthier and lose weight, think about changing your diet and incorporating more fruits and veggies in substitution for sweets and carbs.
5. Celebrate small victories. I know I often get lost in the idea of the big picture and often forget to look at all the small accomplishments and victories I’ve made along the way. The other night, I was able to do 3 unassisted pull-ups and chin-ups and I left the gym SO happy! But, knowing me, as soon as I start being able to do more, I’ll forget about how I felt when I was excited about 3. Part of the thing that is so exciting about having a goal to work towards is how good it feels when you start making steps towards achieving that goal, so take a minute and give yourself a pat on the back. Do a happy dance. Post a photo on Instagram 😉
I can personally say that because of these steps, I have made some pretty awesome strides so far towards accomplishing my fitness goals for this year. To others, they may not seem like very big strides but the beauty of these goals is that they aren’t for others; they are for me. Me to work towards, me to get excited about and me to not worry about how I compare to others. It’s hard for me to not compare myself to others, but this year I’m working towards just worrying about myself and what I can do, not how I match up to others. So if you can do 20 pull-ups or push-ups with complete ease- WAY TO GO! that’s amazing and you should be so proud of yourself. I know I’m no where near that and I’m so OK with it 🙂
And, here’s my little brag moment to document my recent accomplishment!
Questions for you: What is a tip I might have missed? When you’re working towards a goal, what do you do to help achieve it? Do you celebrate mini victories? What’s something you’re working towards this year? How is it going?