A comment from Trystan on my previous post about the state of my body got me to thinking (cheers!). She said, “…how about set exercise goals instead of weight goals? Miles run/biked or speed, weight lifted or reps, precise yoga poses achieved, etc. Focus on what your body can do & how you feel.”
I mulled that over for several days because it’s a really great idea. And I also took a good hard look at the kind of fitness “goals” I’ve always set for myself in the past and realized that I’ve been way too lazy. See, what I’ve always done in the past is set goals that I knew were easily achievable without too much extra effort on my part. Goals I knew I could meet so I wouldn’t have to face failing at them. Goals like, “Run 3 times this week.” I can do that without any extra effort – that’s what I DO on a normal week. Setting that as a goal wasn’t pushing anything forward, it was just stating my regular level as if it were something special I would do when really it wasn’t. But I always achieved my goals!
But that’s not the point of goals, is it? To set an arbitrary point that you know you can achieve. That’s just…planning. A goal should be something that’s a stretch, something that you don’t know you can achieve until you’ve done it. Something that takes more than your normal, everyday level of effort.
I hadn’t been setting goals.
So this week, starting Saturday, my goal is to run 25 miles. This will take an extra-ordinary effort on my part. I honestly don’t know if I will be able to achieve this goal this week. I started out strong on Saturday and Sunday by running 5.4 miles each day. But then yesterday I was wiped out all day by a migraine, so no running. I planned to run today but it’s raining cats and dogs. That leaves me with 3 days to do almost 15 miles. I’ll have to run 5 miles each of those days. Now THAT is a challenge. It’s a goal that, for the first time since I started my weight management goal, I don’t know if I’ll be able to succeed with.
If I fail at this it will be a new feeling for me. My hope is that setting a truly challenging goal will be a new and interesting way to push myself out of my comfort zone. It’s new territory for me – having a goal I’m not sure I can meet.
Maybe I’ll be out running in the rain later today.
I’ll let you know if I make it to 25 miles this week. Next week – new goal.