Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sustainability and Fitness? Why not?

Yesterday I talked at you about doing a gut-check on whether my fitness goals are achieved through sustainable activities that are developed based on my own personal success and failure lessons.  Today, I want to talk at you again about how we can make sure they are!

"Sustainability" is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days, usually by a soft and gentle but kinda condescending voice telling us what new wonderful thing a big evil corporation is doing to be more energy efficient and convince us that they've cared about natural resources for years and years.  And that's cool.  But it can also be applied to our own lives and goals. 

For me, having sustainable fitness goals just means two things: being able to keep doing them without injury and learning from my successes and failures.  Ultimately, only my own actions are going to get me to my goal, right?  So I try to consult what I know about my typical actions before making any goals just so we're on the same page. 

Goals are temporary, but the things we do to reach them can be based in behaviors that are permanent.  So first off, I want my goal to be sustainable by making sure that I am doing things I can do forever: exercising on a regular basis, eating clean, and getting enough recovery time.  The mode of exercise may change, but the habit of getting regular exercise should not. What I eat will change, but the quality of my nutrition should not. The sleep thing is pretty non-negotiable. I need more.

Second, I want my goals to be sustainable by accepting my personal truths, which is a fancy way of what's gonna happen and what's not.  Taking an honest assessment of what's worked and what hasn't in the past helps me tweak my expectations and goals for greater success the next time around.  Call me superstitious, but if I've done something the same way three times to rave reviews, you can bet I'll do it again. The reverse is harder to accept but also true: if it hasn't worked at least twice, chuck it.  It doesn't matter if so-and-so loves it or your best friend swears by it. If it hasn't worked for you, it's out. 

For example, if you haven't successfully gotten to a morning exercise class in two months, register for one that you will realistically get to, even if all of your friends go to a different one. If you loathe running, don't sign up for a race, even if so-and-so keeps telling you how running is the best exercise to do.  This isn't about negative thinking about what you can't or won't do, it's about being realistic about what will work for YOU and what you will do!

In my world, its time to make some spring goals.  Join me in applying these ideas to your goals, too!  I hope you find them helpful and that your fitness goals are not only achieveable, but achieved.

Good day!

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