Friday, March 16, 2012

Big Goal? Bite-size it!

I'm not training for anything specific right now, which is harder than I thought. After the last half marathon, I thought I'd enjoy a break from focused training and revel in being able to just workout without any specific goal in mind.

Whatever. Who was I kidding when I came up with that crazy idea?  I must have been on some kind of endorphin high or something.  No, me without a goal is like a fish out of water. I just flop around and make other people uncomfortable.

So, carrot, meet stick. I have my big overall goal of running a half marathon in under two hours, but that's a year away. My workouts are kind of lame without some kind of carrot, so I've been making some bite-sized goals to shake things up and keep my morning runs interesting.

This week, I set a goal to run through either two or three (depending on what I did the day before) of my 1-minute walk intervals during my stroller runs. It's not that big a deal, not too intimidating, and very achievable. The result is that I am building my endurance running with the stroller and picking up a little bit of speed. Next week, I'll probably work on speed exclusively and shave off a few seconds every day. Just a few, no need to get all crazy. After all, I'm supposed to be enjoying a training break, right?

You can apply this to your everyday workouts or nutrition goals too. Just set a bite-sized goal that you can achieve each day and make sure it is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. 

Other examples of bite-sized goals I've set for myself lately:

Big goal: stop drive-by nibbling. Bite-sized goal: I will not eat a spoonful of my son's cereal before I put it on the table today. No. I will not. Bad mommy!

Big goal: stretch and recover from exercise more consistently. Bite-sized goal: I will spend two minutes after my yoga workout stretching my hamstrings.

Big goal: improve my explosive strength. Bite-sized goal: when doing my morning Exercise TV workout, I will start the burpees during the explanation of how to do a burpee instead of standing there panting and watching the explanation of how to do a burpee when I know full well how to do it. The result so far: I'm doing more burpees and doing them a lot faster too!

The key is to make it something easy that you can do TODAY. Then, you're able to take little bites out of that big goal, and before you know it you're halfway there.

Get out there and get healthy today, even if you just take one bite. :)


Sarah @ Semi-Sweet said...

Such good points - I am VERY goal-driven, so I often do little ones. Last week I also decided it was wimpy to wait while my DVD-instructor explained the exercise, and that I could get in a few more reps while she is explaining it . . . so I too started squat-thrusts, etc. earlier. Anything to boost my enthusiasm & fitness! And yeah, those nibbles, tastes and licks of your kid's food really add up. Chewing gum helps me get around that when my willpower is low (which is often!).

Healthy Heather said...

LOL! yeah, that little voice in my head was all, "why are you just standing here? Get going!" Good idea with the gum! I find that brushing my teeth stops my nibbling. :) So far none today. :)