Don’t Stop!

Did you know that by the second week in February 80% of Americans have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions? This made me think about my own last week. We have been struck down at our house again by snot and now a cough that won’t quit. This kept me from running all week. Then, Saturday I just couldn’t take it any more. What I couldn’t take was seeing my weekly report tell me that I had accomplished 0 miles. I couldn’t take sitting still any longer. And I knew (like my friend Jeri told me) that sometimes exercising helps me get better faster.

However, my choices were limited due to the cold. She has the option to workout inside and I did not. I chose to rest, because my body was telling me to rest, but that didn’t mean that I was quitting.  My weekly mileage was almost 0, but that wouldn’t be the whole truth, because I still taught yoga throughout the week. I kept moving. This wasn’t a true lapse in my training, but I was off track for my goals and regular routine.

The danger in a situation like this, or a busy work week, or a vacation in the middle of training is that it often leads to a relapse back to our old ways. It’s easy to abandon our goals and take the route back to familiarity and routine. Relapsing back to previous behaviors can make you feel like a failure and can make it harder to get back to the work you want to be doing. But I say, SCREW NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION FAILS! What’s wrong with a Chinese New Year’s Resolution or a Valentine’s Day Resolution? What about a Tuesday Resolution?

I say, it’s not too late. Even if you’ve abandoned your first resolution of the year, let’s make a new one. Don’t give up on what you want, just find a new way to do it. Here are three things I want you to consider:

  1. What could I do in a minute? I’ve written about this technique before and Tracy at Fit is a Feminist Issue has written about a similar idea here. If you want to do something new, how small of an increment can I do it in and let me do it. Here’s an example: Sometimes I find it hard to clean my house….who doesn’t? So, just walk into a room and do what you can in 1 minute. If I have to skip my workout, what could I do in one minute to at least be active today? If I want to start running, go for a walk and when I’m up to it, run for 1 minute. Just try a little each day…..and that leads me to number
  2. What is my best time of day? In order for something to stick, it needs to become routine. What is the best time of day for you to get going? Are you a morning person or an evening person? Do you like to workout while watching the news or in a group? Schedule things that mesh with your current lifestyle so that you can lead the life you want to lead. And finally…..
  3. How do I measure success? For me, it’s all about getting back to it when I’ve taken off. I like to set two goals for each of my runs….distance and speed. If I can’t hit both, I at least hit one and that means I’ve succeeded in some way. I’m not saying to set your goals too low, but make sure that you can feel like YOU have accomplished SOMETHING when you’re done. When I walk into the room I have to clean, I pick up the biggest things first. The bigger things gone makes it look like I’ve done so much more in that one minute than if I’d tackled a few small things.

No matter how you look at it, there’s always a little more we could do and failure is not concrete. You’ve never truly failed until you’re dead and can’t try again.

Have you quit your resolution(s)?

Will you start again?

What are you doing to stay on track?

4 thoughts on “Don’t Stop!

    1. Exactly! In fitness training we call that antecedent control…things like setting out your workout clothes ahead of time. That still doesn’t keep me from hitting the snooze button lately, but seeing them sitting out makes it harder to skip the workout all together. This cold is kicking my butt, I didn’t run this morning, but headed home to attempt it in warmer weather this afternoon! Best of luck with your 5 days/week, keep us posted!


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