How to Take Your Fitness Goals to the Next Level

Okay so I want to climb more. But what does that mean?

While I was climbing this week, I realized that I needed to make my goal of climbing more even more specific in order to make that goal attainable. I realized, once I specified my goal, that I needed a little planning in order to make it happen.

Chapter One

Here is how to meet your 2018 fitness goals:

  1. Get specific!
    “I want to get more into running,” leaves a lot of room to… not actually get into running. Try making your goal measurable, like “I want to run 3 times a week,” or “I want to run a marathon in August,” instead. My climbing goal: I want to learn to lead climb (and then do it outside with my sister!)
  2. Break it down.
    I can’t learn to lead climb until I am can climb harder levels. In order to learn to lead, I need to climb 5.10s without needing to rest every 2 seconds. If you want to run a marathon, maybe you need smaller time goals. “By March I will run a 5k,” or “I will run 3 hours a week.”
  3. Set Goals
    Setting small goals along the way allows you to feed off of the positive energy that comes from reaching a new milestone. This is also a crucial step in maintaining and continuing your practice. If you want to continue your exercise longterm, set yourself small forward-reaching goals every few months. My current climbing goals include completing a set of full pull-ups (I met my goal of doing one whole pull-up!!!) and climbing my first V3.
  4. Get Creative
    It is easy to stagnate in any practice. In order to develop alternative muscles and keep it interesting, alternate your training. If you are doing something that is primarily cardio, add strength training. If you are doing something strength based, through in running days, or a dance cardio class to keep it interesting!
  5. Gear Up
    Sometimes you can’t take it to the next level until you get proper equipment. These leggings and this pair of shoes changed the game and took my training to the next level by increasing my flexibility and stability. Not having to adjust my clothing all the time allows me to focus on my workout without interruption or excuse.
  6. Commit time
    I feel like one of the most important steps for me to accomplish my fitness goals is for me to block out every day of the week that I need to exercise, and what I need to do on those days. It is equally important to find a rhythm that works for you. If you need consistency above all in order to meet your goal, then go all out and don’t make compromises. If you are worried about burnout, plan for 3 days a week with a fun alternative workout thrown in there. Commit that time and don’t cancel plans with yourself.
  7. Plan out every second!
    Once you have committed to the days you will workout, plan out every tiny detail of those sessions. Have an overarching plan, and a step-by-step or goal-based process for the actual sessions. Recently, I had a session planned that started with a strength based warm-up and was followed by a strict endurance builder. If something didn’t work right one day, sit down and adjust your plan for next time. Thoughtful planning and reflection will keep you committed to your goals, and help keep your goals attainable.
  8. Leave room for fun
    Enjoy your workouts! Invite friends on your run or to your class, add party music one day, and have some fun day instead of zero days- go to the gym anyway, but try new things. All of these little celebrations will prevent burnout.
  9. Be accountable
    SET THE DATE. Your running a marathon? Finally doing 10 pull-ups! You are going to try competitive figure skating??! Invite your friends! “Hello everybody. On August 22nd, I will complete 10 pull-ups at the gym. You are all invited to view the pull-ups and celebrate with drinks after!” Make it into a silly/fun/cool event. A group of women I climb with recently got together to make posters and cheer on a friend running the marathon. What a cool way to support each other and spend time together.
  10. Keep setting goals
    After you meet your BIG goal, it is hard to keep going. As you approach your big goal, plan your next moves. The week before the marathon, maybe you know you need a full 2 weeks of rest. Fine, plan that, but plan your first day back. What will you do to get back into it and continue to enjoy it? Be ready to keep the momentum! And plan your NEXT goal. If the marathon felt like a lot, scale it back and do a fun run somewhere. If you’re hooked, try to best your time and qualify for a different city. Maybe you like the variety of a triathlon! Keep pushing yourself to get out and get moving.
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Game Changing Workout Gear

In the spirit of resiliency, I am trying many new hobbies and trying to stay extremely active. Here are some workout accessories for an active lifestyle.

Biking

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Wall Mount
Easy access, wall art, and home security for your bicycle.

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Phone Bracket
From here you can operate maps and track your speed and distance.

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Stationary Adaptor
So that you can bike and watch tv at the same time!!! Very good for winter exercise.

Running/ Walking/ Hiking

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I love my Allbirds and I love their versatility. They make me feel lighter and bouncier!

gokey-bracelet
The Gokey is a really convenient way to hold your key while running. I have lost my keys out of my shorts key pocket or off my shoelace before. This would have been very handy!
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Everest Fanny Pack
Affordable and in like 20 different colors! I am sold on the classic Everest fanny pack, and I order one in a new color whenever the need arises. (I actually wear one while I teach, to keep my emergency radio and student rewards accessible!)

 

Accessories

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Foam Roller
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Resistance Band Rainbow Set
Life Hack!!!! If you can’t do a full pull-up, you can attach a resistance band to the bar, place one foot inside of the resistance band, and go! It is amazing. I am using this trick to try and achieve one pull-up by the end of my four week rock climbing training session!

Workout Leggings

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Stirrup Leggings
Perfect for protecting ankles from the cold while biking, running, or keeping pants in place during yoga.

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Oxblood Mesh Leggings
Now that I am doing all sorts of new exercises like biking and rock climbing, I feel I need some variety in my workout clothes. I also feel like quality and durability is increasingly important, as these activities involve more friction.

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Hunter Leggings
A perfect shade of green. I could live in these on a camping/ hiking trip, for sure.

Reflections & Intentions (a Monday Series)

I am so inspired by the Intentions posts by Shutterbean. Last week, I posted Monday Reflections of the weekend and the week to come. Welcome the official Monday series, Reflections & Intentions.

 

Reflections (weekend):

-kayaked AND rock climbed

-spent more time outside than inside

-demolished extra-large pizzas and Mom’s out of this world homemade ice cream with my parents and sister

 

Intentions:

-clean the counters, clean my clothes

-rock climb inside and outside

-run every day

-go to the beach

-schedule all necessary health appointments

 

Intentions turned Reflections (last week): 

-start a new book

-stay calm

-visit my family

Summer Resolution

Why do we save resolutions for the new year? I am always reinventing myself, and summer is no exception. Reflecting on the spring, I hiked The Grand Canyon, became a climbing badass, and started this blog! I feel rich in experience and prosperous in opportunity.

Looking ahead, I am less financially prepared for the summer than I planned to be. Please see this post to learn how I wanted to save and what mistakes I planned to avoid… mainly I was hoping to have enough saved to not rely on my credit card. Oops. (Side note: teachers don’t get paid enough).

I have seen some Summer Bucket Lists, and maybe I will write one of those in a minute, but this is a little more than that. Like a new year’s resolution, this is a goal for me to dedicate myself to throughout the summer. Additionally, I would like to start working on these goals now, and not wait until I am truly on summer break.

Summer Resolutions, 2017

•Run every day because I feel good when I do

Climb at least once or twice a week!

Play my instrument

•Camp and hike a lot

Write and call my grandparents

•Spend more than two weeks with my family

Develop this blog

Any summer resolutions yourself? These are small goals, and at various points in my life I have maintained some/all of them. These are actions that bring me satisfaction, and I look forward to a healthy, prosperous, and loving summer.

 

Beginner to Badass

As I shared before, I am partaking in the “Beginner to Badass” program at Brooklyn Boulders Chicago. I am a novice climber, falling off the easiest routes and burning my muscles out after 15 minutes. However clumsy my movements may be, I am gaining strength and technical skill. This week I “leveled up” a couple of times (I know, this isn’t how a real climber would describe it!) and I will soon be belay certified at the wall, meaning I will be engaging with other climbers, and won’t be limited to using the auto-belays alone.

If beginner to badass (in anything) is a sort of sliding scale, right now I am marginally closer to badass than I was a week ago.

This week, I am stronger.
This week, I am present.
This week, I am confident.

But I’m still a beginner!

I am still afraid (of falling, my arms getting out, injuring myself.)
I am still unsure.
I am still nervous (but nervous with some confidence)!

I have been running for years, but when I go through these qualifiers, I realize that I feel like I am still on the beginner side. Oh well! These are hobbies that I enjoy and bring positive value to my life, they are not skills that necessitate mastery.

How are you more of a badass today than you were a week (or month or decade) ago?

#MondayMotivation

My health is my Monday Motivation!

1. I woke up at 5 a.m. and ran a mile!

2. I have said no to junk food and had wholesome meals like overnight oatmeal and whole-wheat spaghetti with a fresh salad.

3. I am going to take the financial plunge and try the “beginner to badass” program at Brooklyn Boulders Chicago! I am so excited! I have never done regular strength training, and this seems like a fun way to do it.

What is your Monday Motivaton?

Healthy Means…

Healthy Means Happy. 

Healthy does not mean thin. Healthy does mean free. 

Healthy means that I won’t be out of breath after I climb the 5 flights of stairs ahead of us. 

Healthy means that I can bike to class, and I can make time for me, whatever that time needs to be. 

Today, I made that time for running.  Continue reading