Welcome to 2012!
What are your health or fitness goals for this year? Are they new or being revisited from the list you "never quite got around to" in 2011? For me, my main goal is to get rid of a large portion of this extra weight I carry. No, I'm not throwing hubby out, that's a little more than I can afford to lose! What I am doing, though, is making a plan and taking action.
For years I went about this just like a lot of people, making a "resolution" each January to shed some pounds. Every year ended with the same result; resolution forgotten, weight gained instead of lost. This past year, however, I learned some valuable lessons about goal setting. In order to achieve our dreams, it is necessary to stop thinking of them in a future sense, ie "some day" or "one of these days" . Writing resolutions, or dreams, down in terms of achievable goals makes them much more obtainable. This means that instead of saying "I need to lose some weight this year", I say "I will (or I commit to) lose 50 pounds by Dec. 31, 2012". Voila, I have just made a commitment. I set a specific goal, with a deadline! Now if I don't stick to it, there is a much higher sense of guilt involved. It actually feels like I failed; and it is the most important person in the world I am failing--ME! I am the one making the commitment, I am the one responsible for keeping it, and I am the only one who can make me do it--although others can certainly offer some highly appreciated motivation.
Okay, enough about how to set goals. I have set mine. I will lose 50 lbs. by Dec. 31, 2012. This is going to be fabulous for my psoriatic arthritis! My aching joints will thank me! In order to achieve this long-term goal, I have created smaller goals to accomplish along the way. For instance, every week I will increase the amount of cardio activity I do at the gym by going either 1/4 mile farther or 5 minutes longer than normal. I understand that there are days I hurt severely and therefore I will not always be able to complete the same amount of distance in my walk, but time spent doing the activity must also be taken into account. At this beginning point, a 30 minute 1-mile walk is quite strenuous for me (and actually netted some rather serious blisters on my feet last week). After having a dose of the Norovirus this week, I managed to do 3/4 of a mile today in 20 minutes and felt that was enough. Next week it's back to adding time/distance. As another milestone, I plan to participate in the www.MarchforBabies 5K walk happening here on April 28. Hubby and I did this in 2010 and planned to do it in 2011, but were unable to since I was still off of my meds at the time. This year I will do it. This year I will not be the last walker across the finish line. This year I will be proud of my accomplishment!