Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reaching Your Goals

Infomercials these days really push getting the body of your dreams in 90 days or getting rich with "X" or technique. However, for some, these dreams are much farther than 90 days a way. I can't vouch for the get rich programs but some (especially the Beachbody products) of the fitness programs are quite good and give great results if you put in the work. But again if you are farther than 60 or 90 days away, it can be discouraging.

I want to encourage you to look for the small steps. If you have 100 pounds to lose, you will never reach that goal if you don't lose the fist 5 pounds. If you want to bench press 200 pounds you will never reach that goal if you don't increase from 150 to 160 pounds. Some goals, like the ones above, are easier to see the progression than others. One of my goals is to be able to do a full pull-up. At least to me, this is a hard one to see progression with - you either make it up or you don't. I will periodically go out to a bar (a chin up bar not a drinking bar - LOL) and try to do a pull-up. I get myself part-way up and still can't quite get my chin over the bar. Have I gotten myself up farther than I could last year? Probably but I don't know that for sure. However, yesterday something pretty cool happened. I have been trying to add some swimming into my routine. It is not an everyday thing but whenever we make it to the pool I like to try and get in a few laps. The pool we belong to has a 50 meter lap lane and last year I would swim a few laps, get tired and need a break. The break didn't need to be a long one but I still needed the break. This summer has been different in that respect. The first time I tried I did 6 laps straight and then stopped. If felt good and I made the decision to try 8 laps the next time which also went well. Yesterday I did 10 without difficulty.

Now here is the cool part! There is a fast lane and a slow lane - I use the fast lane but you never know what the overall speeds are going to be in the lanes. There have been days when really fast swimmers have shown up and days when even the "fast" lane is quite slow. Yesterday was an average day - all the swimmers were able to continuously swim (no one was stopping at the wall) at a nice even pace. This is the part that was really encouraging to me. I was not trying to swim hard - I just wanted to be able to swim 10 consecutive laps - but I found myself catching the swimmers in front of me when I swam freestyle and keeping pace with them when I swam breaststroke. I credit this to my increased back strength (especially with the breaststroke). Then on my last lap, I caught the swimmer in front of me and since there was no one coming at me, I decided to power my way to the end and really surged past the woman and had quite a big gap between us when I hit the wall.

Why bother writing about all this? Last year, I would have never been able to do this after only swimming laps 3 times this summer. I am stronger physically and cardiovascularly. I HAVE made lots of progress. Can I do a pull-up yet? No, but I am getting a lot of satisfaction out of the progress I did make. Look for YOUR progress and enjoy it. Set little goals and celebrate when you reach them. Sometimes we miss the little achievements if we don't look for them - so look for them!! Remember though, once you meet one goal - make another and then another and then another until you reach that big goal. Once you reach that big goal....make another one. There seems to be a pattern here (lol).

What small goals or achievements have you reached lately? I would love to hear about them!

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