I have found, after being on my fitness journey for over fifteen years, that I need goals to keep me motivated. Otherwise, fitness can become routine to the point of mentally checking out. It's easy to go through the motions without actually being IN it.
It's much more fun and motivating, though, when we're in it.
I've aimed for several fitness targets. Some were weight loss related. Then I got into running 5K's. That was a gateway drug to 10K's, half marathons and marathons. I've had strength training goals (for example, I really wanted to hit 60 pounds on my BodyPump squats). I've done the mile a day challenge several times. I've set steps per day objectives. Miles per week goals. And many more.
My favorite mission so far was to hike across the Grand Canyon. It took a year to train for, and I knew how difficult it was going to be so I was extraordinarily motivated. I did eight Tread classes per week for a year straight in addition to our long training hikes. I was sweaty and stinky pretty much constantly. But we made it across the magical Canyon, and I know it will always be high on the list of top things I've ever done.
I believe that goals are tied to motivation. I don't necessarily think you have to have a goal to get fit and stay fit. But if you are struggling with motivation, having a mission helps a lot. Having a goal that you think might kill you if you don't train properly? That's what got my butt on the treadmill every day, sometimes twice a day for a year.
I'm not saying goals should be dangerous. But when we pick something outside of our comfort zone, then go for it, something happens. There's this mental shift that makes us get up and get going, where before we may have felt stagnant or stuck.
So, take a deep breath and then a moment to look within. Do you feel stuck? Lacking inspiration? Wishing for a good kick in the arse, or for someone to come along and help jump start your motivation? If so, I challenge you to a goal. A small goal, if you want. Or a big, audacious goal. You pick. Whatever makes your heart beat a little faster and gives you that little spark of, "oooh I'm not sure I can do that, but I'd sure love to TRY".
Now hit reply, email me, or post below and state your goal and tell me how I can help.
It's something I want for everyone I know, because it is life-changing. Each goal I went for, all those 5K's and half marathons and strength goals? They didn't just bump up my fitness, although they did that very well. The main thing meeting these goals did was strengthen my empowerment muscle. Where I had once lost the belief that I could do hard things, and follow through on them, I started believing that maybe I COULD.
It went like this.
I want to.
Maybe, just maybe I can.
I'll try again.
I'm not going to quit.
I will. I will.
I DID IT!
A fit body is nice, but having a sense of "I did it"? That's priceless. That's worth every fear and sweaty mile and failure and do-over. That's worth all the time sacrificed and the blisters and the aches and pains. Want to go from I can't to I did it? You know how it's done. Decide where you want to go, then one baby step at a time, "left foot right foot", keep going.
The first step is deciding where you want to go. Find a goal. Choose your mission. Find a tribe of people who want to do it with you. Or if you prefer solo, go for it. But don't let anything stop you, and pretty soon you will be celebrating your own "I did it", and you'll never be the same. And you just never know what magical trails it will lead you to.