Since I started doing races for myself in 2010, I’ve done two half marathons a year (three in 2017).
Not this year. I did only one.
And that one was hard-fought — I had the trifecta of cold, rain and battering wind. It was the first time that I honestly felt like not finishing a race. I likely would have, if I wasn’t already headed in the direction of shelter and a hot shower for the remaining distance of the course.
For 2018 race number two, I looked to find one that would coincide with a trip to northern California, eager to add another state to my race list. While sorting out details of finding a viable event, I held off ramping up my training, and in the end neither happened.
Somewhere, deep down, my motivation switch had been flicked to “off.”
The year had started on a down note and, as I came out of that fog (and the fog that was much of 2017), I was barely going through the motions of regular physical activity and healthy eating.
Sometimes we need a break … although it seems silly to say we need a break from healthful habits. But sometimes
we I need to feel gross about ourselves myself to snap us me back into the desire to not feel gross. Rock bottom, as it were.
I think I’ve reached that point.
I don’t know if it’s good or bad that the timing coincides with New Year’s — a.k.a., time for resolutions. At the very least, I can remind myself of how to have better chances of keeping a resolution.
Resolutions — or goals — should be SMART. That is:
Specific: The more specific, the better. Break it down into smaller pieces.
Measurable: Figure out how you will measure whether you’ve reached a goal. Keep a tracker or journal, for instance?
Attainable: This is similar to the first step above: Keep it specific and concrete. Lose 50 pounds is a great goal. But Lose 10 pounds is more doable as an initial aim, which fosters a feeling of accomplishment when you reach it (and then set your next 10-pound goal).
Realistic: Is your goal something you can achieve with current resources and/or knowledge? If not, can you easily obtain the resources needed? Again, break it down into specific pieces.
Timely: The goal should include a time frame in which the goal will/can be achieved.
As 2019 begins, be easy on yourself.
I plan to shoot for very small goals, even day-by-day, to get back into a regular exercise habit, make better food choices, and rediscover my inner motivation. Here’s hoping.