Start with WHY, end with HOW.
In my last post, Mind Mapping, I used a brainstorming strategy to help focus my thoughts and pick a direction for my next sole goal.
I decided I needed to go big or go home!
Starting tomorrow, May 1, 2019, I will complete some form of exercise every day for 365 days. Are you laughing? Are you thinking I am nuts? Are you questioning if this is safe or even good for the body?
I’ve stated my goal but now It is time to roll out the next two essential components, a strong WHY and a clear HOW.
I proved to myself that I can work a goal for a full year during my one-year booze snooze journey, so I am confident I can tackle a long term goal again. However, simply feeling inspired to exercise is not enough to keep me going when things get hard, when I start to lose momentum, or when I feel like giving up. I must have something that is going to motivate me and push me through the roadblocks. My motivation has to be fueled by something else. There must be meaningful, core reasons this is important to me or I won’t be successful.
WHY am I setting this goal?
PERSEVERANCE: My last goal was a good test of perseverance, but I didn’t really have to work it every day for 365 days because I did not drink every single day before I started the goal. This goal is stepping it up a notch because it will require me to work on something every single day with NO excuses. I feel like this will be a greater challenge for me. The journey could potentially teach me way more about drive and perseverance than I experienced in my last goal.
FIGHT CANCER: In January 2019 I was diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma. I went through brachytherapy treatment which administered radiation to my tumor. Now I am waiting to find out if my tumor has shrunk and waiting for the day they consider me NED (no evidence of disease). 50% of Ocular Melanoma cases result in cancer spreading to the liver. I would like to be in the 50% of people who live a long and healthy life without my cancer metastasizing. Keeping my body healthy physically can reduce inflammation, boost my immune system, alter hormones that may contribute to cancer growth, keep my organs strong and healthy, give me energy, and keep my emotions positive.
MINDSET: I fear exercise. I loathe exercise. I will find every excuse in the book to avoid exercising. Can I change that mindset? I REALLY want to learn to like it. For me, this goal is not about weight loss and defining my body and muscles. It is more about battling my inner emotions, demons, and thoughts. I want to learn to desire exercise so much that it keeps me locked in and undistracted. I want to mentally stay away from distractions that lead to procrastination and excuses.
PHYSICAL HEALTH: I am not doing this goal to lose weight or change my body now, but I do want to set my body up for success in the future. When I am living in my retirement years, I want to feel strong enough to chase after my grandchildren. I want to feel confident in walking or taking short hikes. I need to keep my bones and muscles strong and build my endurance. I really don’t like going to the doctor, so I want to be strong enough to stay out of their offices!
MENTAL HEALTH: I would love to eliminate a medication I take that helps me with anxiety. I started taking this medication years ago when I was struggling to cope with my father’s alcoholism. I have tried to eliminate this medication in the past, but I always go back to it during periods of high stress and anxiety. I am relying on this medication now to help keep me level as I navigate my cancer diagnosis. It would be awesome if exercise could replace this medication. I just need to focus my energy in a positive direction so I don’t perseverate on my ocular melanoma.
ROUTINES: The booze snooze taught me that I can alter routines in my life and stick to them. This goal should be no different. I want exercise to become a habit. I want to check off my habit tracker each day to measure my progress. I want the routine to be so consistent it eliminates excuses and procrastination.
BOOZE SNOOZE: I love the positive results from my booze snooze experience. I want to keep up the momentum. One element of this goal is going to be geared toward keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum.
ROLE MODEL: I want to set a positive example for my girls that exercise is an important part of healthy living. I want to show them that exercise doesn’t have to be tied to losing weight or defining muscles. I want them to see that I am committing myself to another goal and sticking with it. As a matter of fact, my 12-year-old daughter, Brynn, has asked to complete this sole goal with me! How awesome to share this experience with her and to have another accountability partner.
HOW am I going to accomplish this goal?
Getting to the end of this challenge is going to take some serious discipline. It will be very easy for me to lose motivation and get distracted, therefore, I need to anticipate potential roadblocks and preplan some solutions. I’d like to unpack this a little deeper in future posts, so, for now, I will identify some basic rules.
I will create a habit tracker to record my streaks and track my progress.
I will create a set of 10 exercise cards with varying difficulty levels (from very simple/easy exercise to more intense workouts). Exercise does not have to be an intense gym workout. Exercise can be as simple as a walk.
I will select one exercise card per day. I will record the number from the exercise card on the habit tracker.
I will add new exercise cards throughout the year as I get more experienced, learn new exercises, or want to change up the routine.
I will go to the gym at least 1 time per week during months 1-3, at least 2 times per week during months 4-6, and at least 3 times per week during months 7-12.
If I am feeling sick (cough, cold, sore throat, etc…) I will take a walk around the block as my exercise.
If I have a temperature over 99 degrees I will be excused from exercising for the day.
If I am traveling I will need to do at least one quick burst (30 jumping jacks, 20 lunges or situps, 10 squats, 5 push ups, 1 plank (30 seconds or more)
For each alcoholic drink I consume, I need to complete one quick burst.
This goal may seem daunting, and to many other people laughable and crazy, but I am ready!
I have set myself up for success with strong reasons WHY and clear steps for HOW.