I’ve been thinking about ladders and lofty goals quite a bit this week. I was feeling like my goals weren’t lofty, I wasn’t even near the ladder, and I was spinning my wheels. I started thinking about the last 12 months and realized how much I have accomplished.
Five years ago, I joined an online Bootcamp for exercise. I had been doing their free workouts for a while before taking the plunge and joining. If you would have told me then that I would complete 2 marathons, a couple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks; take up hiking and hike a little bit of the Appalachian Trail (a little bit of the trail that included a mountain); challenge myself to log at least 10k steps a day and log 1200 miles of intentional walking/running in a year – I would have told you that you were talking to the wrong person. Maybe I am capable of setting lofty goals.
I have learned that “lofty goals” can not be measured against anyone else but myself, and that climbing that ladder is a team effort – even though I have to be the one to move my feet. One of my first lofty goals was to start running – and it took a couple of attempts to get going. Then it was to try a 5k. Then it just gained momentum. Never, ever, would my “younger me” believe it would even consider – much less participate in 5k, 5-miler, 10k, 8-miler, half marathons, marathons, and an adventure triathlon.
When I started the online exercise program, I would hide in the basement and try to fit in a workout while everyone was outside or away from home. I was just so tired of who I had become – how I looked, how I felt, and tired of being tired. Personally, I doubted it would work for me. But then things started happening, changing, feeling better…wow – who knew? And instead of my family seeing my attempt as silly – I found tons of support and encouragement. After a couple years, I found even more inspiration and encouragement when I gained an exercise buddy for morning workouts. I lost that joy when we started full-time rving – and I really miss that. Recently, I connected with an accountability partner through Energy Up (the online bootcamp), and I really appreciate the opportunity. She is a great inspiration and has added a new dimension to my fitness plan.
While we were on the side of the mountain, it occurred to me that I would not – actually could not – be where I was without the physical and mental foundation I built from participating in Energy Up. Sure, I do a lot more than the workout videos now – but by choosing to push the play button that very first time, I chose to make a conscious decision to change my life.
For a time, I was choosing “big scary goals” that I told others would challenge me. I realized a while ago that I was choosing those goals because I was trying to prove to myself that I could not meet them – I wasn’t good enough. Now, I choose my goals based on the pleasurable anticipation of achieving them. Yep, I have set a few that are pretty lofty – and maybe by some definitions scary – but they are scary exciting. If I don’t achieve them the first time, I will have learned a great deal for the next go round.
I also realize just how important exercise is. It is an integral part of my day. Sometimes it is walking. Sometimes it is running, HIIT workouts, NEWO, swimming, cycling, or hiking. Doing it first thing in the morning is the best way to ensure an excellent day. Sometimes I am out at 10:30 at night getting my miles in.
- Exercise is integral to mental, physical and spiritual health. Do something, anything, to get your heart rate up a bit. Let your body know you care.
- Climb the ladder of mental, physical and spiritual health. Remember that your place on the ladder may vary day by day – but every day, ask yourself what you can do to move yourself up the ladder.
- Lofty goals – it’s okay to make them scary – just don’t choose them to trash yourself. It’s okay to choose ones that will just plain make you feel good. Just like the ladder, figure out what one (small) step you can take each day to make progress toward those goals.
- Do periodic look-backs – you’ll be amazed at how far you have come. I am always more amazed at looking back and seeing God’s hand at work in my life and not realizing it at the time.
- Be kind to yourself. You are unique beautiful creation of God, worthy of love and kindness.
Link for Energy Up: energyup.co