Step Three: Set Goals

Something I am exceptionally proud of right now is that I have started a ‘streak’ and as of today it’s the longest running streak I have done so far.  I set a goal of running a ‘5k A Day’ in August and today I have run 10 days in a row.  Some days its all I can do to get 3.2 miles done, others I run longer, but for the past 10 days, I have done it, without fail.  When I started this personal challenge I had no idea ‘run streaks’ were a thing but they are and it explains a lot about my drive.

I compete with myself constantly.  I am a data tracker. I track my steps, my heart rate, my oxygen level, my stress level, my blood pressure and even my sleep patterns and I have for almost a year now.  I wear a Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo watch and I use a Samsung Note 4 phone.  I did my research, I figured out what I wanted to track, what system would give me the best results and at the time I went with the Neo.  Of course 3 months later Samsung came out with the Gear S but I was already impressed with my new toy…so yes, I am a wearable tech fanatic and it helps me keep my eye on the goals I set.  This could be a little of my OCD showing through…but oh well lol!

I am one of those people that embraces change.  Sometimes so much so, that I go a little crazy with the new years resolutions or I get so overwhelmed with setting goals, I try to do too many things all at once and in the end I fail it all, or at the very least I end up re-starting over and over and over again.  In which case, sets me up for feeling like a failure. (Although failure, is a great teacher in and of itself)

Whether its eating healthy or exercising more, no one should start going back to the gym expecting to run 5 miles and lift twice their body weight the first time out or try to kick a life long habit by going cold turkey.  Its unrealistic and VERY hard on your body.  So this time I started small, both in my endeavors and in my goal setting.

I had been running several times a week but in looking back at my Fitocracy logs I would go two, three sometimes a whole week without posting a workout or a run.  I was inconsistent and while I had a master plan in place, I had nothing that was driving me to hit my goals.  My habits were bad and I would let every little thing that could get in my way, do so.  Time was my worst enemy but my best excuse.

On August 1st, I decided to just work on ONE thing.  Running.  I knew I had committed to run a third of the miles in the ‘2015 in 2015’ Challenge and I was woefully behind.  The Bad Ass Valkyries Team was coming up short, and every month that passed, was making it worse.  I had ran 151.4 miles in 7 months.  My goal is 617.66 miles by December 31, 2015.  I have no idea if I will make it but the possibility of completely failing that goal bothers me.  Even if I manage 105 miles per month, it will be close.  I am not giving myself much leeway for sickness, travel, etc, but the thought of giving up…isn’t within me.  Not any more.

Goals drive me.  Push me.  Make me want more out of myself and if I absolutely have to, I reset or adjust when needed. Interestingly enough I have a much easier time adjusting my plan, than I do adjusting my goals, and when I fail a goal, its hard on me.  But it also teaches me that its ok to fail, as long as I continue to keep trying.  When I give up trying…that is when I am truly defeated.

So yea, I track my data.  I compete with myself, and with others.  Nothing pushes me harder than seeing other friends on Nike+ with more miles than me for the month.  I am competitive, it is my nature now, and my body is the best tool I have and I need to make it a more efficient tool.  When I finally got to compete against some of the female athletes that inspired me in armored combat, my eyes were suddenly opened.  Seeing the exceptional athletes from Israel, from Australia and from Russia first hand, and fighting with them and against them was exactly what I needed.  Not only was I twice their size, and twice their age, I was also wearing twice the weight in armor and no where near the skill level I needed to be in certain areas.

I admit, at first I took a step back and wondered if this was something I was going to continue doing, and did I want to take it to that next step and push even harder, knowing I was only getting older and realizing just what kind of affect moving forward was going to have on my life…and my body.  Then even my body started having second thoughts, and I started experiencing perimenopause and I needed to add hormone therapy to my supplement regime.  So again I thought…was this truly worth it?!?

And the answer is Hell Yes.

But I have to focus even more now, I have to adjust my plan and set better, stronger goals and I have to pay even more attention to my time, my body and my world.  Life doesn’t just suddenly open up and clear the way, albeit I have it much easier than most, for which I am thankful.  But it is still a constant struggle between my home life, my job, my hobbies and my fighting.

Setting goals helps..

From the smallest details of cleaning house, to buying a brand new car,  to scheduling 50 year celebrations! It all works out, one way or another.

So here I am, 10 days into running my ‘5k A Day’ challenge and I feel great.  I take it one day at a time, one run at a time and it works. I also haven’t had an ice cold coke in that same time frame, I decided to try to kick one bad habit at the same time I was learning a good one.  I fight that bad habit every single day, multiple times a day, but I’ve made it this far…and that competitive edge inside me can’t give up on the streak, no matter how bad I want to, and believe me, I want to.  (Right now as a matter of fact…)

So set a positive goal. See it thru for 30 days…and that goal is much more likely to become a habit.  If you feel like you can handle breaking a bad habit…try that for 30 days as well.  Even if you don’t break it, at least you know you can go 30 days without it!

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act…but a habit.”  -Aristotle

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