Problem Child wrote a great post yesterday about setting goals for the new year and having a tangible list of things we can mark through to show our progress. I'm all for making lists and there's nothing quite like the feeling of taking a #2 pencil and striking through the items on a list one by one.
I've been working on some 2007 goals. Most are still in the mental stage; I haven't commited them all to paper yet. But let's pretend that I have and that I now am in possession of a beautifully typed list titled "Playground Monitor's Goals for 2007."
Obviously those goals won't get accomplished simply by being on that list. There are some steps I need to take so I can grab that #2 and mark them off.
Here's a list (what else?) of ways to help make those goals become a reality. And as an example, we're going to use one of my goals.
This is an elliptical trainer. There's one just like it in the bonus room over my garage which is also my DH's office, painting studio, music conservatory and now, exercise room. It was our Christmas present to each other. It's supposed to give one a great all-over workout -- upper and lower body -- plus give you weight-bearing benefits for your bones without the pounding and jarring to your joints that jogging or even walking a treadmill causes.
I need to exercise. I've gained weight. My clothes don't fit. My thighs rub together. I don't want to wait until I have a dowager's hump to start worrying about bone density loss.
So one of my goals for 2007 is to use this machine and sculpt a new body for myself. Oh, I'm not fooling myself into thinking I'll end up looking like Hilary Swank did in "Million Dollar Baby." I don't want bulging muscles. I'd just like to be able to fit back into the dress I wore to my son's wedding last year and wear it at awards night at RWA in Dallas next summer.
I've done some research online about elliptical training and found that 20 minutes of elliptical work is like 30 minutes of jogging without the stress on your feet and joints. I've also read that I need at least 20 minutes of exercise that raises my heart rate and I need it at least 3-4 times a week. So I've marked on my calendar the days when I plan to climb the stairs to the bonus room and hop on the machine. I doubt I'll be able to suffer through 20 minutes straight at the beginning. But if I do two 10 minute sessions a day I'll still get benefits and I'll be increasing my endurance as I go. And regardless, something is better than nothing.
Of course, I had to plan around things. I have a little medical procedure (which I lovingly refer to as the Roto Rooter job) coming up in mid-January, so I know I will not be hopping anywhere except the bathroom on the day before the procedure. And at some point I have to have surgery for a bone spur and partial rotator cuff tear in my left shoulder.
I've also talked with the DH about how to use the machine to achieve what I want. He's been using an elliptical trainer at his gym for about 5 years. I'm sure he'll nag... uhm... encourage me to follow through with my program. And I should probably take a photo of myself before and tape it to my bathroom mirror along with a photo of the dress I want to fit back into. And I need to repeat to myself daily "I WILL fit into that dress by next July!"
I have no doubt I'll have some obstacles, especially if I take my eye off my goal of wearing that dress again next summer. But with my mentor encouraging me and the photo posted on the mirror and my schedule written in my calendar, I should be able to get my eye back on my goal and knock those pesky obstacles out of the way.
So... that's my goal. And in the course of telling you about it, I've given you the tools for achieving your goals. What are those tools?
Have a Plan (my research and the schedule for my workouts)
Be realistic (not expecting Hilary Swank's body or that I can do the max workout right away))
Be flexible (accepting I won't be able to work out that day in mid-January or when I have the shoulder surgery)
Seek help/have a mentor (talking with the DH about the machine and doing online research)
Believe/Visualize your goal (putting up a before photo plus a photo of the dress)
Be Accountable (the DH nagging... uhm... encouraging me, not to mention Y'ALL nagging... uhm... encouraging)
Write it down (the schedule in my planner plus the photos)
Affirmation (repeating to myself that I will wear that dress next July)
Last but not least, stay focused. Henry Ford wrote, "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. " So keep your eyes on the prize.
I also will have some writing goals as well this year and I've been careful to make them goals I can control. They're writing goals, not selling goals because I can control my writing but cannot control an editor. My sister and I are going to do another girl trip this year and we're talking about a Caribbean cruise. And I have some shoulder surgery I need to schedule and get done before I damage my rotator cuff any more. Plus I have another goal I'm toying with but I'm not ready to publicize it yet.
A journey of a thousand steps begins with a single step. -- Lao-Tzu
But just how many steps do I have to take on that elliptical machine until I've lost weight and my thighs don't chafe???
Have you come up with a plan of action to make sure you achieve your 2007 goals?
P.S. Tell us a little about your goals and how you plan to achieve them and one lucky commenter will win a prize!
P.P.S Carol and Karen T are the winners from yesterday. Please email Problem Child to arrange for your prize.