One thing that I’ve struggled with a lot in the past is keeping up with fitness goals. Although my original fitness goal for 2017 was around yoga and not running, I decided to pivot activities. Despite changing things up, these same tips apply.
Context: My Seattle BFF has a goal to run every weekend, increasing the distance by at least 1 block each session. As I’m not a strong runner at all (not much as changed since 2015… heh) and barely made it 4 blocks after weeks of trying to increase continuous distance (I blamed it on the cold, wet, Seattle Fall weather back then, I decided to share some tips for how we’re helping each other stay accountable in keeping our fitness goals for the year.
1. Find a workout buddy!
Depending on what your fitness goal is, having a buddy to workout with is huge. Not only does it help with accountability for showing up (scheduling to meet up, making sure the workout/activity happens, etc), but it also helps to keep motivation levels high while actually doing the workout.
2. On top of one big goal, set mini weekly goals
Instead of only having one big goal, it’s been helpful to have weekly mini goals. I’ve found myself trying to set goals like “Run 1 mile without stopping”, only to become discouraged even before the run starts. Today, having a mini goal of pushing one more block in distance every time we run has made a big difference. Not only does this mini goal feel much more attainable, but the immediate satisfaction of hitting a new PR every time we run ups the stickiness of the overall big goal.
I like to think of this one like breaking down a big task. If we start with something huge, it can feel overwhelming and undoable. Breaking it down into the smaller components that make up the bigger picture and chunking the tasks makes it seem more attainable. Similar method for how I’ve been thinking about fitness goals and how to make them feel less daunting.
3. Rain or shine, keep a consistent schedule
One thing that I noticed in the past is how easy it is to fall off the fitness train. A day of rain and deciding to not workout could throw an entire schedule off– not only would I have put off working out on this particular day, but I found myself dragging my feet even harder the next day/time to workout (even if the weather was beautiful out) because I allowed myself to skip a day.
So far this year, I’ve gone for 2 rainy runs. One day it was so cold and bone-chilling that we decided to cut the run short. Despite not making it to our goal distance, the experiences of staying accountable and keeping each other motivated in bad weather made the next run in nice weather a lot more satisfying. I even caught myself finding more internal motivation on the next run because of the fact that the previous week’s run was less satisfying in terms of distance and set a new PR!
Even if you don’t have a goal for running, I think these 3 tips apply for anything that requires consistency and accountability! The hardest part is always getting dressed and out the door. Everything after that get easier! ;)
A huge thank you to Brooks Running for providing us with beautiful running gear featured in this post! I’m wearing last year’s LSD jacket (current season’s version), the ghost crop tights, and PureCadence 6 shoes. On my BFF is the men’s LSD running jacket in yellow.