It’s been years since I set New Year’s Resolutions, and that’s for a few reasons. First, I don’t believe that my goals need to be correlated with a calendar date. Second, I realized that most of the times I set New Year’s Resolutions, I never stuck to them, so I saw no point in continuing to set unattainable goals. Thirdly, I’m typically on vacation in December, and as important as it is to have goals, sometimes I just want to eat popcorn, watch Netflix, and not think about planning out my life.
This January, instead of setting a New Year’s resolution, I made myself a promise for the month, which was to attend 8 spin classes – or two per week. I set this goal because I’ve had trouble enjoying cardio or feeling remotely motivated to do any cardio at all since I stopped running. I decided that at the end of the four weeks I would reward myself with cycling shoes if I kept this promise to myself.
Today is a great day because I made it to 8 classes in 4 weeks! I can’t wait to start shopping for my shoes, and I feel really good about myself because I set and reached this goal. It was tough going outside in single digit degree temps to head to the spin studio, but I pushed through all that. I even got in the habit of treating myself to an americano after class as a small reward for waking up at 6:30 and clipping in before I got started with my day. I learned a several really important things about myself and goal-setting over the course of the past month.
It’s ok to buy yourself presents
I’m all about rewarding yourself for your progress. These rewards can be small, as long as they are meaningful to you! Every morning when my alarm rang obnoxiously at the crack of dawn, I knew I was 90 minutes away from my americano, and it helped!
It’s good to have something to look forward to
Having something stable to look forward to on the regular basis is wonderful. Without running or training for any races, my cardio workout plan was highly unstructured. I look forward to my BBG workouts, but outside of that, I found myself upset and unmotivated. I’m happy to say that now I can look at the runners outside my window with no ill sentiments at all! I knew that I had somewhere to be that was better for my injury and health goals.
Being around people so early in the morning is actually not so bad
While I work out in the morning, I usually work out alone and don’t actually converse with anyone until I’m on campus. Being in early morning workout classes forced me to talk to people while half asleep and it actually wasn’t half bad. While I can’t say I engaged in any long conversations with anyone at 7am spin, I met people and enjoyed myself! Who knew?
You’ll feel both excitement and relief when you hit your goal
After today’s spin class, my instructor said “good job”. But what I felt on the inside was “Fantastic job, Tori! You just crushed the entire month of January!”.At the same time, I don’t think I’m going to 7am spin this week. It’s my final week of vacation, and I’m going to sleep in and hop on the bike later in the day. Now that I know I can motivate myself to do cardio and feel good about it, I’m less stressed about what’s to come.
I started prioritizing wellness, not just fitness
In some ways, not running has done just as much for me as running. With my mind set on spin, I finally started to focus on healing and stopped focus on how many days it had been since I last ran. I want to recover and stay fit while doing that. I know that when I start running again I will not be able to bust out a 12-miler on my first day, but I’m no longer concerned about that. I’m concerned about right now and next week’s workouts. And if that means I do 5 more weighted burpees on Monday and turn up my resistance more on the bike on Tuesday, then so be it. Setting this goal of spinning shifted my concentration from things that I can’t do to things that I can do.
After spin class, I feel great! Tired, but great. I don’t have to lie in bed icing myself for hours or figure out what to do about the weird shoulder pain that just so conveniently popped up at mile 9. I know that I’m staying in shape and that the process itself works well for my body.
I don’t have any goals set yet for February, but I may just continue with my twice a week spin! I guess I’ll have to think of another end of month reward!