You may have read my goals for 2014. You may even have read my goals for 2013, and my honest post about my difficulty completing them. To compound the self-flagellation, I’ve become a data junkie over the past year, thanks to Endomondo, and most recently to both my Fitbit One and Fitbit Aria (and their related site Fitbit.com) and my Suunto Ambit 2S (and their related site, movescount.com). However, these newest additions were only put in over the last month, and with Endomondo this was the first year where I have what I feel is really accurate data on what I ran, skied, bicycled, etc. So, for the record, here are my stats with my own comments – remembering that no one can get in my own kitchen and break my own dishes quite like I can.
Writing a blog can be an interesting thing – you have the ability to say whatever you want, but you also have an almost self-imposed responsibility to write something meaningful, and to do that often. This post is one of those posts – it’s meaningful to me and as such I wanted it to be just right. I have wanted to write this post for some time – I’ve frankly been thinking about it for months, and have even started it on more than one occasion. I had even thought about posting it right around July 1, because that’s half way through the year, it’s time to re-evaluate your goals, right? It’s probably the single biggest reason that I’ve been quiet on this blog for the last little while – wanting to get this post out, and get it right – because this is a bit of catharsis. It’s about something we all face – something that looms large for each of us in some aspect of our lives, namely what to do when you fall off your goals. How to handle it. Most importantly, how to recover from it and get back on track?
So what happened?
It turns out that the biggest reason I didn’t start this post is because I didn’t want to face that very re-evaluation. That same goal-oriented drive in me would somehow look at everything as a huge failure, and that I had not accomplished what I had set out to do. I still haven’t and am now in the very real position of having to re-evaluate what my goals were, what I accomplished, what held me back, what kind of future I want to shape for myself, and most importantly what my new goals need to be to achieve that. This is the beginning of a long and somewhat scary process, as I have been working hard for years on achieving goals, and maintaining what I have achieved. The fact that I have had to put some things behind me, to make conscious choices to abandon things that I held for so long. Some of the goals I set over two years ago, and am now forced to simply put them aside, for various reasons. It’s hard. It’s hurtful. It’s painful, to be frank. Never did I imagine I would have to put goals aside – re-frame, perhaps, but just abandon? No. The biggest, the hardest one, was not playing in the World Masters Games in Turin, Italy this summer. The confluence of events, the total number of things that happened to cause me to cancel going were disappointing at the very least. My mixed doubles partner had to back out to care for a relative. And then at the end of June, I was seconded to Calgary, Alberta, to help my employer respond to the massive flooding there; I ended up losing the last five weeks of training, and didn’t head back to Vancouver until the same week I was due to fly to the World Masters Games. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I had been working towards this for the better part of the past 12 months, and it had been a true goal of mine for the past two years. In the end, the decision was practically entirely economic – it would have been the most expensive two games of singles in recorded history. I may have been able to gather up a doubles and a mixed partner – may have. That’s a pretty big risk to take. Coupled with my reduced training and heavy work schedule, I just didn’t feel that it was the right choice for me to make.
But that’s not all…
When I failed at that, I turtled on my goals. I didn’t want to see them. And then I realized – it had been forever since I had looked at them in the first place. I knew them all, had them all memorized, but there is something important, something very visceral, about reading them over on a regular basis. So, I began the process of reviewing all my other goals. There are many goals that I just haven’t hit yet this year. I’ve looked at the goals that I set out, way back at the beginning of the year, and I can honestly say that I’ve only actually started on or achieved about 35% of them. I have 4.5 months to go in the remainder of 2013. My biggest setback was the World Masters Games in Turin, sure, but there are many others that I haven’t been able to complete. There are many that I haven’t even started. That’s the re-evaluation that gets so deeply under my skin, the part that I’ve let myself down on the most, the part that hurts the worst. There are many reasons for it, of course – and ultimately none of them are legitimate. They are truly all BS. In my mind they were all great reasons to stay on my ass. They are the same things we tell ourselves, time and again, as we try to work harder, move more, get faster, and whatever. Forget the crap, I ignored my own mind over mattress. I did suffer from a minor ankle problem over the past month, but that has resolved and I’m back to running. Essentially, I got into my own head. And while on several levels 2013 hasn’t been a great year for me, when I look back and assess everything, this year has also been pretty darned good – and I have a lot of things to be thankful for. So I have to process and deal with the stuff that I perceived negatively, and focus on the things that were good. And I have to renew a commitment to my goals.
What are you going to do, boy?
So that leaves me here, in mid-August, disappointed with many things, and doing a re-evaluation and a re-commitment to myself. I can never ever lose sight of the fact that I’m doing this – I’m even blogging about it – for myself, for me to push forward and to think out loud. To motivate me, and maybe a friend or two along the way. To remember my journey, not as an interesting cocktail story, but as a journey. To remember the good and remember the painful. To help exorcise whatever demons are plaguing my desire to go out. Do I really have the drive and spirit to run right now? No. Do I do it anyway? Yes. Heck, I’m going to get up an hour early on vacation, while my kids are still asleep, and go for a gerbil run tomorrow morning before we go off to a theme park. And I’m going to do the same thing every morning for the next three, and I HATE treadmills. I’m going to reframe. To look back again at my goals, and to be honest about the goals that I’ve kept, and more importantly I’m going to give myself permission to scratch some goals off as they are now time-barred, and to start the ones that I haven’t yet started. And I’m going to add one or two along the way, just for good measure, to keep myself on track, and to be honest with myself. So, here are my updated goals for 2013 – and I tell you in advance it is WAY harder to post about how you’ve failed and what you have to do to get back on track than it is to post about how you are going to do, or how well you’ve been doing in the first place. And I’m going to do something I neglected to do a lot in the last few months – I’m going to review them, regularly. So, here goes, whether I’m happy with my progress or not:
|Complete the 200 situps challenge||Complete by September 30, 2013||I started this at the end of last year and have to start it again as I let it slide.|
|Weight training 3 times per week – hand weights||Start by September 1, 2013||Again, I started this at the end of 2012 and haven’t kept up with it. Time to start again.|
|Complete the 100 pushups challenge||Completed by December 31, 2013||I still hate pushups. I hate this program even more. But I’m determined to complete it.|
|Swim 20 lengths once per week||Starting August 26, 2013||Once I have returned home from vacation I will begin this in earnest.|
|Bike 50km per week in good weather||Starting April – May, 2013, and ongoing||This goal I have been successful in keeping – biking to work, nearly every day in Calgary, and continuing my riding.|
|Play in 6 badminton tournaments in the next season.||Starting September 1, 2013||I am going to actively compete in the sport I love, as often as I can.|
|Return to my original goal weight||October 31, 2013||I have crept up slightly in weight and can trim down some. I wish to return to my original goal weight from 2010, by Hallowe’en.|
|Take a yoga class (for runners)||Fall 2013||I took two of these last year. I will sign up for the next one and begin in September.|
|Health and diet maintenance||Listen to what my body is saying, and seek help when I need it||I won’t be reluctant to seek massage or physio, if I need to, as I have been in the past. I will sleep more, and continue to eat clean.|
That’s it. Basically, trim down, bulk up, and focus on my badminton and staying injury free. I am fully cognizant of the fact that there is no one on this earth that can be harder on me than me – I am a superstar if the sport is getting into your own head and breaking your own dishes. That said, I know that at this stage I still have time to get back on track for my goals for 2013. Not only that, but I have time to make this year better than last, and better than the one before. I can complete a good number of my goals and keep myself focused and moving down the road. Ultimately, any time is a good time to get back on track. So maybe it’s time to look at your goals, and what you’ve accomplished this year? How have you done compared to your goals? When is the last time you looked at them? Maybe it’s time!
I am a big proponent of stretching before you run,, and stretching after you run. Having started running as I was turning 40, I found that my muscles were very tight, and that stretching generally helped as a warm up, a prelude to the use that my body was going to get. Hopefully you read through all of the previous post, The Beginners Guide to Jogging and Running, where I talk a little bit about stretching; if you did you at least saw some very basic and preliminary resources on stretching before you run about two-thirds of the way through. If not, I’m going to expand on it anyway, and I will tell you that it has become somewhat controversial. I’m still a big proponent of stretching before and after – but first let’s have a discussion about the controversy, which I honestly think is quite misunderstood.
I’ve been talking a lot the past couple of posts about goals versus resolutions, etc., but I still take this time every year to evaluate three things. I do a year in review, where I look at what I set out for 2012 and how close I came to accomplishing them, I look at where I am at right now, and I look at what I want to accomplish for next year. Mine are somewhat simple now in comparison to the targeted weight loss goals I had before, but I set them every single year none-the-less. I missed a big one this year – I didn’t make it to 1000km out on the road and treadmill, but that just means I try harder next year.
These goals are all S.M.A.R.T. goals, and I’ve gone through a full evaluation on each of them. When I started in 2010 I had a simple goal of losing weight and a plan to do it; now my plans seem to be more focused on the goals and the delivery, which is getting even more into the “S” part of the goal setting than I usually do.
In any event, my goals , but here they are in no particular order, with the times I’ve given myself.
|Complete the 200 situps challenge (already in progress)||Complete by January 31, 2013||The result is to continue with situps on an ongoing basis|
|Weight training 3 times per week – hand weights||In progress and ongoing||The result will be more toning and definition – not bulk|
|Complete the 100 pushups challenge||Completed by April 30, 2013||The result is to complete the !@#$! forsaken thing – I hate pushups|
|Swim 20 lengths twice per month||Starting January 1, 2013 and ongoing||The result will be increased cardio from a different muscle group than running gives|
|Bike 50km per week in good weather||Starting April – May, 2013, and ongoing||The result will be a more active lifestyle with less dependence on my car for errands, etc.|
|Badminton coaching – twice per month||Starting January 15, 2013, through July 31, 2013||This is solely to prepare for playing in the World Masters’ Games|
|Play in 3 badminton tournaments in the next 6 months||Starting January, 2013||To be settled in competition, for the World Masters’ Games|
|Play in the World Masters Games||August, 2013||This has been a quiet goal for 2 years|
|Take a yoga class (for runners)||January 7 – April 30, 2013||Yoga for runners – to take better care of my legs and feet, and stay injury free|
|Health and diet maintenance||Listen to what my body is saying, and seek help when I need it||I won’t be reluctant to seek massage or physio, if I need to, as I have been in the past|
That’s it – short(ish) and sweet. Clearly my big goal is the World Masters Games coming up in Turin, Italy this summer. I can’t wait to play in those, but the idea makes me nervous as anything, and I have a lot of work to do to get ready for them – including find a mens doubles partner (hint, if you know anyone in the 40-45 age bracket…).
Those are mine, posted in this tiny corner of the interwebs for anyone to find. I’ll be checking back regularly on my progress. Make sure you have your goals written down, and are ready to check in on them every week or two! Good luck on your personal health and fitness journey this year!
I wrote previously about the inspiration you sometimes get from completely unexpected sources – like the older couple that ran into me on a hotel elevator. I’ve now got one that is so much better than that.