Don’t put your goals off another day! Whether you’re making an investment in your health or training for a competition–YOU CAN SUCCEED!
Set a short- and long-term goals plan that will challenge you but not overwhelm your life. I am not saying that we start waving handkerchiefs and parasols at the track or athletic club and not focus on our goals. I am very much saying, however, that we can embrace music, dance, and “community” in our own authentic athletic way by making a commitment to the commitments we’ve made. It’s great to see what other people are doing, but don’t gauge your success against other people’s success. In a marathon, many athletes cross a start line with different skill sets and abilities. The same is true when you cross the finish line and you’ve accomplished your goal. We’ve all finished but every person’s accomplishments are different.
Know Your Plan
Organize your weekly calendar to include professional commitments (we need to pay our bills), makin’ groceries and meal prep, training and exercise, self care, etc. You can definitely use an app to organize your calendar. I enjoy using a paper organizer because it helps me to visualize the week and organize small details. Remember that recovery time is also a very important part of an athletic lifestyle. The same way I am personally accountable to show up to my employer on time to work, I also am personally accountable to show up to train or exercise according to the times I’ve scheduled in my weekly plan.
OK! I am totally a morning person and normally will start my day around 4am. The night before I set out my vitamins, workout clothes, work clothes, and pajamas. My athletic bag is usually packed (that includes taking out any sweaty clothes or used towels from the day before) with my implements, water, workout/training journal. My work bag is packed (don’t forget your work socks and shoes) and will need to add my prepared lunch. If I am scheduled to start at 5am at the track, I show up at least 10 minutes early so I can position my bag and get myself set up. If I start at 4:59am, I am on time. If I start at 5am, I am late. On occasion invite a friend to join you in your workout or longer training runs to switch things up for a more interesting experience.
Track Your Progress
I am a huge fan of keeping an athletic journal. Outside of sports, I keep a personal journal as part of my self care. The benefit to a workout or training journal is that it tracks where you started, and the progress you are making. It’s important to remember changing up your training routine. Sometimes reading every day high knee, toe touch, squats, etc. can almost become a little stressful for me as I attempt my tempo runs. Switching up my training set list on occasion has helped me keep an interest in my goals. The last thing I want to do is complete the same workout every day the same way; I would not want to run the same route around City Park every day.
Remember to not skip your warmup, cooldown, and hydration during physical activity. As a best practice, I use my phone for timing purposes and to keep myself on schedule. Other than those purposes I highly recommend that you turn your phone off. I know some people like to listen to music while training but I recommend the time as an opportunity to focus and self-meditate.
Wednesday evening is the day I organize my weekly schedule, athletic journal, and my meal prep supplies list. This is a great way to ensure the food made last week has been used to eliminate unnecessary waste. Normally I will complete my food prep on Sunday afternoon as I incorporate phone calls or FaceTime chats with friends. I like to make my breakfast daily, but I prepare my lunches, dinners, and snacks and put them into containers for the week. I prefer to use containers that are glass and not plastic. During Mardi Gras, I will also prepare healthy late night snacks like a wild rice salad or plum dumplings. I also prepare vegetables in containers that I keep in the freezer for quick food emergencies.
You do not have to be an elite athlete to accomplish elite goals! Know what you want to accomplish from week to week but also don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself in silly moments and appreciate what you’ve done. I like to play a great dance remix while I’m doing food prep and choosing my clothes for the week. Last week I was definitely running a catwalk in the city, but this week was definitely a decadent second line towards the end of summer. Here is a fun flash from my past article in OutSports.com that we can all say “Ohhhhhh My” and appreciate my journey to now together.