My last timed mile was at age 15, and I decided I would never have to run again (I will take an elliptical over a treadmill any day!). Fast forward 10 years, and I started doing Crossfit with my husband. If you aren't familiar with Crossfit, the workouts are pre selected for each day and everyone does the same workout. They are a variety of cardio and strength training. For the first little bit there were short runs thrown in work out, and even though I hated them, I could run 100 meters. Then I saw the first workout that included a mile run. Um, no way can I do that! And I didn't. I picked different days to go.
After doing work-outs for a couple months at Crossfit, I made the decision to start learning how to run, and maybe just learn how to like it. I set small goals to start. Run 200 meters without stopping. Run 400 Meters without feeling out of breath. I participated in the workouts that included running and slowly built up to that workout that included mile runs. It wasn't easy. I had to look at my goals, work towards them, and increase them as I accomplished them. Am I to a marathon yet? Nope. But who knows?? Maybe one day! (Now I'm working on the rope climb, but we can discuss that another day)
Setting fitness goals is incredibly important when including exercise in your wellness plan. Not just goals in your head, but written out goals you can see and work towards. No matter where you are working out, the gym or at home, and no matter what you are doing (walking, machines, weights, DVDs, exercise classes, etc), write these things down. Get yourself a small notebook and track that progress! Have a place to put your goals down and check them off as you accomplish them. How will you know how far you have come if you can't track back to where you started? If your goal is to walk 10 minutes, 4 times a week, write it down and work towards that.
With fitness, try not to make weight loss your primary goal. Sure, its a good side effect, but think about the benefits to your heart and circulation, or being stronger, having better stamina! Make goals for how many reps with what weight (even if it is moving from 2lbs to 4lbs!), how long you can run, how many minutes on the bike, how long you can hold plank position. Whatever it is you are doing, write it down and make a goal to improve. This helps with weight maintenance down the road, continuing to have goals to work towards!
What goals are you working towards right NOW?? Let me know in the comments section :)