Have you ever felt jacked up to start an exercise regime and then the plan fell through? I have often tried to set up plans to exercise. I would exercise for a couple of days and then give up until another six months had passed. When I was younger I swam twice a week for a few years. I also was an equestrian and jumped horses for eight years. I committed myself to those sports and it was easy to keep following through for years. Then I tried running and my plans fell through over and over again. Now I have been sticking to an exercise regime for three months. So how did I do it?
Step 1: SMART
I made a SMART goal. This stands for singular, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time limited. My goal was to run on the treadmill for 15-30 minutes at 4.0 speed three times a week. This is singular as it is one goal. Measurable due to the fact that it is 15-30 minutes at 4.0 speed. Attainable and realistic because I could make it a reality. And time limited as it was within a week.
Step 2: Identify
I identified the reason I wanted an exercise regime. With riding the reason why I stuck with it for eight years was because I loved it. I loved the bond with the horse and I loved how jumping could fade away all my worries. So I transferred what I loved about riding into running. With running it is a bond between your mind and your body. And sometimes it does fade away my worries. The other reason I wanted an exercise regime was for heart health. I was on a surgical cardiac unit as a student nurse and the health of my heart became a priority from this.
Step 3: Visual
I made my efforts visual. I created a table with 100 squares and I called it the “100 Mile Challenge.” For every mile that I ran (about 15 minutes) I colored in a box with a highlighter. And I keep it attached to my mirror in my room so I can see it. There are a weeks where lots of boxes have color and others weeks where few do. But looking at it as a whole makes me proud of myself for continuing to exercise. I have heard of other people using maps to keep track.
Step 4: Redefine
When I first started the “100 Mile Challenge” I was working in a job that did not use a lot of movement. After five weeks of my exercise regime I had started working at my other job. This job requires me to be on my feet for 12 hours. I started to get frustrated and wanted to scratch the whole exercise idea. So I came up with another way to be able to color in boxes. I decided for every 15 000 steps I walked within a day I could color in one box. At times you might need to redefine your regime because let’s face it life happens. When redefining ensure that it remains challenging, attainable, and realistic.
Step 5: Role Model
My role model for exercising is my significant other (who is the co-owner of this blog). He has a exercise regime down pat. He will tell you that he loves the mental and physical feeling. He has inspired and motivated me to continue on my own regime. He also holds me accountable to exercising. An exercise regime is a personal journey but it definitely helps to have a role model.