Baby steps

There’s about a million articles out there about changing your current habits (or creating new ones). Write on a calendar, make a gold star chart, set yourself reminders, et cetera, et cetera. And for anyone who’s trying to reach a new goal or build a new habit, I highly recommend to try them all out! See what works for you and what doesn’t. What I swear by might not work for you, and what doesn’t work at all for me might be just the thing for you.

(I like to treat life like one big science experiment, personally. Try all the things!)

Try all the things

(Man, I love science experiments.)

I think that the one thing that every successful new goal setting method has in common, though, is to take baby steps. You can’t expect yourself to just wake up and be able to run a 5k. (Well, okay. Maybe you can. I certainly can’t.) You’re not going to master calculus overnight. A sweater will not be the first thing you knit*.

I am not good at setting goals and actually remembering to do them. I’m absent-minded and I have to write it down in five places if I need to get something done. I’m terrible at habits–I set an alarm to go off at 9:30PM every day to remind me to take my Lantus, and I still manage to forget once in a while. You’d think I’d remember to take my life-sustaining medication, right? Nope. I am that level of absent-minded.

But I’m trying a new thing. Well, it’s not that new–it’s something people have been saying forever. Do it first thing in the morning. And I’ve always been like “I have no time in the morning; I’m slow and I get into work at 7:30.” (I’m really good at excuses.)

So this is cool because it has three effects: one, I’m getting out of bed ten minutes sooner by hitting snooze one less time. Two, I’m starting off my day with a little bit of exercise. And three, I’m actually getting in my small baby steps routine of side planks, lunges, and push-ups.

I shouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch. I think I’ve only been doing this for a week or so. My derby league has been focusing a lot on conditioning, since we don’t have a skating space right now. We didn’t focus much on off-skates exercise last season. And not that I’m complaining (I would so much rather skate than run), but we definitely do need more of that. It’s only going to help us if we get better at cardio, agility, and strength training. And some of the strength training we’ve been doing has made me realize how much I need to work more on my own.

I’ve always had a hard time with lunges. I have trouble with my form and it causes my inner thigh muscles to tie themselves in knots. So I don’t do as many lunges as I should because they’re difficult, when really I need to suck it up and do more so that they become less difficult. I asked the head coach what I should do to fix this, and he said that just doing a few every day will help for now. That’s my top priority right now. The push-ups and side planks I’ve added because I’ve lost a lot of the strength that I had built up at the end of last season, and I really miss being able to do a set of twenty push-ups.

Man, I am really starting to regret letting my end-of-season fitness go to waste…

*Actually, a sweater was the first actual project I knit. I didn’t know what gauge was and knit something three sizes too big for me. I don’t recommend doing it that way.

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