By Sara Baker
Spring: Time to Reflect, Refresh and Renew
Ahhh the feeling of spring! Although Colorado in April can bring 78 degree weather one day and snow flurries the next, I love the feeling of new beginnings and a fresh start when spring arrives. I also find spring to a great time to set new goals. It’s April, now 3 months since you might have started your New Year’s ‘Resolution.’ Perhaps they are still going strong or maybe they faded away in the typical 6-week time frame? Either way, since everything seems fresh and new this time of year, what a great time to really evaluate your life and see where you are and where you would like to be. Although I believe in goal setting in multiple areas of life (career, financial, relationships, etc) in the spirit of JillFit, I will focus on physical goals.
Take this time to ask yourself a few questions: Am I happy with my current level of fitness? Am I happy with the way I look? Of course we aren’t always going to be 100% happy with our bodies or even try to achieve perfection, it is simply a good exercise to ask simply if you are happy? Are you confident? As a whole, do you or could you make some improvements? How do you feel physically? Are you getting enough sleep? Do you still have energy at 3PM? Are you recovering from your workouts properly? Many times we simply put our head down and go, grinding it out day after day and forget to check in with our bodies. These are all great starting questions to ask yourself when evaluating your physical health and happiness.
Now that you have done an inventory, it is time to set some goals. You have all probably heard of setting S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals. However, there are a few more valuable considerations when it comes to goal setting that I believe are crucial.
First, make sure your goals do not contradict any other goals you have. If one of my goals is to consume less alcohol, one of my other goals cannot be to get together with my girlfriends for happy hour once a week. You can simply make a goal to get together with your friends once a week but maybe not over high calorie drinks and bar snacks. What about making the goal of getting together in a way that does not involve food?
Next, writing your goals in the positive vs. writing them in the negative is very important as well. Instead of saying, “I will not eat candy and refined sugar,” you can simply state, “I will satisfy my sweet tooth with a cocoa drink.” This positive mindset can have a significant impact on you and your success as instead of focusing on what you cannot have or do, you can focus on all the alternatives and endless options you have.
I have just taken my inventory and have come up with my springtime goals. I always struggle with getting enough sleep. Therefore, one of my current goals is to get no less than eight hours of sleep every night, even on weekends. This means shutting down the computer earlier or not reading as long before bed. I also tend to get very set in my ways in regards to my workouts. I do have quite a variety during the week (HIIT, lifting, hot yoga, etc) but I can get very rigid in my schedule, meaning I spin only on Mondays and Fridays, run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, lift certain body parts with certain lifts on specific days, etc. Therefore my other goal is to change up my workouts and routine every 8 weeks to keep my body challenged, responsive and to prevent a plateau in my physique goals.
So with the days getting longer and the newness and freshness outside, I challenge you to take an inventory of your ‘physical’ self and set some springtime goals. What areas could improve? How will you reach these goals? How will you feel after you have accomplished these goals? The options are endless. Good luck and I would love to hear from you! –Sara