Today my Act of Kindness is one for your mind. It’s giving yourself a shake, a kick up the backside or a good talking to.
It’s become obvious to me that I work best when I have a set goal. Through the course of Love Join Me last year we had many goals: to do 60 RAK in a year, to grow my hair without a haircut for over 12 months, to run a marathon in a month to name a few. Each of these goals was met and with it came an unexpected sense of satisfaction.
Since the project ended I’ve been a bit lax on my own personal goals. I didn’t feel the need to set any. However, in the last few months I was lacking in something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. My life was once again swallowed by work and working-mum guilt and the stresses were starting to get to me. I’d also read about how sedentary lifestyles are the new smoking, and being sedentary is attributed to an increased risk of many diseases and a shorter life expectancy. I am far from sedentary, but I decided I wanted to become fitter, to do something that was self-improving . I joined a bootcamp and started going back out for runs. Louise and I decided to do 10,000 steps a day throughout June for no other reason than it was a goal to set and stick to. Given that we are both active generally, most days it wasn’t hard to stick to. However, it didn’t allow for the odd lazy day that we were used to: those Sundays when it’s raining and you try to stick a film on or do something crafty. Despite this, I found myself motivated, easily fitting in the steps, choosing to go the long way round when the short way was quicker.
I also made the conscious decision that I would eat better, at least during the week. I have stuck to this also and feel encouraged to keep going and making myself healthier. I didn’t think that any of this was having an impact on me physically but then I ran the park run on Saturday and I found I was motivated and comfortable running. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard and as I crossed the finish line my hands fell to my knees to prop myself up for a few seconds as the lights flickered due to the heat. But, unexpectedly I had wiped two minutes and 40 seconds from my previous fastest time. I couldn’t believe it. It has made me realise that activity and eating right have made me do this but also that it’s mostly in the mind. I wanted to run faster and beat my time and I did. I really tried.
A few weeks ago, after a similar park run, I was demotivated. I couldn’t get faster or get a better time. I found it hard and couldn’t see a time when I would be faster. I wanted to stop because I thought there was no point. Now I am spurred on by my time. I want to get close to that again. I can’t see me beating it for a long time but who knows?
I’m setting myself goals and I’m sticking to them. I’ve now set myself more goals: to complete a 30-day fitness challenge and to continue with running and eating better.
So, if you’re feeling in a rut for any reason, be kind to yourself and make a goal, however small. Make goals that you are motivated towards achieving and that sense of achievement is a real boost.