As you take some time to reflect on what you accomplished over the past 365 days and think about the upcoming year its important to answer some hard questions.
Can you declare victory on all of your resolutions from last year?
Are you carrying over some to this year?
A few years ago I was given a challenge to plan out how many training sessions I wanted to perform for the following year. The challenge was broken down by how many sessions a month I planned to do. My personal goal is to train 5 days a week- it’s my stress relief. It keeps me centered and calms my brain, and allows me to still fit into the same suit I bought 17 years ago (hopefully it will come back in style soon). If you make the assumption that there are 4 weeks a month (each month varies a bit) that equals 20 workouts a month. 12 months in a year and my yearly total is 240 workouts.
Your personal goal may be different. Fitness should make your life better, not overtake it, or control it. So maybe you have three days a week available to train. Also take into account each individual month. Will you be traveling over the summer? Extremely busy at work during a time of the year? Plan that out as well. The goal here is to succeed in whatever number you set, not to set an unrealistic number that is impossible to achieve.
Write it down somewhere, then start keeping track.
It should be noted that we are only tracking intentional exercise, or exercise you plan to do for your personal benefit. Going to the gym counts, going on a run counts. Going to the gym and then on a run counts only as one session.
Teaching a fitness class doesn’t count: you are coaching, not getting your personal workout. Going on a walk would count if you normally consider that to be your form of exercise. Walking to the mailbox— doesn’t count. Shoveling your driveway also doesn’t count; you have to do that anyway. It may be tiring but it’s man vs nature, not a workout.
There will be bumps in the road that you didn’t plan for.
Illness, travel, work, LIFE…. Maybe one week you miss a session. You might miss a whole week or longer due to illness or injury. Shake it off and get started again when you can. Try to get in an extra one each week here and there until the total gets back on track.
My first year doing this I hit the goal right on. My second and third year were not as successful. I think I missed the mark by 10 or more each year due to a variety of factors. I didn’t get down about it, those things happen, but it didn’t stop me from trying and 220 training sessions a year is nothing to be ashamed of.
The cool thing is when the numbers start to add up. I don’t necessarily get 20 each month. Some months I get more than 20, some a few less. In 2014 I was able to hit my goal and exceed it by 1 and completed 241 training sessions.
Many resolutions are vague with little quantifiable measurement. This one keeps you honest each month and lets you know when you are on track or need to pick it up a bit.
I’m setting my goal of 240 again. Post your goal personal goal below in the comments section and we can hold each other accountable.