How Exercise Helps Me Achieve My Goals

I recently shared my list of goals for the year and announced my word of the year: WORK. After that post, I realized I wanted to share a bit more about why I chose the word “work” to intentionally drive and focus my year ahead. Intentionally focusing 2017 around the word “work” was a decision I made during the last quarter of 2016 after a lot of reflection and prayer. 2016 was, by and large, a year of grad school for me. After I completed my coursework in September, I spent the remainder of the year resting, reflecting, and looking ahead.

Making 2017 my year of work lead me to some (somewhat) unexpected places: I’m finding time for exercise. In the past, it always seemed counterintuitive to me that so many successful people I knew made time for exercise. Wouldn’t it deplete their energy? How do they come back from the gym looking so happy? Where do they find time for the activities they actually enjoy?

I now know that exercise gives energy rather than depleting it. I also know that finding an exercise that’s enjoyable not only leaves me feeling happy, but it is also becoming an activity I look forward to most days.

My exercise routine is not one intended to transform myself into a body builder or to rapidly drop weight. Instead, the purpose of my routine is to help me have more energy and happiness. Focusing on work this year meant that I absolutely had to find a way to be more productive with my time, and exercise has helped me find more energy, which, in turn, has made it feel as if I have more time to dedicate to all those areas needing my attention.

Instead of feeling encumbered by needing to log an hour at the gym or 30 minutes on the treadmill, I know that I’ll gain enough energy to help me get through all of my tasks ahead.

Here’s some benefits I’ve noticed from regular exercise in my own life:

  1. More energy.
  2. More mental focus and clarity.
  3. I’m making better use of my time. Rather than crashing on the couch for several hours each evening out of sheer exhaustion, I’m now accomplishing more with my time because I feel better.
  4. I’m more intentional about taking my AdvoCare products, which make me feel better every single day.
  5. I’m happier.
  6. I’m sleeping better.
  7. I have more fun in my life.
  8. Household chores no longer exhaust me.
  9. I’m saying “yes” more.
  10. My work is more focused. I’m making better use of my time.
  11. Travis and I are spending more quality time together playing games, doing puzzles, or some other activity I never had the energy for before.

For the longest time, I thought exercise was absolutely no fun at all. In fact, I hated it. Finding the right routine for me has really changed my mindset about exercise. So, what’s my exercise routine look like?  I see a personal trainer for one hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I try to walk/jog on my treadmill for 30-40 minutes at least one day a week (usually Monday), I do a yoga flow class on Friday, and I try to be a little active in some way during the weekend. Examples: walking the dog, yard work, cleaning, etc.

I don’t have a stringent program that’s impossible for me to keep up with. In fact, I don’t always have time in my schedule for this exact routine, but I do the best I can. I know that I have two hours scheduled every week with my trainer, and I do the best I can to squeeze some activity into every single day. And, it’s totally working for me right now! Have I lost a ton of weight? Nope. Have I lost some weight? Yep. I feel so much better every single day that I truly think in the year ahead I’ll be able to continue focusing on exercise to help me do great things during my year of “work.”

Goal Setting in 2015

I’ve been thinking about goals quite a bit recently. I learned last year that smaller goals are more attainable than larger goals. For instance, I began taking a multivitamin, developed a skin care routine, and worked hard to receive a promotion in 2014. So, that has me thinking; what do I want to accomplish this year? What good habits can I add to last year’s building blocks to make me a better, more well-rounded individual? Here’s my list:

Health and Fitness

  1. Continue seeing a chiropractor for migraines/headaches. This is actually a habit I started in 2014. Seeing a chiropractor has already greatly helped my headaches, and I’m hopeful it will continue helping.
  2. Drink more water and less sugary beverages. I’ve begun implementing this, and all I can say is, “I want a Coke. Now.”
  3. Exercise at least 3 times/week. I joined a gym a few weeks ago, and I’ve been going 3 times a week. I would like to incorporate more exercise into my weekends, though. Plus, there’s a Friday Zumba class I’d like to try!
  4. Lose 20 pounds. This won’t be fun.
  5. Eat balanced meals. I have two big problems: I don’t eat enough protein, and I really like sweets.

2015 Goal Setting at BetweenWeekdays.com

Personal

  1. Read one book a month. No, not a book where I learn something; a book simply for enjoyment. 
  2. Watch less TV. Except for the Big Bang Theory and Downton Abbey, of course.
  3. Blog one time per month. I think I can manage 12 blog posts this year.
  4. Go outside more. Hello sunshine!

Financial

  1. Pay off the loan on our truck. We only have 2.6 payments left!
  2. Begin contributing to a 401K. I’m so excited to finally be eligible to contribute to my company’s 401K program.
  3. Finish saving money for our bathroom renovation. We’re very nearly there! In fact, plans are already in the works.

House

  1. Renovate the master bathroom. Finally!
  2. Finish painting the kitchen cabinets. Finally!
  3. Finish painting the doors. Finally!
  4. Reduce clutter. Steadily.

2015 Goal Setting at BetweenWeekdays.com

I know the above seems like a lot, but I’ve already implemented most. Plus, I have all year to work on it! What are your goals for 2015?

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