Thursday, 31 July 2008

A chicken of sorts

In my email box on a daily basis, I receive a Newsletter from Rudy Hollywood of TriRudy, a daily publication mainly addressing Tri issues.

Hopefully, through osmosis, I'll really get the Tri bug and "just do it".

Better late than never, I certainly "feel the fear", but have yet to "do it anyway", so now I just have to put my goals into action;

"Achieving your Goals"

by Ronda Gates

There's a great holiday card at my local gift shop.

The front says, "Start your New Year's Resolution now."

Open the card and it reads, "Get out your eraser!!

I've this sense that everyone whose hands have lifted that card from the rack has shook his or her head, chuckled and thought, "I can relate." Nevertheless, I left with the same sense of optimism I believe those readers share. "This year it will be different. "

Because the past few years HAVE been different for me I have a new sense of optimism about achieving goals. Your commitment that "this time it will be different" can be a reality. You are motivated, you are committed. you are optimistic. You may also be afraid that your best intentions will be compromised by another relapse. If you've ever said, I already know what I need to do, I just haven't been able to do it," here are some specific techniques to keep your spark ignited:


Goal setting is the art that makes everything else possible. It adds aim to energy, focuses effort and, for some, structures time. Surveys show that people who plan ahead are much more successful over the long term than those who plunge in without knowing where they're going or how they'll get there. You wouldn't take a long road trip without a map so it makes good sense to have a compass (and road map) for your fitness objectives.

Goals Should Be Smart

S = Specific

Saying, "I'll go to exercise class," is not a specific goal. I have a clearer picture when I write, "Next week I will attend step class at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday."

M = Measurable

Set goals that are measurable in quality or quantity. Measuring body fat percentage, hip to waist ratio or journaling and record keeping of diet intake or workouts achieved or increases in heart rate reserve are powerful and motivating tools to assuring a new habit becomes a long term behavior. Instead, make plans for an individual workout that nurtures you. Many folks find they're more committed to measurable goals if they report to a friend or colleague willing to help monitor their progress.

A = Attainable

In the enthusiasm of the moment we often make promises that are difficult to keep when enthusiasm wanes. If you're looking for a magic bullet the chances are you'll end up shooting yourself in the foot. Realizing that change doesn't happen overnight will help you set realistic goals you can achieve. It's the SMALL changes that are the key to permanent lifestyle change. For example, if are trying to lose weight you should avoid the painful rebound of crash dieting by planning to lose no more than one or two pounds a week.

R = Realistic

Goals should reflective of your values and compatible with your lifestyle. If not they can be the source of distress. Success is about learning how to customize your activities to find the right fit for you. For example, if you don't enjoy working out with others it's unrealistic to join an aerobic exercise class. I enjoy being with people most of the time, but have learned that my new heart rate monitor based exercise program is much more fun when I stride out on my own where I can manage my pace without distraction and return with a sense of accomplishment in addition to the satisfaction of another completed workout.

T = Timely

It's not smart to plan too many changes at once-it's too threatening to your internal sense of balance. Before you begin be certain you can identify other areas of your life that might be stressful and prevent you from "doing what you want to do". For example, although a workout can be an important stress reducer if it makes your schedule more unmanageable you may have to postpone a new weight training program or fitness class until it's more in keeping with a balanced lifestyle.

Write Down Your Goals

It's important to put your goals in writing. Written goals are a tangible sign of a promise that you intend to keep. They can remind you of that promise when time is short or if other priorities become pressing. Written goals will also help you track your progress, make your accomplishments more obvious and help you identify problem areas that need more attention.

Sadly, only 5% of Americans write down goals and objectives, but 95% of those who do succeed. (A survey of Fortune 500 executives indicates that they may be successful because they write down their goals and objectives.

Identify Supporters And Saboteurs

Some of us can be the lone ranger, but most people need coaches, cheerleaders and people whose belief in and support of s reminds us of our commitment to change. The friendship and support of others will make it easier for you pass through the sometimes difficult transition from old to new behaviors. I know folks who have taken responsibility for themselves and embarked on a changed lifestyle only to discover that most beloved friends and family members feel they are being imposed upon. So, identify the people who will nurture you and help you maintain your well-being, as well as those (even your loved ones) who don't see your point of view. Those supporters will help you maintain your commitment during periods of stress.

Plan for the Unexpected

Lack of time is the most frequently mentioned reason for discontinuing a fitness program. Life is filled with surprises so include strategies that assure you will make time for maintaining your commitment in the face of changing schedules, unexpected mini-crisis and external forces like long meetings, extra traffic, changes in car pools--you know what I mean!!

Affirm Your Behavior

Affirmations are powerful. Many people find that repeating certain sayings to themselves helps them accept things. They discover they are programming their sub-conscious to new beliefs. Affirmations should be positive such as "I am," "I have" as opposed to "I would like" or "I will try". Remind yourself daily, "I am a healthy person making changes in my lifestyle so I can live in the most healthy way."

Reward Your Success

Set up a reward system so you can reward yourself for changed behaviors. Each of us have different values for measuring success. Yours should be structured to satisfy you, not others. That reward should make you hum from head to toe! Good examples include extra time for yourself with a favorite book, a manicure or pedicure, a trip with a special friend or relative or a class or lecture or play that stimulates your mind. Avoid rewards related to food and drink that may be sabotaging in the long run.

Negotiating the path to new behaviors can be fulfilling and rewarding if we can hang in there for the weeks to months necessary to make new behaviors lifestyle habits. Then you are ready to actualize new potentials.

We have all read information such as this before. I am actually a goal oriented person.

I make my list at the beginning of every year, no matter how big or small my goal maybe.

As I achieve my goal, I do not erase it!! I take a highlighter and stroke through it and write "victory" beside it.

So, when will I be striking through "Try-a-Tri" and scratching Victory beside it?


Heck, I even wrote down the date, heck, I even posted it on the blog.

But being the chicken that I am, I haven't given myself the swift kick in the ass that I need to get out of my comfort zone....

Soon, yes, sometime soon! cluck, cluck, cluck! *is this positive pessimism*?

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Nitmos, Positive Pessimism, not for this chick, LMAO!!

On a positive note, good luck to Vickie who is competing at 70.3 Whirlpool Steelhead this weekend....have fun!!


Amy said...

Definitely food for thought! Thanks!

Wes said...

When I filled out my goals and objectives for the year, my coach sent me that, and I thought she was so smart! LOL!! Well, she is smart, but I thought that originated from her. Maybe it did...

Any who...

Those Try-A-Tri events are so awesome. They take all the pressure off of you. You can relieve 90% of the anxiety by just going out there, taking your time, and having fun. I'm just now getting my arms wrapped around the entire thing, and its been almost two years. Patience, don't get in such a damn hurry, soak it all in. You'll be awesome :-)

AKA Alice said...


This is a big deal in public education down here right now. I do professional development w/teachers who run from the room screaming when I talk about it...

Maybe the difference is deciding to set a SMART (or any other kind of) goal for yourself, and having someone else tell you that you have to set one... I'm like you...goal I LOVE setting goals for myself.

I like the reward idea too...

Well...that was a tangent, wasn't it???

Kim said...

Girl...if you can run a marathon-you can CERTAINLY do try a's so much easier-I promise! You get to mix things up so your just not working a certain core group of muscles. You will be surpirsed I promise.

Here's your Kick in the Butt from me: Get Going Girlie! You can SO do this.

Marcy said...

Get er going! I think you'd do fabulous. Afterall, aren't Gemini's the jack of all trades :P You've already got the running down pat. Come on Momma let's roll!

Running Knitter said...

Excellent post. I'm positive that you will sign up for a tri soon, and you will be awesome!

chia said...

I like "Do the Du" better ;-). "Trying the Tri" just sounds like the mockery in the kiddie pool all over again when I found out they had that red dye that stains the suit whenever you peed in the pool. Ya.

*aron* said...

great post! you can do this!!!! you can totally do a tri - not that i have ever done one :)

thanks for stopping by my blog! hopefully writing down my goals today will get me there on sunday!

Anonymous said...

Hey! I feel like I've just gone through a Mary Kay revival meeting! LOL
but the points don't change whether you're selling lipstick - which one can NEVER have enough of- or trying a tri!

says she who knows the power of positive thinking!

Nat said...

Stupid SMART goals, stupid performance assessment. (Sorry they make us do this exercise for our performance assessments at work.

aaaaaaaaaaaaarg!!!!!!!! Make it go away!

teacherwoman said...

Great post! Thanks for the info!

Bob Gentile said...

Goalsssssssssssssssssss .... Put it down!!!

Good luck with the TRI's

Chris said...

One of the best ways to prepare and get motivated for an event is to register for one. That always seems to work for me. Then it is a countdown.

bluecolnago said...

chris is right. sign up and give it a shot. what's the worst that can happen? you'll get wet? ha!

you'll never know, unless you tri!

you'll be fine :)

Carly said...

Great Post! The Tri is a very SMART goal. go for it!

Xenia said...

Thanks for this post. Very useful.

You can do it, Coach Lily! I know you can. Try-a-tri, baby! If you do it, maybe I'll do the scary option for my b-day. Who knows? ;)

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Love the post. I'm totally a SMART goal kinda person.

Try a Tri if you want to. Somewhere in the SMART criteria it should say that it should be something you WANT to do.

triguyjt said...

great post and its right matter where it might have originated....haha..

and it is true..once you sign up for something....its on baby!!!

Frayed Laces said...


Go sign up for a sprint Tri. I was so nervous at my first, but had a blast. It is way more fun than any race. I was grinning the entire time!