What Are Your Fitness Goals?

Take a moment to think about your overall health and wellness.  Choose one area where you would like to see a change.  This could be increasing the amount of time you participate in fitness activities each week, reducing intake of a certain unhealthy food, quitting smoking, getting a better night's sleep, or incorporating meditation into your routine.  These are just a few of the hundreds of possible goals a person could have with respect to their health.  

Once you have one idea in mind of an area for change, state it in the form of a goal.  State it in a way so that you will know when the goal is achieved.  For example "get in better shape" is vague, and it can be difficult to determine when this has happened.  However, "each week I will attend two yoga classes and go for one 45 minute walk for the next month" is an objective goal.  At the end of each week, and again at the end of the month, it can be determined if the goal was met.  

For more details on how to set and write goals, look up S.M.A.R.T. goal setting.  A quick search online will produce many well written articles, so I won't repeat that here. 

Once you have defined your wellness goal, take this important step:  get out a piece of paper and a pen/pencil/coloured pencil.  Write that goal down in big letters, taking up the whole paper.  This gets posted somewhere you will see it everyday.  You can also take a photo of your written goal and make it your screensaver, so you will see it throughout the day.  The act of physically writing it down and frequently looking at your goal will switch your brain into gear to make it happen.  

Now take that overall goal and decide what steps need to happen.  With the goal listed above, going to yoga and walking, you may need to purchase a pass at the yoga studio, check your walking shoes, call up a friend and make a plan so you have a walking partner, organize childcare, check out the yoga studio schedule, etc.  Each of these steps carries you on your way toward the goal.  Take out another piece of paper.  Write out all the steps.  As you achieve each one, put a big (I mean BIG) check mark beside the item.  It will feel great as you check things off your list.  Don't do it in your head, do this physically.  

Get out your calendar.  This can be on your laptop, phone, diary, whatever you prefer.  Schedule time to achieve your goal.  These time slots are as important and non-negotiable as any other in there.  If you have scheduled 7:30-7:45 am meditation on Tuesday, then on Tuesday morning make sure you are ready at 7:25 with everything you need for a quiet 15 minutes.  

When you see your posted goal, when you notice the entry in your calendar, smile and feel proud. You are working toward a positive change.  Give yourself a mental and maybe physical pat on the back.  If there are slips, which will happen, do not beat yourself up! Tomorrow is another day and a chance to get back at it.

What is your health and wellness goal going to be?  

50+ Fit and Fiery

Age 50 and over.  What is happening?  Well lots of changes, in our bodies, our minds, and in our lives.  As I turned 50 I realized that the title that I most cherished over the past 23 years, "Mom of Minor Children", no longer applied.  This also affected my social life as hanging out with the other hockey/soccer/cheer parents was over.  Mentally, we often grapple at this age with reflections of our adult life to this point, and what challenges we want to take on going forward (if any).  Okay, now the physical changes.  I have always been a fit person but now the weight seems easier to stay on, harder to come off.  Other "fun" changes include menopause, new or enhanced medical conditions, past injuries that are giving us more problems.  Fun indeed.  

Well, let's not make this a downer!  Being this age means we now have the time to invest in ourselves, explore interests, try new activities, focus on our health.  We are less in a daily survival mode of meals, laundry, bills, kids sports, career, groceries, etc.  Coming to the "Fit" part of the title, having some free time to breathe means we can investigate new types of fitness, and find out what works for us.  In my late 40s I discovered Pilates.  Both as a participant, and then as a certified Mat Pilates instructor, I fell in love with this form of fitness.  The benefits are many for all ages, and in the 50+ age group, the specific outcomes are great.  Core strength means a flatter tummy, whittled down waist, strong back, better posture, and improved balance.  

Have you ever noticed a picture of you that someone else took, and learned something about yourself?  That happened to me a few years ago.  I looked at a couple photos, and thought "what is going on with my posture?  Not good!"  So I became aware, and self corrected when I remembered, but once I started doing Pilates it became more and more natural to go through the day with a proper posture due to strengthening and stretching the appropriate muscles.  I have now had that photo experience more recently, but with a better outcome:  "Hey, my posture looks really good in this photo, a photo that I did not know was being taken (and therefore did not stand up straight just for the photo-op.)"

So in our more mature ages, we can take fit to a new level.  Trying out new things, finding what you love, and have fun at, and working a variety of physical fitness activities into your life.  

So in addition to being 50+ and Fit, what about "Fiery"?  A definition of fiery is "consisting of fire or burning strongly and brightly".  Ya baby, I like the idea of burning strongly and brightly.  Some synonyms are "fierce, hot, spirited, sizzling".  Apply these concepts to yourself and see if you don't feel sassy and sit up a little taller.  Yes, let's be Fiery.  Take a moment to think about what that word means to you.  Take a chance, try something new, laugh out loud, turn up the music and dance by yourself, learn a new skill.  Burn strongly and brightly my friends.  

What is age 50+?  A time to have a different kind of freedom, a time to take charge of health and fitness, a time to try something new.  A time to take deep breaths, smile, and enjoy.  

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