Can I be honest with you about something? (That’s rhetorical. If you’ve read my blog before, you already know that I’m going to be honest to the point of bluntness. And if you haven’t… Hi, I’m Pahla. I don’t hold back.)
January hasn’t really gone the way I’d been hoping it would.
I had big plans for January (and all of 2017, if you wanna know). I was starting a different style of training plan for running and chasing after some speed goals that were a little intimidating, but still reachable with hard work and self-confidence. I was super excited about running more races this year and seeing some changes in my body and my athleticism.
So I’m not really sure how it happened… one minute, it was early December and I had just run the most awesome marathon of my life, then I started setting new goals for 2017 (including, but not limited to, shiny new PRs at the 5K, 10K and half marathon distances), and the next thing I knew, it was today and I’m no closer to reaching that 5K PR than I was seven weeks ago.
And this wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that I’m supposed to be running a 5K in like two weeks. Oops!
So, what the heck happened?
I’ll tell ya: classic self-sabotage is what happened.
Yes, even after all these years as a runner and health coach and fitness professional, sometimes I still shoot myself in the foot with my own fitness goals! Isn’t that crazy? Well, actually, no. We all do it from time to time and learning to identify self-sabotage is a crucial part of the fitness journey.
My mistake – and I think a lot of you dear Killer Bs can identify with this one – was that I tried to change too many things at once.
On paper, none of the things I was changing sounded like a big deal. I’ve run plenty of 5Ks before, I’ve run lots of races in a year before, I’ve done plenty of speed workouts before, and for Pete’s sake, I’ve been running for over ten years! How was this changing too many things?
Well, let’s count them out. More races, more speed work, different distance than I’ve trained for in a long while and a different way of thinking about races – that’s four changes. You know how many changes I suggest my clients make at any one time?
One change, one focus.
And sometimes even that can be scary and cause people to derail their own success!
And lemme tell you, I’ve been doing a lot to derail my success – putting off important workouts, slacking on strength work, running too hard on easy days and too easy on hard days, reducing mileage, letting doubts creep in, procrastinating on signing up for races, waffling on the specifics of my plan… I could go on, but I’m going to leave it at that for now.
Is any of this resonating with you? Did you maybe start the year thinking you’d get consistent and workout every day and watch your portion sizes and try to eat healthy and start tracking your calories or macros and maybe learn a new kind of workout like yoga or strength training? And now, three weeks into the year, it’s all just a little overwhelming and nearly nothing is happening?
Yeah, I feel ya.
So, where do we go from here? How do we turn this shipwreck around?? Well, girlfriend, we’re going to take a big deep breath and remember that it’s all going to be okay. Recognizing that we’re in the middle of rough seas means that we can readjust our sails and get back to smoother water.
- Start by speaking kindly to yourself and letting the “failures” go. It is what it is and you are where you are. Berating yourself isn’t going to magically make any of those new habits appear in the past, so forgive yourself and move on.
- Bring your methods down a notch but keep your goals high. There’s no reason why you can’t finish the year with every one of those goals! I just checked the calendar and we have a little over 11 months (and hey, you know what? You actually have the rest of your life) to meet your fitness and eating goals in 2017. Try one new workout this month, rather than feeling like you have to do the whole package of 16 classes.
- Set yourself up for success with the little details. It sounds so funny, but one of the first things I’m doing is updating my iPod playlist. The songs that were super motivating for last year’s races aren’t getting me fired up for this year’s goals. Pick something you see or do daily that will help you stay focused on your goal – it might be as simple as putting junk foods at the back of the pantry and moving the veggies forward in your fridge.
- Be open to help and support. You don’t have to go it alone or figure everything out yourself – join the Killer B Hive or get started with a workout program so you don’t have to overthink the process.
One of my favorite sayings is “Smooth seas don’t make skilled sailors.” It’s a nice little reminder that getting yourself into trouble, learning from it and moving forward is actually really, really good for you.
Sail on, friend!
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