Friday, August 12, 2011

Strategery: First Steps

I've been asked about offering a how-to segment, in order to share ideas on how to get motivated.

So far I've written about my experiences, my thoughts, and my progression. I'm finding it challenging to write about my experience (i.e. the mechanics) because the experience (save for the first day) is rather uneventful. So far, my experience consists of my relationship with a Precor Brand treadmill. I'm even taking pictures of it. We're in love, I think. Well, I'm actually in love in three of them (I have my favorites now).

Having different segments will work well for me. I have my story, my Gap Filler (more of an opinion segment), my Progress Report (pretty self-explanatory), and now I'm adding one more. Some people want the details, so I'm adding another segment called "Strategery" and today I'll start that segment by writing about my first steps to motivation.

By the way, isn't that a cute picture? This baby reminds me of my girls when they were first learning to walk on their chubby feet.

I love the word "strategery." It was coined by Will Ferrell in a skit mocking then-President George W. Bush. They used it to poke fun of him, but to me the word illustrates a simple plan, which is great because I like simple; of course, I then go out and complicated everything (duh). Nevertheless, simple is what gets me motivated.

My strategery will be to share the how-to on how I'm getting to where I'm going. It's not a 10-point plan. For far it's a 1 or 2-point plan.

So what's the first step? Here goes:

1. Start.

There. How simple is that? I'll throw in another one:

2. Set simple goals.

Now I know some readers are thinking, "Geez...I've heard this before!" But have you ever done it? That was where I was. Looking for answers, but never really implementing the simple things, like getting started and setting a goal.

My first goals were to get into the regular exercise habit (at least 5 days a week) and to cover 60 minutes on a treadmill. Why 60 minutes? Years ago, I read the book "Aerobics" by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, who believed that if a person could move for 60 minutes, a "training effect" would take place. A training effect refers to changes in muscular and cardiovascular systems that lead to improvement in function and strength due to regular endurance or resistance training.

Due to daily exercise, I was able to reach the 60-minute goal within my first 10 days. I didn't cover a lot of ground (around 1.5 miles, I think), but I made it. I then set a goal to cover 2 miles; sometimes I had to walk 65 minutes and then restart the treadmill, as they are only allowed to be set at 65 minutes maximum. I reached the 2-mile goal within a month. I thought I was going to die, but I reached it. I can now cover the 2 miles within 60 minutes.

My next goal is to reach 2.5 miles, and then 2.5 miles within 60 minutes; 3 miles, then 3 miles within 60 minutes, etc.

To summarize:

1. I got started.
2. Once I got started, I set a goal to work out at least 5 days a week.
3. As I exercised daily, I set another goal for 60 minutes on the treadmill.
4. Once I was able to walk for 60 minutes, I set my next goal for 2 miles on the treadmill.
5. I'm now walking 2 miles on the treadmill within 60 minutes.

By the way, you may have noticed I didn't mention anything about diet. I didn't set any diet goals, other than to stay away from fast food and junk food for the most part.

Diet is my next step. Ugh. I'll keep you posted.

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