Welcome to a fresh week, and in just a couple of days, a fresh month. How are you feeling? One month into 2017 and I have to say, things are pretty darn good over here. Yesterday I had a total ripper of a workout, followed by an absolutely glorious massage at the spa inside the new Equinox here in Vancouver. The experience reminded me of how it had been way, way too long since my last. I hadn’t realized how much tension I’d been holding in my shoulders and upper back, but by the end of the 50 minutes I felt all loosey goosey and relaxed. It was wonderful.
In other weekend activities, I went to hot yoga, then attended a really interesting mindful goal setting workshop at Moment Meditation, a place where I’ve done a lot of hanging out over the last couple of months. As someone who could talk about goals forever, my main motive for going to the workshop was to hear yet another perspective on goal setting methodology and figure out how it relates to my own.
We talked about how goals can be set for one of three futures:
- The default future – as in, the one that would probably happen if you let things play out the way they’re currently going
- The anti-future – also known as what you don’t want to happen. These goals are set from a place of fear.
- The chosen future – in other words, the future that is whatever you want it to be. These goals are set from a place of possibility, and with the right tools (like hard work, learning, and asking for help from others, for example), can come into the realm of probability.
After deciding that the chosen future would be a much more enjoyable and fun place to work toward, we talked about determining what it is you want and don’t want. This is an exercise I’ve done in the past through my goal setting work at lululemon, and I love it because the list of what you want becomes a fantastic reference point whenever you’re setting new goals.
For the list of what you do want, you can look back at it and either 1) set goals that will help to make those things, experiences or states of being more likely, or 2) if you’re trying to decide whether to pursue a goal, ask yourself if it will help you to achieve something on that list. For example, ‘connection‘ is on my list of what I want, so I can set goals that foster that, like ‘go for coffee with a new friend every week for a month‘. I can also evaluate a goal, such as ‘write a book in a month‘ against it to see if that goal will really help move me in the direction of what I want. If I wanted to write a book in a month, that would probably involve a serious investment of time that could otherwise be spent connecting with people face-to-face, so perhaps it’s not quite the right fit. Get it?
On the other side, the list of what you don’t want is just as important because it helps with boundary setting. Inevitably, external influences are going to impact what you feel like you should do. I think we’d all agree that chasing after a goal someone else wants for you (as opposed to one you truly want for yourself) decreases the likelihood that it’ll happen. External influences might make you think a goal is the right one to chase, but if you anticipate the outcome would be guilt, stress, pain, and worry, and those are on your list of don’t-wants, that’s a sign it might not be the right goal for you.
So. While you noodle on that for a while, I’ve come up with my 3 goals for February 2017. I set my big goals for 2017 at the beginning of the year, and in doing so mapped out which ones I’ll be working on during each quarter. Here’s what’s happening this month:
1. Complete a Crossfit Foundations course.
Yep, I’m finally going to give this a shot, and here’s why: For the past 10 years, my fitness focus has been on endurance sports. You guys know I love running, and for those that are runners, you know how euphoric the runner’s high is. However…. over the past 2 years, I’ve felt like my progress has been very much stagnant. This was largely due to my anemia, but that was just one piece of a larger puzzle. Signs like not being able to get faster, sustaining injuries, stress and less than ideal thyroid tests all suggested that change was in order. And after ignoring them for long enough, I’ve finally decided to shake things up and so far, the results have been pretty darn great.
There aren’t many fitness trends that I’ve ever been scared to try, but Crossfit falls into that category. The plan for tackling my 2017 goal of becoming the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been is a multi-pronged one, because fit and strong to me is just as much about emotional and mental wellness as it is about the physical. When it comes to the latter, I see Crossfit as being a totally new adventure and an opportunity to see how I cope with different physical challenges. In the context of the ‘what I want‘ and ‘what I don’t want‘ lists discussed earlier, what I predict the experience will be like very much aligns with things on the ‘want’ side.
In case you’re not familiar, Crossfit Foundations packages are offered by Crossfit boxes in order to give newbies a safe introduction. While I feel pretty good about my level of fitness, doing something like this is really important to me because I know how terrible I am at dealing with injuries. By getting a pro’s eyes on my form before I start lifting super heavy things, I like to think I’m reducing the chances of injuries happening in the first place. The program I found consists of a movement assessment, 4 1-on-1 sessions with a coach, and a month of access to Crossfit classes afterwards. So far I’ve registered and my sessions start this week. More about this goal coming very soon!
2. Be able to do 60 consecutive push-ups.
This month’s goals are very much fitness-oriented but that’s just the season I’m in right now! Back in November I challenged myself to doing 100 push-ups every day, but they weren’t consecutive – I’d take breaks in between sets or do them as parts of supersets with other exercises in my workouts. Fast forward to this past Friday, when we started a weekly push-up contest at work. The goal is to do as many as you can in a row (full-on push-ups, not the kind on your knees), and I managed to do 40. 60 isn’t that much more, and I’m pretty sure I can get there in a month. Anyone want to join me? 😉
3. Contribute $250 to my Hawaii savings fund.
Planning trips is SO much fun. Saving for them…. not so much fun.
I’ve been pinning and bookmarking all sorts of resources and recommended activities in Maui, and determined a rough total cost. Knowing that my plan is to go to Hawaii in October, and keeping in mind the other expenses I’m responsible for between now and then, I’ve assigned a target savings contribution for each month. February’s happens to be $250, and every time I’m tempted to buy something online, my tropical desktop wallpaper below reminds me that holding off will all be worth it in the end!
Now it’s over to you. Tell me, what are your goals for February?