I’m a big fan of the IM Talk podcast, and the other day I was listening to a recent episode. Since it was a holiday, Bevan played some interviews from his other podcast, Fitness Behavior, and I thought it was fascinating. So I pulled up some of those podcasts as well.
Within about two minutes of starting the most recent episode (the Wrap Up and Workbook episode), I found myself nodding along and saying “Yep! That’s exactly it! That is EXACTLY what I do.” Since this was a year end wrap up episode, Bevan was just highlighting some of the other podcasts from throughout the year. There was one that resonated in particular with me, and that was the “Process Challenge” episode (listen here). (The others were also really good.)
Rather than give a detailed recap, I’ll just say, LISTEN TO IT! The general idea is that instead of focusing on finding the right goal to motivate you to train and/or eat well – like a specific race – focus on the habits that you would have if you were functioning at your best. By making it a goal to do those things every day, you will set yourself up for success. For me, aiming to complete those little goals/habits each day makes me feel better, both mentally (a sense of accomplishment, and organization in my life), and physically (because I’m eating well, getting enough sleep, and being active). This is something I’m focusing on this month. Yes, I have training going on, but rather than just looking months down the road at these looming races, I’m going to go one day at a time, and make the effort to fill in all my little check boxes each week. Two days in and so far, so good! Granted, it’s only been two days, but I’m enjoying it so far.
Here’s my list that I came up with. I tried to be as specific as possible, and make them small and manageable things that I can do on a daily basis:
- Get up by 7am (I am a grad student and have a pretty flexible schedule, so 7am is plenty early.)
- Follow my training plan for the day. Preferably completing it in the morning because it gives me a good sense of accomplishment and energy throughout the day.
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Pack a healthy lunch
- Make a healthy dinner
- Do a quick clean of my apartment
- Walk my dogs
- Call and/or text my best friend every day (she lives 1800 miles away and I miss her!)
- Track my food intake
- Floss – I know it’s funny, but I got a very convincing talk about the importance of daily flossing from a dentist on the chairlift a few weeks ago (how’s that for random?). And you know what? It’s quick, easy, and good for your long term health.
- Have one hour of quiet time before bed. No screens – instead, take a bath, meditate, read a book, cuddle with the dogs, etc.
- Get to sleep by 10pm
- Write a blog post
- Practice my viola for 1 hour
- Attend a social event and meet a new person
- Hike with the dogs
- Meal plan and prep for the upcoming week
- Sit down and reflect on my week – the good, the bad, and what I can learn from it.
Listen to it! It’s great and could dramatically change the way you approach things.