I go running with a beautiful, talented, kind friend (who also happens to be a website/graphic designer and mom of three) every other Tuesday morning. We meet at 8:00 a.m. at a nearby high school and run 2-3 miles together. While we run, we talk about our kids, our dreams, our husbands, and our businesses. It’s a great way to knock out two goals at once: socialization and fitness. I love it.
Anyway, last week, we talked about how it’s important to lose the “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to exercise. For example, if it’s cold out or I’m tired or I don’t have time for my normal 3-mile run, my tendency is to just throw in the towel and opt out of a workout. I feel defeated if I just do a 1- or 2-mile run or – gasp! – I go for a walk. But I shouldn’t! I should go out and run one mile or walk around the block and hold my head up high! A little exercise is better than no exercise.
I see lots of people succumb to the “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to fitness (and nutrition, for that matter). For example, I often hear people say that they want to run a marathon. Oftentimes, those same people are out-of-shape and haven’t been running at all. When they start running and realize how long 26 miles is, they give up rather than go for a smaller goal.
While big goals are admirable and important (it’s great to stretch yourself beyond what you think you can do), it’s equally admirable to have the dignity to take small steps to reach your goal. It’s not defeat to slow down or to set a smaller goal.
* You can’t get motivated to go running? Just start by walking every day.
* You’re too tired to do your normal bike route? Take the kids along for a leisurely ride.
* You just can’t find the energy to do your fitness DVD? Turn it on and just do ten minutes.
A little bit goes a long way – and you should applaud yourself for even the tiniest steps of progress.