Motivational Monday: Consistency over Perfection

No early morning meetings for me today, which meant a lovely 7am run. It felt FANTASTIC. I did a nice, easy 6-mile run through Golden Gate Park, with the sun shining between the trees and my ears tuning in to the How I Built This podcast. (I love this podcast, by the way. So incredibly inspiring! It’s about entrepreneurs and how they built their companies & brands. I seriously look forward to each episode every week lol!)

I don’t remember the last time I ran before work. I would love to be able to squeeze in my runs before work everyday, but with my 8am meetings, if I factor in commuting, running, stretching, showering, and getting ready, I’d have to get up at 4am to do it. Instead, I’m opting for the after-work run these days.

I’ve been incorporating more strength training along with my runs lately. Are you proud of me?! :) That means P90x and body pump classes, as well as my strengthening exercises prescribed by my physical therapist. It’s super easy to just spend time on the things I enjoy (like running) and put off the things I’m not so great at (like strength), but I know that building my muscles and making them stronger will lead to fewer injuries.  It’s not even an option at this point. If I do not work on strength, I know it’ll lead to injuries. So I think of it as a crucial part of my running routine. Just like how I wouldn’t skip out on a run, I will not skip out on a class. I didn’t say it was easy though!

I’ve also been working on treating myself with more compassion. In the past, I’ve approached the path to success as a single road. I would gather all my motivation and ambitions, map out my training schedule several months in advance, and stick to the rigorous and intense plan. Don’t get me wrong; it worked. And that’s what helped me excel, and even continue to improve. But lately, I’ve felt inclined to ease up a bit. Just because something worked well before, doesn’t mean it’s the best solution for me. Or that it’s the right one for me, at this time. I’m playing around with enjoying the art of running, instead of focusing on getting back into sub-3 marathon times. I’m focusing on building a strong and solid base, rather than ramping up so quickly. I’m getting back to my roots and rediscovering why I love running. It’s been a slow and steady path, but I’m hoping it means less burn-out and fewer injuries.

That also means that I’m a beginner at this strength stuff! Right now, I cannot do a single proper push-up on my toes (okay, maybe a few, if I’m on my knees). I have never done a pull-up in my life. And my planks are nothing to be impressed by. It’s okay, I’m taking my current fitness level and my newfound compassion to allow myself to look like a fool. When we were kids, everything was new, and we didn’t care what others think, so we were able to be beginners, and have fun doing it. Somewhere along the way, we grow into adults, and for some reason, we’re scared to try new things.

Ohh, I’d look so silly! What would others think when they see me? I better not even try at all, lest I fail.

Does this thinking sound familiar to anyone? Anyway, I give myself and more importantly, I give YOU permission to go out there and try something new that you’ve been wanting to try, and to look silly doing it.

I started doing planks for just 30 secs at a time, and I’m adding 5 seconds every few days, and now I’m up to 50 seconds.  A few days ago, I started doing sets of 5 push-ups (my elbows aren’t at 90 degrees yet, I’m still working on that), and I’m excited to see how much better I’ll be in a few weeks. It’s really amazing how much you can improve with consistency.

Is there anything you’ve been meaning to work on, but have been putting off? A goal that’s been at the back of your mind for a while now? My advice is to not worry about doing it right. Let go of the need for perfection. Instead, focus on slow, incremental gains through consistency. 1% gains add up quickly! In the long run, that’s going to get you much farther than waiting for the perfect time to get started.

Questions for you:

  1. What goals do you have for 2018? Is there anything you could start on today, with a small baby step?
  2. Anyone else feel a little silly when they try something new, or is that just me?
  3. Any tips on treating ourselves with more compassion?

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