Why Your Feelings and Fitness Won’t Play Well Together

I was addicted to inspiration. I loved reading motivational books and setting goals. The new year was always a great opportunity for this, of course. I could stretch the process out for days, even weeks. It was great!

Our annual beach vacation was another time of inspiration. In addition to the books, I would take long walks on the beach pondering the direction of my life. Then I’d sit on the deck of our beach house and write everything down in great detail. I always returned home full of energy.

There’s nothing wrong with setting goals and being intentional about the direction of your life. In fact, I highly encourage it. But, that’s not really what I was after. I was more interested in feeling inspired than I was in actually doing the work to make the changes I thought I wanted.

It took a long time for me to understand this about myself. The debris field of failed goals should have been a clue, but it wasn’t.

I still love to feel inspired and motivated, but today I know those feelings alone are not going to affect any lasting changes. Today I understand it’s way more important to carefully consider my goals and then make a commitment that isn’t based on emotions alone.

It’s GO TIME for the 90 Day Step Challenge. All this week we’ve walked together through the importance of doing this Challenge, setting the right daily step goal, preparing yourself for the next 90 days, and making a contract with yourself to NOT miss a single day.

What I never understood during those many years of pursuing inspiration and then watching my goals fail time after time was the very predictable pattern of my emotions.

The goals I set and the changes I wanted to make were right and good. I’ve gone back and looked at what I wanted to accomplish and I would make the same goals again. What I understand now is how my emotions are going to change pretty dramatically soon after I begin.

A few years ago I set a goal to reach 1,000,000 steps in a single month. I picked July since it has 31 days. To reach my goal I needed to average more than 32,000 steps every day. That’s a lot of walking!

My reason for setting this goal was mostly because I wanted to do something hard. And, reaching 1,000,000 steps in a month would be hard. I also knew exactly what was going to happen. The excitement and fun of this big challenge would last for a few days, maybe even a week. The final few days, as I was closing in on the goal, would also be fun and energizing.

The hard part would be the middle two weeks. I knew there would be a bunch of days when I would question why I was doing this. Why was I spending so much time EVERY SINGLE DAY getting all these steps? No one, but me, cared. I could stop and nothing bad would happen. NOTHING.

And, that’s exactly the reason I needed to do this. I needed to prove to myself that I could do a hard thing that only mattered to me. There will come a day when I will have to do a hard thing that matters to someone else and I wanted to KNOW I could do it.

Sure enough…there were days when I wanted to stop. I thought it was the dumbest challenge I’d ever started. Those middle two weeks were every bit as tough as I anticipated they would be. And, because I knew it was coming and I had made the commitment with that in mind, I was able to power through that challenging stretch. I reached my 1,000,000 steps two days before the month ended.

I hope you’re excited about this 90 Day Step Challenge. I hope you’re inspired about the way it can transform your life and set you on a course for lifetime fitness. I want that for you!

But, I also want you to be aware these feelings at the start won’t last the full 90 days. You will have many days when you simply don’t feel like it. You’ll have days when there are a dozen other things you’d rather do than go for yet ANOTHER walk to reach your goal.

Know that those days are coming and you already have what it takes to overcome them…to power through and do a hard thing.

To help you keep track of your progress I’ve created a 90 Day Step Challenge Tracker. Every day you reach your goal is a WIN. This free download will allow you to keep track as you add link after link to your new chain of fitness.

The 90 Day Step Challenge Tracker will also be encouraging. When you reach those difficult days the Tracker will be visible proof that YOU CAN DO IT…that YOU ARE DOING IT! And, for some of us, a tracker like this is highly motivating. We like checking boxes on our to-do list once they’ve been accomplished. You’ll get that same feeling every day you can write down your step total.

Even if you don’t think the 90 Day Step Challenge Tracker is something that will help you I would encourage you to download it and give it a try. If it doesn’t then you’ve lost nothing. But, if it does then you have one more tool at your disposal as you move towards a lifestyle of fitness

The final 90 days of my 20k One Year Step Challenge begin next week. I’m looking forward to them. I hope you’re looking forward to your 90 Day Step Challenge. Please let me know how you’re doing and if there’s anything I can do to help you along the way.

If you struggle with motivation to stick with fitness this blog will help. Don’t be intimated by the title. That’s my goal…not yours. But, my bigger goal is to help you start a fitness journey that has doesn’t stop and builds momentum. If you click FOLLOW (below on your phone and to the right and above on your computer) you’ll get an email with a link to each motivating article the moment it’s published.

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