Tomorrow I wrap up my 30-day #milestreak and I’m stoked.
For those who don’t know, a #milestreak is simply a commitment to run (or walk) at least a mile a day for a period of time. I started mine on June 2, which leads right to my first lesson learned…
1. There is no “Perfect” Day to Start
Go on… admit it… you’ve uttered these phrases more than once… “I’ll start Monday” or “After the holiday I’ll….” or “Come the New Year…”
It’s all bullshit. That’s right, I’m calling bull cocky. Start days are just an excuse we tell ourselves so we can procrastinate whatever it is we want to do/achieve/work on just a little longer. And you know as well as I do once whatever magical day you picked as your perfect start day happens it only takes a small detour before you are searching for the very next perfect start day.
I lived in a perpetual I’ll-start-on-the-perfect-start-day for YEARS and it never got me anything but a higher number on the scale, a bigger pants size and even less confidence that I could actually make positive changes.
Once I threw out this mentality (and swapped it for #wycwyc) then I started to make progress. This #milestreak was no different. I started on June 2, a Thursday. Nothing special about the day except for the fact I decided I was tired of talking about running more and not actually doing it. So I did.
2. Small Goals Build Confidence and Momentum!
Running a mile for me is pretty minimal. It takes me about 8 and a half minutes on a good day and at most 12 if I’m just not feeling it. There is normally no reason I can’t carve out 12 minutes in a 24 hour period. None.
I purposefully set my goal as a simple #milestreak and nothing more because I knew I could do it.
Why set a goal I knew I could do? Well, because even though I could do it I wasn’t and I wanted to be.
By day 3 momentum already took over and I was excited to log my mile to keep the streak up. It was fun to see the blue entry on my calendar. It felt good to add another day on the streak. Every day I checked off gave me a little boost of motivation and confidence and that’s what I was after because when I’m motivated and confident I’m happier. I make better food choices. I look for more ways to move my body. It puts me “in the zone” as they like to say.
Small goals are like kindling. You need to gather them and build them up before trying to start a fire. If you do, it makes the fire all that much easier to start.
3. Something is Always Better than Nothing
You’ll notice two purple days on my running calendar. Those were walk days. Despite my best effort I couldn’t figure out how to carve those 12 minutes I just talked about to run my mile alone so I decided to walk with the boys instead.
Would I have liked to run all the miles and see all blue on the calendar? YES! Of course I would, but life happens and I needed to adjust. Instead of abandoning the streak I decided something was better than nothing and purposefully walked. It helped me keep the streak going, which in turned helped me continue the motivation and confidence I was just talking about.
Want to Lose Weight? Consider Non-Scale Goals
This experience has reminded me that I’m happier when I set goals that are 100% in my control (running more, keeping a food journal, blogging daily, etc.) Sometimes when we set our sites on things like a specific scale number, dress size or even — for me now — a certain weight lifted at the gym, it can sometimes feel unattainable and out of reach so we give up. We don’t see progress fast enough. We don’t look the way we think we should. It’s defeating.
On the flip side, when we set a goal that is completely in our control there’s nothing stoping us from achieving it. There’s no reason you can’t food journal for the week or give up that one extra snack at night or start a daily walking habit. Those things shouldn’t be the means to the end to lose weight – – they should be the end! If the scale ends up moving or our clothes get looser it’s just icing on the cake because we already reached our goal — the one that was in our control.
If you’ve been trying to lose weight and feeling stuck it may be time to consider non-scale goals. Start to lay down kindling so you can build that fire. Let weight loss be the byproduct of all the positive non-scale goals you set that are in your control. It just may be the small shift in your focus that does the trick. It did for me.
In other news…
I’m back from my adventure! Unfortunately, I have’t had time to post about the entire trip or even go through all the pictures yet, but if you were following along on IG you saw a few gems like this one…
We had an amazing time. I can’t wait to post all about it over on the travel blog, in the meantime you can read all about Jen’s Dollywood Dream. She cracks me up!