My Daily Step Goal: How 20,588 Steps Per Day Saved Me…
by Stephanie Peterson
My life, in my little Runtastic world in Austria, is often calculated, planned and evaluated on quarters. Fair enough. Four times per year, we create goals, we define points of focus and then we get to work.
Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2017 went so swimmingly that on the cusp of Quarter 3, I created personal goals for the upcoming three months (in addition to my professional and team-focused goals). What I could not have known when I set my seemingly random and meaningless goal of achieving an average of 20,000+ steps per day in July 2017 is that this goal would help pull me through one of the toughest periods of my life.
July kicked off with an aggressive run/hike to the top of Horse Tooth Mountain in Fort Collins, Colorado with my brother. Check out that view!
In early July you’d find me in Denver, Colorado, back in the States for a cousin’s wedding and constantly annoying family and friends to join me for looooong walks and runs to achieve my daily goal. So, what did this mean upon the arrival of an unexpectedly tough phase? Well, I couldn’t give up now… could I? Having a reason (and self-inflicted pressure, really) to get up and move each and every day gave me the drive (and sometimes even confidence – imagine that!) to conquer even the toughest days and weeks.
Read on for my top seven reasons that personal wellness goals can be so valuable, sometimes in ways you never expected! Goals enable us to:
1. Never stop learning – always keep pushing
Do not allow yourself to become complacent in your life or routines – at home, at work or in terms of your fitness and general well-being. Mix things up constantly to avoid boredom (or becoming boring!) and to keep your mind & body engaged always.
2. Have fun – alone and with others
Goals and personal challenges can be an incredible way to not only further develop yourself and create accountability – they can be loads of fun as well. Share your goals with others to keep on track and positively influence their lives, too! You never know who you might be inspiring. #strongertogether
3. Keep moving. You cannot always anticipate when you’ll need a (healthy) distraction
When you experience a major disappointment or failure, it’s natural to want to distract yourself. All right… but do be aware that not all forms of distraction are created equal. Work hard not to adopt forms of distraction that are self-destructive or might hurt others – create or stick with positive goals and points of focus to turn a time of trial into an incredible opportunity for personal growth.
4. Get crazy comfortable with yourself (which is critically important)
Invest in the good times in order to survive the toughest of times. Embrace your true self. Embrace solitude. Embrace your imperfections. Embrace humility. While leaning on family & friends is great (and you should definitely do that sometimes without a second thought), you’ve gotta be comfortable with you at the end of the day. Also: Don’t let anyone rob you of your self-worth. You’ve got this. You are worth it.
Gorgeous solo sunrise and sunset walks (because the daytime hours were waaaaay too hot!) on the Amalfi Coast of Italy also became a fixture during my month of healing.
5. Be selfish. In the best way possible
That’s right – set goals that challenge you. That are demanding of your time and energy. Put yourself above others – not to disrespect them, but to respect yourself. Push yourself, prove that you can do it and you will be rewarded in ways that you couldn’t have even imagined. Tightened muscles on the outside might come along for the ride, but those are really just a positive side effect… the real work & impact is happening on the inside <3
6. Inspire & rebuild our mental, emotional and spiritual strength through the strength of our bodies
While I often preach, “Mind over matter!” I believe positive influence can also function in the opposite direction. When your heart, mind and soul are screaming that they just wanna give up, let your physical self show you the way. You’re stronger than you think you are – let your hamstrings, calves, biceps, abs (whatever body part you want to get to work!) prove that to you. Added bonus: When your sleep quality has dropped due to stress or grief, physical exhaustion can help provide a solid night of sleep 😉 #sweatitout
7. Struggle. Prioritize. And flourish
These words may feel redundant by this point – but it cannot be stressed enough. Through discomfort and pushing the limits – we grow. When we achieve what others said was not achievable (due to whatever constraint) – we thrive. And to recognize that at the end of the day, we are enough, we do have it in us and no one can bring us down – we flourish.
So get on and get going. Don’t be lazy. Don’t be indifferent. Do not allow yourself to become a victim of self-pity or the opinions of others. This is your show.
As for me, in August, I will focus on training for an upcoming fun run and in September I plan to kick off a 12-weeks Runtastic Results training plan again to build up my strength just in time for ski season 🙂
What’s the next month (or quarter or year) got in store for you? Go on and prove yourself – to yourself.
#goals #FTW #growth #motivation #selfLOVE #Runtastic