2011 Resolution #1: Get Fit

In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my three resolutions for 2011 this week.

As many of you remember, I set a weight loss goal for 2010 that I exactly halfway achieved. I’m happy with that partial success.

What I discovered during the process, though, is that I’m not so much concerned with the weight loss as I am with being in decent physical shape, mostly with regards to an ability to actively play with my children. I don’t want to be winded playing tag with them. I want to be able to grab them all and pick them up over my head without effort. I want to be able to help my children get started in whatever sports or outdoor activities excite them. I want to be able to go on bike rides with them.

In the end, the way to do that is with a set of specific fitness goals. I’ve already had a chat with a personal trainer to talk about some general expectations, mostly in terms of setting end-of-year goals for 2011. With his suggestions, I came up with the following list:

Run a 5K in 30 minutes
Do 100 pushups in 3 minutes
Do 200 squats in 5 minutes
Do 200 situps in 5 minutes
Jump to touch an eleven foot marker (I’m already six and a half feet tall, so this isn’t a tremendous leap)
Ride RAGBRAI (or a leg or two of it) in 2012
Additional specific flexibility and strength goals that I need to discuss with my trainer.

Remember, these are specific goals that take me from where I am (I’m not in the worst shape of my life, but not the best, either) to that place by the end of 2011. I think they’re all fairly realistic.

What will I do to get there? I’ve decided to set aside one hour each day for physical fitness in 2011. (I won’t be completely single-tasking this time, as I intend to get plenty of reading in while walking/jogging on treadmills and the like.) I hope to do this consistently in the morning as part of my morning routine.

What activities will I give up for that time? The biggest thing I’ll give up is idle web surfing. I’ve decided to stop spending time on a handful of time vacuum websites (like this one) and instead devote that time to something more productive, like getting in shape (and hitting a home run on my other two goals for the year). I’m doing this by blocking those websites at the router so that they basically can’t be accessed at home without a lot of difficulty.

I suspect that with my current dietary changes (I’m currently a vegan, for better or worse) and this regimen, I will lose some weight in 2011, but that’s not my primary goal with all of this. My primary goal is to be in good enough shape that I can participate in athletic activities with my children.

Thus, I have the pieces in place to make this work. I have the motivation (my children). I have the means (newfound free time). I have the specific goals (listed above).

Now it’s just up to me to carry through with them.

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