Six Week Challenge: Setting goals and sticking to them.

We all have numerous goals we want to achieve in our life, some big and some small. It can sometimes get overwhelming when we think about everything we want to accomplish. So why not break these goals down into smaller attainable goals that can be accomplished in six weeks. This is why I am following Nerd Fitness in their six week challenge.

This challenge consists of setting realistic goals you want to achieve within the next six weeks and holding yourself accountable. You choose no more then three health and fitness goals and one “level up life goal”. A level up life goal is something you want to achieve that is unrelated to health and fitness. For example, my goals for the next six weeks are: go to the gym at least four days a week, attend one fitness class a week, run a 5K, and complete the first unit in the online course I am currently enrolled in.

I took the challenge one step further by creating charts for both Dylan and I to keep track of our progress. I took our goals and broke them down into weekly and overall. Each time we complete a goal we check off the corresponding box. I placed these charts somewhere we would see them everyday: the fridge. I also placed a pen on the chart so there was no excuse for us not keeping track of everything. Placing the charts in such a public area helps us remain accountable to the goals we’ve set. I can see if Dylan isn’t keeping up with his goals and he can see if I’m not keeping up with mine. This way we are not only accountable for ourselves but each other.

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The main thing to remember is to set goals that are attainable. Don’t set a goal of losing 50 lbs, running a marathon when you’ve never run before, or something outlandish, when you know realistically it probably wont happen. Figure out what you want to accomplish in six weeks, write it down, and most importantly stick to it! The only person you hurt by not sticking to your goals is yourself. For more information on the Nerd Fitness six week challenge click here.

A new pair of shoes is sometimes all you need.

I often find that my motivation can be up and down. Some days I am super motivated and ready to take on the world and other days I just want to sit on the couch and do nothing. It can be the simplest thing that motivates me again. This time it was shoes!

My birthday just passed on Thursday and as a gift from my parents I got a new pair of running shoes. Now I am not normally the type of girl to go crazy over a new pair of shoes but I love these runners! They are Adidas ClimaCool in black and pink. They’re extremely comfortable and I love the look of them. As soon as I put them on I wanted to go and flaunt them at the gym. Now even though this was semi-vain motivation, it was still motivation! It got my butt in gear and got me to the gym to do a much needed workout.

So whether you find your motivation in a pair of shoes, a magazine, video, or somewhere else, it doesn’t matter. As long as you stay motivated and constantly strive for self improvement.

Couch to 5K…I hope!

One thing I have never been good at is running. Even as a kid I would be the one at the very back of the pack usually just walking around the track. The only time I would ever run was to catch the ice cream truck and even then it was more of a brisk walk then a run. So of course I did the most logical thing ever…I signed up for a 5K. On June 22 I will be taking part in the Color Me Rad 5K in Toronto and there is no time like the present to start training! I figured my best course of action is to look into something that would ease me into running. This is way I have chosen to follow the Couch to 5K plan.

Couch to 5K is a nine week program that you do three times a week. It combines walking and running short distances for appropriately twenty to thirty minutes and eventually builds up to running a 5K or thirty minutes non-stop. Your first week is jogging for sixty seconds followed by walking for ninety seconds for a total of twenty minutes. Your second week is jogging for ninety seconds followed by two minutes of walking for a total of twenty minutes. The plan continues on like that for nine weeks.

A few months ago I attempted the Couch to 5K plan but only made it to week four before my motivation fizzled. I had gotten a gym membership and decided I would rather spend my time on the elliptical then running. Big mistake. My fiancé continued the plan when I stopped and is now in the last week of the program. I am definitely jealous! Seeing the progress he has made in just nine weeks is amazing. He went from being tired after running a few minutes to doing a 5K in just under thirty minutes.

Even though Couch to 5K is meant for beginners it isn’t always easy. Switching weeks can be challenging and might make you want to quit but you have to push through it. That is something I wasn’t able to do the first time around. You have to remember this program is about going at your own pace and building momentum gradually. First worry about running the distance and then work on your speed.

Couch to 5K is a great program for any first time runners or anyone looking to get back into running. Though I may be nervous to start this plan again, I am also excited and cannot wait to run my 5K in June! For more information on Couch to 5K  and to get the full program click here.

My Fitness Pal

Since February I have dropped 30 pounds which I am extremely proud of! One of the best tools I have utilized throughout this journey is My Fitness Pal. It is honestly the easiest way to count calories. I downloaded the app for my iPhone and use is everyday without fail. Being able to scan the bar code of an item you’re consuming makes it really easy to keep track of everything. It is also a great way to hold yourself accountable for what you are eating. I haven’t really taken advantage of the online components since I always use it through my phone, but the online community seems great! If you would like to add me to your My Fitness Pal account please feel free to do so: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/jaelle4

*I started using My Fitness Pal after I had already lost 6lbs so the counter will always be off.