With Covid-19 and all the uncertainty it brought, I let some of my good habits slip by. But I know I am not the only one as it has happened both friends and clients. I could feel it catching up on me and my well-being. I was also conscious that autumn and winter were approaching fast. If I didn’t intervene soon, I would regret it come the end of the year.
Walking and getting outdoors is one of my go to stress management tools. It is my number one physical activity and also a social outlet. But the good habit I had was slipping and the Covid Stone was becoming more a reality. I knew I had to make a change as with the darker days approaching it would be even harder to get out and about.
To motivate myself and entice myself, I decided to do a step challenge to help me have a target to aim for. So, my sister chose Trisha Lewis (@Trishastransformation) October challenge of 500,000 steps which words out approximately 16,129 a day. I haven’t even done 10,000 on majority days prior to this, so this definitely was outside the comfort zone. So off I took on the 1st October and realised to hit the daily target. It works out to be at least 102 minutes of constant activity. So, some days certainly were more challenging than others depending how much time I was required to be on the computer. But I will share what helped me.
Tips to help make the journey to achieve the goal a little easier
and more enjoyable:
Track: Decide how you will track your progress whether it’s an app on your phone or smart watch and set up reminders throughout the day to help you focus on getting it done. Also, as the target is over the month you can have a bank or deficit rather than being rigid and hitting that exact target each day. This allows you to incorporate easily it more into your lifestyle.
Schedule: By scheduling it, there is a higher percentage that you will complete it. If something crops up you know where you can catch up or get ahead for yourself and build a bank to have incase one day you need a rest.
Morning or Night Owl: Choose when you like to exercise. If you are a morning person, get up and get a chunk done even if it means you get up out of bed earlier. The sense of achievement throughout the day makes it worthwhile. Or if you prefer later, that is good too as can work off the tensions of the day. My preference was to get out in daylight where possible so majority of days I would have a minimum of 10,000 done before sitting down to the computer.
Listen to Something Uplifting: having something to listen to helps pass the time rather than counting every step. Have a playlist, radio station, or your favourite podcast ready to play. What got me through the month and especially the wet and windy days was Doireann Garrihy’s podcast “The Laughs of Your Life”. Especially the Trisha Lewis, The 2 Johnnies and PJ Gallagher episodes. (I think some people passing me on the road thought I lost it as I was in stitches laughing.) If I wasn’t listening to podcast I would just listen to spirit radio for uplifting music or a playlist and let the music belt away. Key is up beat and humorous.
Proper Gear: Living in the West of Ireland, it rains a lot in Galway. So, it’s essential to invest in proper weather proof gear. Pants and Jacket are crucial as I got caught in some heavy/hail stone showers and hadn’t always the time to jump in shower afterwards. This also prevents excuses of not being able to do it due to the rain.
Accountability: Tell a family member, friend or put your challenge on social media and get people to hold you accountable who are supportive and will encourage you to keep going. Organise some walks so they are sociable (with 2m Physical Distancing) and this makes time go faster too and builds on keeping connections strong.
Know the Value of Doing it: What values are you achieving by completing this challenge? By knowing the importance of why you are doing this challenge will help keep you motivated and counteract the excuses when the crop up. For me I was honouring my values of physical and mental health well-being, challenging myself/ adventure to push outside comfort zone, connecting with my soul and taking time from the noise of the world.
Rewards: Celebrate your wins, this is another way to entice you to complete the goal when the going gets tough. Raising money for a worthy cause and looking forward to a nice takeaway and a nice body massage once the restrictions are lifted. This helped me to keep going even when there was a tail end of a storm battering me.
Listen to Your Body: It is crucial to tune into your body and read the signals of when you know you can push yourself and when you need to take it easy. You will see from my step count on social media that there was 2 days I had to take a rest and that’s OK too. That’s the beauty of having a bank or catching up on the deficit.
The feeling I have now as it comes to the end of the month is amazing, I now have a habit to move every day even if dark or wet I will keep it up albeit at a reduced number of steps ha ha. By keeping that commitment to myself, my confidence is up, my energy and mood is higher and I am also enjoying being more creative, productive and also investing in building stronger connections with those around me. More importantly it has also boosted my immunity and increased my resilience and tolerance to dealing with the current global pandemic and the many surprises 2020 continues to bring.
If you are going to take on a challenge or restart doing your healthy habits again or set new goals over coming weeks. Let me know, I would only be delighted to help empower you on your journey and get the results you want. I love seeing people transform their lives too so if interested click on work with me tab to learn more.