Goal-Setting Starts Here

The best laid fitness plans are easily derailed when life gets busy. Excuses abound: The kids were home for spring break; the new mortgage company requested a mountain of paperwork for the refinancing that they needed, like, yesterday; a recurring and painful strain to of the IT Band flared again. Every day for a couple weeks I’ve let the thought, “Hm, I should work out today,” be the closest I’ve come to actually exercising.

And work on my manuscript? Yeah, ditto.

Getting back into the groove takes discipline, and a plan. If I jump back into running after a break like I’ve had, I’ll re-injure my hip or risk a new injury. And uncorking the muse doesn’t mean that bottled-up creativity will flow, on-demand. So this week, I have a strategy that will light the fires I need to restart my engines.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday are running days. Today, I completed my 5 mile route. I was unconcerned with pace or time. It was a gentle run, and I stopped a couple times to stretch my legs and hips. On Tuesday and Thursday, I’m going to practice yoga and stretch, incorporating this IT Band Strengthening Exercise.

Every day, I plan to shoot for 500 words minimum on my manuscript-in-progress. A daily writing practice is vital to any serious writer, because the more you write, the more you write. (Wait, what?) What I mean to say is this: a dedicated daily writing practice exponentially produces an ever more creative and inspired body of work.

It’s no secret how tightly linked performance is to diet. This is true whether we’re discussing running or writing, or any other activity that requires physical and mental strength. After the Easter Bunny left ridiculous amounts of chocolate goodies in my house, and a few weekends of gorgeous weather for outdoor barbecues and dining al fresco — where the drinks flowed freely — I must admit my uncomfortable condition of being simultaneously bloated and dehydrated. Not good.

This week’s nutrition goals include a clean diet of whole foods, low sodium, and no sugary snacks or desserts. I have a two-quart pitcher on the kitchen island that I filled this morning with filtered water. Throughout the day, I will refill my glass until the pitcher is empty. When I do this every day, I feel so much better across the board. I believe the single best change a person can make is drinking more water — staying hydrated is important to your bodily functions, your skin, your hair, your moods. Yes.

One week is usually all I need to get myself back on track, both out on the road and with my manuscript. Sticking to the schedule is never harder though, than during that first week. I don’t like to dangle reward-carrots in front of me; instead, I work best with looming deadlines. Fortunately, I have several coming up that I can use to my advantage. The first week of May, for example, my husband and I are getting our scuba diving certification. It will be an exercise-intensive couple days of pool work before the four open water dives we’ll complete in Florida. I want to feel fit and trim for that, so yeah. It’s on.

What goals have you challenged yourself with lately? Got any secrets to success you’d like to share?? 🙂


About Nicole Ducleroir

I write stories and I run. Sometimes at the same time, though it's really hard to read my handwriting afterwards. *Note to Self: Buy a portable recorder* To read examples of my short fiction, visit http://nicoleducleroir.blogspot.com and click the Published Work or My Short Stories tabs.
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8 Responses to Goal-Setting Starts Here

  1. simonclarter says:

    So you’re saying my pizza lunch *wasn’t* offset by the carrot and celery sticks and banana I’d snacked on earlier in the morning? Wha…?

    As far as the writing and eating and running goals, I’m behind you all the way, darlin’. You can rock all the things! (And maybe in the process you can shame me into rocking all the things too.)


    • Shame (of self) is my number one motivator! So, two days down, two days of goals met. Well, I could have drunk more water today…but I didn’t drink any alcohol so maybe it’s all the same, haha. And pizza contains all the food groups, so it’s got to be good. Right? Right. Good. :))))

  2. maramcbain says:

    Life has been throwing me curveballs of late and I too need to buckle down and get back to writing. While I don’t run, I did commit to eating healthier last week in an effort to slim up. Your goals are inspiring and I don’t feel as alone. *smiles* 3 lbs down and now off to get my word count in for the night! Best of luck, Nicki!

    • Three pounds lost! That’s fantastic!! I swear, when I’m not eating healthfully everything else in my life slips too. Today was good, except I have a headache. Surely sugar withdrawal. But that only lasts a day or two and then all will be better in my universe. 🙂

      Hey, I wrote today! Felt good, but it’s going to take some time to get that momentum back up. 500 words a day, that’s my goal for the next week or so. Hope your writing session is going well! ((hugs))

  3. Sarah Ahiers says:

    i drink water throughout the day. I LURVE it. We don’t keep any other drinks in the house, except for some milk for baking (though in the summer we will brew iced tea and lemonade. We cannot resist)

    • I’m the same, Sarah. I only drink water, at meal times and between. But when I stop paying attention, I develop ‘camel-syndrome.’ haha. I really appreciate you visiting me over here. You so rock!!

  4. Thanks for the inspiration. I like the water idea! 🙂

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