I ran my first marathon in 2007. The weeks that followed my achievement were filled with a sense of invincibility. I felt that I could actualize anything I set my mind to. I attribute a portion of this new confidence to the act of running – learning that my two feet would take me anywhere I need to go. However, more than the exercise – was achieving an ambition which I’d determined for myself.
Setting precise and defined goals allows you to measure progress and take pride in your achievement. Consider this: productivity is the root of self esteem. Goals come in all shapes and sizes, types and purposes. Since I’m in the business of fitness and cultivating willPower, I help people set smart physical challenge goals which result in both physical and psychological advantages.
The advanced instructors of my willPower & grace® workout offer six-month “seasonal challenges” to their clients. These are hefty fitness goals which require students to continue their commitment to fitness everyday, even when they don’t make it to the gym. Ultimately, fitness goals become woven into the fabric of their lives. January through June is the “Hot By June” Challenge. It includes training for, and performing a split. (Yes: two legs split apart. Yes, if you train for it, you can do it).
July through December is training season for The Plank Challenge. For six months, students from around the world rally for a common goal: to hold the longest plank that they are physically and mentally capable of. The Plank Challenge is offered as a part of willPower & grace® workouts in gyms around the world – but you can also join us virtually. The Plank Challenge is a physical and a mental challenge for everyone who who participates, it’s also a great way to stay committed to an exercise program through through the hectic days of autumn. (It’s only a few minutes each day!)
Goal Setting 101:
1. Step One: Contemplate the benefit for you. Why is this challenge something you see yourself committing to, and succeeding at? Does it interest you? Do you see personal benefits? (The Plank is a simple exercise that can be performed anywhere, equipment free. It can help protect your lower backs and improve your posture. It’s one of the simplest, safest, and most effective ways to strengthen the core muscles. Virtually anyone, of any age and fitness level can start planking.
2. Document your baseline; get a true sense of where you’ll begin. (A realistic Plank baseline may be 30 seconds, 90 seconds or 2 minutes. Remember – it’s just a measurement, a starting line.)
3. Define your goal, based on what you know about yourself; your physical ability and commitment level. This is your Macro-Goal. (An excellent goal times may be 5 minutes, 15 minutes or 35 minutes. Remember: this is YOUR goal, and will be your personal best.)
4. Use your calendar and assign a date to your Macro-Goal. Our Plank Challenge is held each year, mid-December.
5. Break down the Macro-Goal into small, manageable achievements. These Meso-Goals should be dispersed sporadically (monthly).
6. Use your calendar to make a plan; plug in the steps (Micro-Goals) which will help you reach each Meso-Goal. These will be the small and constant training tasks that you commit to on a daily basis. (Be sure to plug in “easy” plank days, and rest days).
We plank because it makes us strong from the inside out. For the Plank Challenge, our main goal is to encourage our students to be part of an exciting movement while also recognizing self-achievement through repetition, practice, and commitment. Excellent goal times may be 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 35 minutes. Remember – this is YOUR self-challenge, but by committing, you become a part of something much bigger than you.
Would you like to join us? First learn to Plank safely and correctly. Next, send photograph of yourself planking. Include your baseline time, and your (challenge) Meso-Goal time. We’ll look forward to hearing from you again, once you’ve taken pride in your achievement (and have a core of steel)!