Starting a committed exercise journey

I have been to the gym, or completed exercise at home during various points in my life. I first started lifting a little with dumbbells at home in my mid-teens, where I didn’t really notice any change to my body, but liked making the effort to do something. Over the years, gym memberships have come and gone, and focus has lapsed and been renewed. Like many people, most of these bursts of enthusiasm last days or weeks, and then fade away. More recently, I kitted out my garage with a weight lifting cage with an Olympic bar and weights. The plan was to save money long term by not paying for a gym. It worked in “saving” money, but my usage was just as sporadic.

At the start of 2018, I turned 39. I had said to myself some months before that I want to finally make a committed effort to improve myself physically, and be at the peak of my life by 40. I wanted to give myself a year, or thereabouts. With the Christmas gluttony over, I began my focussed journey on 6th January 2018.

As my wife was already working out frequently, and on the back of booking a summer holiday for early June, she decided to set a short term target – 100 workouts by the time we leave for holiday. By this point, I was a week into lifting weights, and the new challenge was welcome. A milestone to reach on a year long journey. My calculations found that I’d need to work out 4-5 times a week, every week. Challenge accepted!

As I write this, I’m up to 29 workouts. Roughly on track to the target of 100 by 2nd June, and I will reach that number, so long as sickness or injury don’t stop me. My focus is purely around me wanting to finally complete something that I’ve being trying on and off for a long time. Though age doesn’t really mean much to me, a nice round number of 40 has prompted my task based mind to focus on getting the job done, and a shorter term milestone just makes it even easier to maintain focus.

The great thing about my short term goal is that it doesn’t technically require anything but ticking a box to add a number to my tally. It has no measurable around weight loss, muscle increase, body shape, or anything like that. However, the beauty of it is that it has given me a great focus. There is no way I can’t make body progress by working out 4-5 times a week, All I need to do is make sure I work hard when I workout, and make a few smarter food choices. The longer term plan is a little more woolly, but if I keep racking up those workouts, the results will come.

I’ll post again with more detail about what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and anything I learn along the way. In the meantime, if you have struggled with motivation in the past, I can honestly say that all you need is a target. Something you can 100% achieve. Losing 5lbs in 3 weeks is somewhat outside of your direct control, but is the type of goal that is usually set. Instead, set a workout target. Tick them off. Get the job done. Get to that goal. The body progress will follow.

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