Having help helps...

It's been a little while since I posted an update about my training for the Oxfam Trailwalk that myself and 3 mates are looking to complete in March, so I thought I should fill you in on my progress.

Training has been going well recently.  There was a little period a few months ago where my motivation to train just wasn't there - I think it was a case of the walk being too far away to scare me into action!  But suddenly March doesn't seem too far off anymore, which has prompted me to get out there and get my kilometres done.

Two big things that have made a difference for me are competition and permission.

Let's talk about competition first.  I'm a competitive person by nature, anyone who's seen me on a football field will know this.  One thing our trailwalk team has done has been to institute a minimum step count for each week of 100,000 steps with a penalty for falling short.  While this only averages out to about 14,000 per day which isn't a huge amount, it seems to be keeping everyone motivated to get their training done.  With everyone sending in their total steps a couple of times a week, it adds a little competitive element to the process also (well it does for me anyway).

The second element which has helped me to get out and get my training done is permission.  Sometimes when we have family and work commitments it is easy to put everyone else first.  What has really made my life easier the last few months has been my wife Sarah telling me to get out and train, and that it needs to be a priority.  

Now I know that it needs to be a priority if I want to finish the 100km walk, but to have the person who will need to pick up my slack with family commitments tell me to get out and do it gives me a huge boost.  It allows me to not worry that I am being a lousy husband/father.  It lets me focus on just getting the training done without fear I am coming home to resentment or annoyance.  It lets me know that my goals matter to my family as well as just me.  In short, it tells me that I am not being selfish.

Having good mechanisms in place to support you as you work towards a goal is vital.  They could be helpful family members, friends or colleagues.  It could be as simple as a joint challenge with a few workmates to make your own healthy lunch every day for two months (or something similar).  It could be having a gym buddy or trainer to hold you accountable for getting those workouts done each week.  Whatever it is it has to work for you.  

So give it some thought, what motivates you, and just as important, what is holding you back - you may not even know that anything is until you sit down and really think about it.  Taking time to think through these things is a great way to give yourself the best chance of reaching your goals.


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