At the end of last year we noticed how easy it was to just plop ourselves down on the couch all day long because life is so exhausting (and parenting, amiright?). In an effort to live a more active lifestyle we decided to come up with a bit of a challenge for ourselves for 2016. Jordan listened to a few podcasts at the beginning of last year about creating lasting habits instead of generic goals. So while my original goal might have been to loose some weight, instead I tried to create lasting healthy habits. We decided 3-4 days of activity a week was a good starting place for our challenge. We counted going for a walk, going to the gym, going on a hike, swimming...etc. We had benchmark goals throughout the year in March, June, September, and December. If we met each benchmark we had a little reward associated with it.
I made a poster to keep us accountable, and had it printed at none other than my all time favorite store, Staples. (Even though I've already said it, I'll say it again, I LOVE Engineering Prints from Staples) Ours was huge: 36'' x 48''. We hung it on the wall in our kitchen, which was a great reminder everyday of our goals (if you do this however, expect to be doing A LOT of explaining when someone new comes to your house).
This challenge was awesome for me. I joined a gym, started meeting with a Personal Trainer, grew stronger, trained for and ran my fourth half marathon, and have really made exercising apart of our routine. Not only does the exercising make me happy but the time I get away from the girls (my gym has a daycare that my girls love!) makes me a better mom when I am with them.
The last few years I have tried to have one main thing to focus on, one main "resolution." Last year was reading. I wanted to read more books. This year it was exercising. I think the key for me is to create lasting habits and then stick with them forever. This year I was not only able to live an active lifestyle, I was able to read even more books than I did the year before (when reading was actually my goal). Next year, hopefully I will be able to continue to exercise and read even more books as well as work on my next "resolution" and so on and so on for years to come.
In hindsight 160 days was actually a little low for us. I ended up finishing a whole month early, on November 29th. We weren't completely sedentary people to start with; we've both always enjoying being active but we did need a little reminder so it was a good place to start.
Since this was such a positive experience for us I thought I'd share it on my blog and include a printable for anyone else who is interested in trying it this next year. Click here to download your own Exercise Challenge Chart. I have formatted it to be printed as an 18" x 24" Engineering Print at Staples.