What achieving my September goal taught me

Hey, everyone! It feels so good to be back on the blog today, reunited with you guys after about two months! I needed to take a break to focus on my mental health and refresh my creativity, which are both key in producing the best content for you guys. I hope you’re all taking good care of your own health too — that should ALWAYS come first, no matter what.

My biggest struggle during the pandemic has been finding motivation to do even the simplest of tasks. I get a good laugh from the memes that float around about it (because obviously a lot of other people feel the same way), but it is something I take very seriously. Before Corona, a.k.a. B.C. (feel free to borrow that BTW, it’s way better than “before the pandemic/quarantine”), I was moving my body all the time. One of the best parts about New York City is how walkable it is, and that includes going up and down subway station stairs and breaking a sweat lugging groceries home (stairs again). On top of that, I was working out regularly and hitting the dance studio about three times a week. For the most part, motivation to exercise was not an issue.

Once I came to Ohio to quarantine with my parents, I realized how much I took all of the above for granted (along with many other things from B.C. life, of course). Strolling flat, suburban streets couldn’t replace my beloved walks to the grocery store, church, the library, the bagel shop and CVS. I couldn’t stand the quiet here. I wanted my familiar sights and sounds back. I didn’t want to go for walks here because they felt too empty, boring and sad; furthermore, I’ve never been a big home workout person. Suddenly, motivation was an issue.

The truth is, I knew I couldn’t let regular exercise fall by the wayside. I needed it for my mental, social, emotional and (of course) physical health. So I decided to give myself a kick-in-the-butt pep talk.

Listen up, bitch! [I meant that word in an uplifting manner… ladies, if you’ve ever had another girl in the bar bathroom hype you up on a drunken Saturday night, you know what I mean lol] This is where you’re spending quarantine, and yes it sucks. Guess what? It ain’t changing. So get used to it. This may not be Queens Boulevard, but there’s still a sidewalk and you have two perfectly healthy legs. There’s a lot you don’t have control over at the moment, however you DO have control over taking care of yourself. Hold onto that.

And so not only did I set out to walk at least 10,000 steps every single day in September… I actually did it!

Fitbit Alta HR watch displaying 12,834 steps
Some girls show off their engagement ring, I show off my Fitbit Alta HR!

What’s interesting is that on paper, it didn’t sound that hard. This was 10,000 steps from walking, not running. But looking back, I learned a big life lesson: it’s the consistent commitment over a period of time that makes achieving a goal so challenging. Our world is saturated with technology-based shortcuts for getting things done, which definitely has its perks. However, there’s no shortcut to our own personal success, no replacement for effort, no matter the goal.

Have you ever taken a group fitness class or done a personal training session where you literally are fighting for one more rep, you feel like you can’t keep going, and you want to give up? The instructor or trainer tells you something alone the lines of, “this is the most crucial point, where the real progress is made!”

I have to say, it’s that exact mindset that pushed me to stick it out until the very end. All those little moments where I really had to dig deep and not let myself slack off because I was tired, or didn’t feel like it, or wanted to use crappy weather as an excuse to not go for a walk… those moments made it challenging. Those moments built and shaped my consistent commitment. Those hard-as-hell moments no one sees, those matter most!!

To close out on a lighter note, there’s one little trick I used to make my walks way more fun — coming in the next blog post 😉

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