How to Start a Process
This article was written by Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic and Trails Director, Bill Pierce
Starting something new can sometimes feel daunting and overwhelming. While we want to make changes to our lifestyle and improve our quality of life, we need to feel good about doing it. Understanding why we are doing it and how we will go about it are essential to goal success. For the sake of simplicity, I will discuss how to start a movement or exercise program in this blog.
First off, when planning any process, I feel two things matter for success. Having a well thought out purpose that will eventually be fueled by your growing passion is one. The other is having goals to reach for, and plans to help you get there. Ultimately, we want to make this process or activity cultural, or a daily part of your lifestyle. We don’t want it to be a fad, chore, or something that you do not love or look forward to.
Your purpose may be somewhat simple, or if it is lifestyle altering, it may have many different facets. The more that your purpose is not just about your wellbeing, but also about others and community, the more fulfilling, long-term, and satisfying your success will be. Setting goals that are long-term and short-term is important too. Create a vision that may be anywhere from one year to three years out. You must also accompany the long-term vision with smaller bench mark goals in between those vision years. This way you know that you are progressing toward your main objective. Measuring and seeing progression and improvements in the process is one of the biggest motivators that you will have. In any exercise routine, I feel it is beneficial to follow a written plan and document your work and experiences daily. When a plan and process are in written form, there is a sense of accountability. Write down your goals, document your work, and tell people about it. You will find not only accountability, but in most cases you will also find encouragement.
If you have never or seldom exercised, or are just starting after a long absence, it is important that you start small. The newness of movement will be challenging enough. If you feel or know that you have neglected your physical wellness and movement is difficult, then a medical physical from a well versed physician is a great starting point. Using a trainer, coach, or online program to guide you in your programming is a great idea for starting out. If your goal is to walk a 5K, or hike a wilderness trail, start with a build-up to the required duration. If the duration of your goal will take one to two hours, then start out with no more than 20-30 minutes of movement. Add an active warm up and cool down to the 30 minutes, and you now have a 45-50 minute exercise routine.
Many people will find reasons or excuses not to start taking care of themselves. If you want a better feeling and fulfilling life, then you must make healthy choices. If you have a busy work or family schedule that does not allow for “free” time, make it happen. You have 128 or more waking hours in your week. A simple movement program can take as little as five 45-minute sessions a week. That’s 3.75 hours, or no more than 3% of your time. Most individuals will spend more than that in accumulated screen time each day. Life is full of crossroads and choices… start moving today and choose healthy!