correcting my bad form in time for april goal setting

969355_10151697636173474_1746881806_nIn 2013 I had a clear game plan: exercise each and every day of the calendar year, 365 days total.

I stated my goal, chased my goal, and attained my goal. Victory was mine. And it tasted sweet.

When 2014 arrived, I found myself somewhat rudderless. I was committed to this new, healthier lifestyle, and determined to still workout 5-7 days per week, but that alone didn’t seem like it was enough to constitute a 2014 goal.

It certainly wasn’t enough to get me all excited, like I was when I kicked off my 2013 365-days-of-sweat journey. [Who wants to say, “I worked out 352 days last year!” No one, that’s who. Go big or go home.]

When I first explored how best to identify, pursue and write about my new 2014 goals in this post, I said I wanted to do “big things”. I wanted to challenge myself, on a monthly basis, to try new things, face my fears, and stretch beyond my comfort zone.

And I did a bunch of those things in JanuaryFebruary and March.

What I didn’t do, in stark difference to my 2013 approach, was to actually tell people what my big challenges were until after I had completed them. Bad form, Nanc.

Total chicken-shit approach. A complete cop-out on every level. #Fail

I was completely deflated when I finally came to the realization a week ago that I’ve been taking the easy way out. I hid behind my “victories” to deflect from the fact that I wasn’t even brave enough to have declared them goals in the first place.

Why though? …Especially given my previous success with a giant, publicly declared, BHAG.

I suspect it’s got something to do with having gone back to work, and having less personal time to pursue big goals. But more than that, I think it’s simply the fact that I hadn’t come up with a really great list of goals to chase.

And so I asked myself, is achieving a goal a true achievement if you never declared it to be a goal in the first place?

For me, the answer is no, so I’m changing my approach.

From April onwards, I will be declaring my goals for the month at the beginning of each month. Of course I will still provide end-of-month summary/recap posts to highlight the accomplishments (or missed/incomplete goals), ensuring full accountability.

Now this feels more like it.

So without further ado, I bring you:

My April 2014 goals:

1. Focus on running:

  1. Run at least 60 kms in April — with a stretch goal of 75 kms.
  2. Run a 10k race on April 26th or May 10 TBD


2. Focus on core conditioning:

  1. 30 days of planks: hold planks each and every day in April. Goal of holding a full, perfect form 2-minute plank by April 30th.
  2. Continue the 100 push-ups program (training is 3X/week)


3. Focus on yoga:

  1. 30 days of yoga: goal is to complete some form of yoga practice every day in April – even if it’s just a short yoga sequence in the morning.
  2. Practice the 20 minute “yoga for runners” program at least 2x/week to support the increased running this month.

morning yoga

The gauntlet has been thrown down, my friends.

Who’s in? Who wants to declare their own monthly challenges for April? I know my friend, Kerry at Winding Road already has.

If you want to join in on the action please link back to this post. The more the merrier. [AKA misery loves company]

I can’t wait to see what April’s bad-ass round up looks like.

Keep moving!

xoxo nancy

*Quick note: wonky blogging schedule this week while I invade NYC. Should be back to normal next week. >

74 thoughts on “correcting my bad form in time for april goal setting

  1. I’ve started doing planks – christ, they’re hard work! But feel like you’re doing something which is good! The downside is that you can’t hold a glass of wine while you do them… 😉

  2. Declaring up front is hard – it means if you fail, you fail publicly. BUT failure or not, making your intentions known is motivating for you AND your readers (like me!). I’m in for April – currently on day 8 of being vegan and going well (lack of posts due to easter hols!). Stay strong!! X

    • Totally, Rose. That’s why these past 3 months have felt just sort of meh. This is the right way to do it, for sure. Worked last year with the 365-day goal, that’s for sure. Amazing how much more accountable you hold yourself when you know others are watching!

  3. I agree with Rose!
    The difference when you declare publicly at the beginning is that you have to admit if you didn’t reach you goal. But that is not always a bad thing, if you learn from the experience then this is good 🙂

    These are awesome goals 🙂
    I am in no doubt that you will achieve your running goal 🙂 you are goin great guns on that one already 😀 I will keep an eye on you in Strava!
    If you plank perfectly for 2 mins…I will be in awe! 😀

    I am sticking with my attempts to get up in the morning as my april goal, the second massive goal is to pass my gym instructor practical assessment…and run a 10 on 27th April, and Dance all the dances in the Story we are performing on 19th april, and make a wedding cake (which is done) and lose 4kg and win money (I really need to write a post about that one) and to finish my super secret blog project which is 99% there 😀

    April is busy!

    • That 2 min plank may be a moving goal from month to month considering I shake uncontrollably at 1 min and then collapse on the floor at 1:15!

      Your April goals are awesome and I just got your super secret project! I’ll review on the plane and get right back to you later today. I’m sure it’s perfect! xoxo

      • I am sure you will get to 2 mins, I find my arms get tired before my core if I do full plank, but I still shake like crazy after about 40s!

        I hope you like it 🙂 I can change it if you want me to 🙂

      • My core is easily my least fit area. I’ve been avoiding focusing on it because I have soooo far to go. This may be the biggest challenge yet!

        I’m sure it is fantastic. Once I get it loaded up in WP I’ll send you a preview to make sure you’re pleased with it.

  4. I like the plank challenge. I really need more core strength. My abs were shot after kids and I haven’t done the hard work to get them back. maybe I’ll add in some planks each day too. or save that for May. I love your idea of a monthly challenge because I don’t want all of this to end April 30

    • Challenges are big motivators for me, so they’ll absolutely continue from month to month – main difference is that I’ll be stating the goals at the beginning of the month from here in in. 🙂

      Oh that 2 min plank will be the death of me!

  5. A 2 minute plank is a bold challenge … although why anyone would want to is beyond me 🙂 I hugged my massage therapist when she suggested I find other core exercises instead of planks because of my damaged shoulder. It was such a happy day – now I am without guilt. Hence the hula hoop challenge last year 🙂

    • My core is so weak, Joanne. Too weak. Need to work on it. Enough avoidance!

      I have a shoulder injury as well, and was told by the orthopaedic surgeon to avoid push-ups, which I gladly did for six months. 🙂

      I don’t *think* I’m re aggravating it with the planking, but this is a good reminder that I need to be hyper aware not to undo all the healing in that shoulder.

      Hula hooping is good for strengthening the core? Wow! I def need to invest in one then.

  6. Kick ass and take names, sister. I’d love to run a marathon in the fall or spring, but don’t have the chutzpah to make a declaration yet. I will go on record as saying I’m going for a run this afternoon. 🙂 John

    • I’d like to say I am also going for a run this afternoon but this never ending cough/cold has me sidelined. 😦

      This is really setting my training back, so the 10k is at risk. 😦 No excuses… I will run one at the end of April or early May. It may not be fast, but it will happen. 😦

  7. Good luck with your goals. You’ve announced them to the world, you brave woman.

    In relation to your plank goal, I just learned that forearm planks are more core-challenging then those using straight-arm positioning. That makes me happy, because I prefer the forearm position. Well, actually I prefer neither, but that’s not an option…

  8. When I get out of my recliner I’ll think of something to challenge myself with. Love the little doggie doing “up dog!”
    In case you think I’m a total slug, I’m going to a killer yoga class at 9am. I’ll suggest to the teacher we do a 2 minute plank and see if I get out of there alive! That will be my challenge.

  9. Aw hell, Nanc. You got to me. I’ve just tested my plankability and I managed 1:35. I guess I’ll just have to try again tomorrow and the next day and the next day. You’re going to hear about this!

  10. Ugh, do I have to? My goal for April is to read about Nancy’s accomplishments and feel worse about myself. LOL. Just Kidding! Good for you! My realistic goal is to get out of bed even when my joints hurt and at least walk to the mailbox. And to make more homemade Sangria and I suppose to eat better. But mostly, my goal is to survive my daughter making her college decision. 🙂

  11. I love it here Nancy, I learn so much from your posts and your readers! Thanks to Carrie I’ll feel better about my forearm planks instead of thinking I need to be in a full extension that hurts my wrists. I tried the hulahoop thing a few years ago and definitely felt it around my core but maybe I shouldn’t have ordered the weighted version… you wouldn’t have believed the pattern of bruises around my hips and waist. 😦 Enjoy New York!

    • Yes, I should have notes I’m doing forearm planks. Unfortunately the cute meme shows a high plank. (Side note, do you ever do the forearm to high plank march thing? That’s a nice challenge! And good to know on the hula hoop. Such an inexpensive investment and fun to boot. Buying one this weekend! But def not the weighted kind. You cray-cray sista!

      • Yeah, the weighted hoop was not one of my smarter choices. 😉 I do like the plank march thing and feel like it gets a great workout into my shoulders without any wrist pain. It’s hard but worth it!

      • Nay! Go for the weighted hoop. Yes, it definitely hurts … in the beginning. Now I wouldn’t want to go back. It’s a better workout … says she who is a slug at heart.
        Having said that, I got the lightest one I could find. I think it’s 1.5 kg.

  12. I don’t believe I have ever seen the word ‘plank’ so many times in one place. I almost counted them but then realized surely I must have something better to do!
    So about this question – Is achieving a goal a true achievement if you never declared it to be a goal in the first place? – I must disagree. You must have wanted to accomplish those things in order to do them in the first place. Just because you don’t make yourself accountable to other people, doesn’t make it less of an achievement.
    Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the idea of setting goals but sometimes the best things are achieved spontaneously and it still counts even if it’s not written down or shared.

    • Okay, I totally see your point. So I maybe I need the added pressure of not wanting to fail once I’ve told people what I’m planning. Neurotic, yes – but at least it keeps me on track. 🙂

      And no kidding on the # of plank mentions, right??

  13. Bravo for putting it all out there, Nancy. It’s the best way to stay accountable. I don’t blame you, though, for not doing it at first. You had no way to know how your job would change things up, and you needed to give yourself some time to see how that would all work. Now that you’re in a rhythm, it’s easier to declare attainable goals you know you can do instead of ones that simply wouldn’t work with the changes in your life.

  14. Whoohoo! Two minute plank after I was pumped up after yoga this morning. Terrible form and thought I was going to die after about 30 seconds. I’ll keep working on it and see if I can hold ‘er steady by the end of the month. I guess I’m not a total slug after all but you’ll have to do all my running and push-ups for me.

  15. Wow, Nancy, this just confirms you are the badass to end all badasses! 🙂

    I like the reminder from Carrie about forearm planks. My core is my weakness as well, and I must fix it. I will combine full and forearm planks in my sequence. Not sure if I can do the march you described, although I have in class before. I shake like an earthquake at about 35 seconds, and can do 60, but not sure the form is perfect. 😀

    You have inspired me to commit to yoga classes every day they are available (this week 5) and my own sequence on the other days. I have been walking as well, but the pollen has turned me into a swollen, drippy, sniffly mess, so I may have to take a pause and use the (indoor) elliptical till it wanes a bit.

    Rock on, sister! BTW, do you think all these planks will drive some interesting new search terms?

    • I figure I’m getting enough full/high planks when I’m doing all those dang push-ups, so I’ll stick to forearm planks for the 2-minute project. 🙂

      Your April plan sounds wicked awesome! Take care with those nasty allergies though.

      And I can’t even begin to imagine what search terms will look like in the next 30-60 days. 🙂

  16. Pingback: why do I do this to myself? | my year[s] of sweat!

  17. Pingback: monthly challenges recap: April edition | my year[s] of sweat!

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