By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
Can you believe we’re nearing the end of January!? Hopefully you’ve detoxed from all those cookies you ate over the holidays and you’re making progress on the goals you set. But let’s be real…if you haven’t, that’s OK. I see people go into the new year eager to make changes and honor their “resolutions.” But when the craziness of life sets back in, it’s easy to fall off the wagon. This doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it’s just means you’re human and the good news is, you always have the opportunity to begin again.
If you need help setting goals or just hitting reset for the goals you’ve already set, keep reading because I’m going to break down some accountability hacks that will make you much more likely to knock those goals out of the park!
First things first. If you haven’t yet set your goals for the new year, don’t sweat it…it’s never too late to do something for yourself. Check out my first post, Setting Long-Term Goals (Not Short-Term Resolutions) to get started. The key thing to remember when setting a goal is to break down your large goal into smaller milestones.
For example, if you want to run a marathon, you wouldn’t just go out on day one and run ten miles if you’ve never run before in your life. You’d start small. Maybe you start by running one mile a few times a week. After a few months you can increase your mileage to three miles. As time goes on, you slowly build. It’s the same idea with any large goal—it’s a slow build.
After you’ve set your goal, you must hold yourself accountable so you can achieve it. How do you stay accountable? Here are three easy places to start.
1. Find an accountability partner. This is a person you can check in with monthly or weekly to make sure you’re on the right path. When you have to report your progress to someone else, you’re much more likely to make strides.
2. Get a goal buddy. This is slightly different than an accountability partner. A goal buddy is someone that has the same goal as you. You can work alongside this person (whether it’s a spouse, close friend or family member) to achieve milestones. If we stick with the running example, this would be someone that is running the same race as you, so you plan to go on runs together a couple times per week to keep each other motivated.
3. Treat yo’ self. Give yourself a small reward when you’ve achieved a milestone. This could be a massage after you’ve made it up to 10 miles, a piece of workout equipment you’ve been eyeing, or anything else that allows you to celebrate the progress you’ve made without getting you off-track. Pro-tip: Try not to reward yourself with food unless you can do so mindfully. Non-based food rewards have proven to be more successful in helping people crush their goals, especially if those goals are related to health and fitness.
Whether you’re continuing to work toward a goal, or you’ve just started, accountability is truly the key to success. Need expert help creating an accountability plan? Let’s chat!
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
Throughout life, we transition in and out of many phases. These seasons are marked by change and welcoming something (or someone) new into your life. I reflect on this as I am about to enter one of life's biggest transitions for a woman: motherhood.
In October, my husband and I found out that I was pregnant. There were so many emotions that filled our minds and hearts when we first discovered this news--excitement, fear, joy, and overwhelm to name a few. We knew we wanted to start a family, so of course we felt the happy emotions. But when the enormity of how our lives were going to change set in, more of the anxious and fearful emotions followed. All kinds of thoughts raced through my head:
"Oh my goodness, my body is going to change. I've worked so hard to get and stay in shape, and now everything is going to get big and stretched."
"I feel so nauseous and tired, how am I going to find the energy to get through the day and run my business?"
"If I am struggling to get through the day now, how is it going to be with a future pregnancy when we have a young child to take care of as well?" (Can you tell I'm a planner?!)
"Am I going to be a good mom?"
"Thank goodness I have the most amazing husband."
Confiding in my husband paired with a whole lot of prayer got me through these initial hard times. To those who saw me on a daily basis, nothing seemed out of the ordinary because I mustered up all the strength I had to be my normal, cheery, positive self. I even ran the Columbus Half Marathon six days after finding out I was pregnant...and set a personal record. I had been training all summer for a PR, and I do not take big goals like this lightly. That was by far the most nervous I had ever been going into a race. It took all the energy I had and I felt horrible, but I did it. I couldn't imagine not hitting that goal.
I share this with you to convey a very important message, and it was something I needed to fully embrace at that time (though I can't say that I did). Perseverance can get you through anything. I truly didn't know if I was going to hit my time goal, and the thought of not achieving this PR I worked so hard for put a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach...the stomach that was already nauseous. But I knew that I have always achieved the things I truly set my mind to. As I write this several months later, I truly believe that this journey of pregnancy and motherhood will be no different. I don't know exactly how this is all going to look, but I am determined to be the best mom and wife I can be.
I'm also beyond grateful to have Empower Physio and Wellness. This is the metaphorical baby that I have been growing for over a year now, and there has been lots of perseverance that has helped us get to where we are today. Empowering my clients to feel their best, overcome injuries, and break down preconceived notions of what their bodies can or can't do brings me so much joy. (Like, the kind of joy that has me skipping into the house in the evening with a huge smile on my face). I have never been happier in a "job". If raising a baby brings me half as much joy as building my business, life is going to look pretty darn good.
Thank you so much for walking with me on this journey. I am grateful for each and every one of you!
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
It’s hard to believe that the holidays have already come and gone. For most of us it’s back to school, back to work, or just back to the grind. It’s also a great time to start thinking about building a solid foundation for those spring races! Most races take place at the end of April or the middle of May, so there’s no time like the present to get moving so you can feel strong and powerful while preventing injury during your training. Whether you set a goal to run a 5k, 10k, full or half-marathon this year, this blog post is for you.
If you are doing a spring race, this is what you should be doing now:
1. Capitalize on strength. I typically recommend that people start strength training about three to four months before the race. Most online running programs won’t tell you this…but take my word for it. This is your opportunity to lay the groundwork and build endurance. Aim to incorporate strength training at least one day per week, ideally two.
2. Focus on your core, legs and glutes. By strengthening these muscles, you’re building the foundation you need as you increase your mileage. Most importantly, working these muscle groups prevents injury…plus who doesn’t want toned abs, legs and a booty?
3. Slowly incorporate running. In addition to your strength training, you may also consider adding in some light mileage. Shoot for two to five miles a couple times per week, depending on your race distance. Be sure to take your runs at a mild pace when you’re starting out. This means that you could easily hold a conversation with someone as you’re running. Around February, consider upping your mileage and incorporating speed work.
4. Shop for quality shoes. This will get you started on the right path as you build from the ground up (quite literally). Plus, if you were looking for an excuse to go shopping, here it is! A good pair of shoes is critical when running any type of race, and you don’t want to wait until race day to get them. You should train in the shoes that you’ll wear for the main event. If you’ve been wearing the same shoes for a long time (over 300-500 miles) it’s probably time to consider a new pair. Your joints will thank you.
5. Get plenty of sleep. Good sleep is important for your overall health in general, but it’s extra important when you’re in training mode. Getting a full eight hours helps your body recover properly and gives you the energy you need to get through those tough workouts as you build intensity. It’s never too early to start improving your sleep hygiene!
6. Don’t forget about nutrition. While I could write a whole other blog post on this topic, (stay tuned) I’ll keep it brief. Be sure you’re getting a healthy balance of protein and carbs, specifically before and after your runs and strength training exercises.
Best of luck starting your training regimen! If you need help from an expert or want a plan customized to YOU, let's chat!
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