When I signed up to complete the 30 Day Shred challenge I didn't exactly commit to it wholeheartedly. I knew that committing to do something 30 days in a row would be difficult, so I gave myself some outs. I set a personal goal to do the Shred at least 4 days a week instead of committing to a straight 30 days. I doubted that I would succeed at completing the challenge, and my altered goal seemed much more do-able with my schedule.
The first two and a half weeks were near-perfect. I was motivated and energized, excited to be doing so well. I shredded 10 out of the first 15 days of the month. But then things started going down hill. In the last half of March my schedule became a bit more hectic and I only shredded 5 of 15 days. Unfortunately, I lived up to my own expectations and failed to complete the challenge (using the official "rules" or my own), and my results reflect that. The changes I can see from the 30 Day Shred Challenge were minimal. I lost 4 pounds and my measurements barely changed. In fact, I think any changes in my measurements were probably due to differences in where I took the measurements rather than actual changes in size.
I'm disappointed in my performance, but I'm not surprised at the results. I have a tendency to give myself too much flexibility when it comes to goal setting. I think this comes from a desire to avoid failure. If my requirements are lax, then I can't fail to reach my goal. If I don't really care about the results, then it doesn't matter so much when I don't see any. But I want to change this. I want to be able to make a commitment to myself and stick with it. I want to be realistic in my goals, but I want to challenge myself, as well. I want to recognize that so long as I make an effort (a REAL effort), I can be satisfied with whatever results I see in the end.
Despite my limited participation in the challenge, I was able to see some clear indicators that I'm stronger and fitter: both the cardio and strength portions of Levels 1 are much easier than they were on March 1st; I've been able to increase the weight I use during most of the strength exercises from 2 lbs. to 5 lbs.; my muscles are a bit more visible; my waist has a bit more definition. While I didn't shed the pounds and inches I was hoping to, these results encourage me to keep trying, to keep challenging myself.
So with that, I'm starting a new personal challenge for the month of April. I am committing to...
- Shred OR
- Do some other form of moderate cardio exercise for at least 30 minutes OR
- Practice yoga for at least 45 minutes
It's going to take planning and purposeful dedication, but I want to prove to myself that I can set a goal and achieve it. I can do this. I'm going to have an active April! Anyone want to join me?