On January 1st, I decided to set a New Year’s Goal for myself. Not a resolution. A goal. Something that required daily commitment, a plan and an endpoint. Resolutions are good and I definitely set a few this year but resolutions are often very general – “get in shape,” “eat better,” etc. I wanted to be more intentional this year. And here I am, on January 31st, having completed my first personal goal of 2021 and feeling rather great about it. I’d like to share my experience with you.
My Goal: The goal I set for myself was to do 15 pull-ups (neutral grip because of a rotator cuff impingement) and 30 hanging knee tucks every single day during the month of January.
Why?: There are a few reasons why I decided to set this goal for myself: (1) I really like pull-ups and I wasn’t doing them often enough with all the classes/clients I manage, (2) I wanted to build strength and (3) they are a challenge.
My Progress: Day 1: I started on Day 1 with 3 sets of 5 pull-ups with a set of crunches in between for “rest.” Then I switched over to 3 sets of 10 hanging knee tucks with a 6 lb. ball between my feet. The last set of each exercise was definitely a struggle. I had to dig deep on the pull-ups and watch my form on the hanging knee tucks but I did it. Only 30 more days to go!
Day 8: Things are starting to get a bit easier. I’m able to complete the 3 rounds of each exercise with a bit more fluidity and confidence. I am encouraged.
Day 16: 2 weeks in…there have been a few days that I really wanted to skip. I was tired or I didn’t think I had it in me that day. It would have been very easy to bail -no one knew I was doing this challenge. I needed to hold myself accountable…and I did. 2 weeks in…let’s make this interesting. Can we up the ante a bit? I added an extra pull-up/round and I increased the weight for my hanging knee tucks from 6 lbs. to 12 lbs. Could I do it? Well…I felt like I did on Day 1 again…it was a struggle. I needed a bit more rest between rounds and I needed grit to get it done, but I did it.
Day 23: All I am thinking this day is “Wow…January is a long month!” 4 weeks in at this point. The sixth pull-up is becoming easier…except for the last round. The hanging knee tucks are very satisfying. I’m feeling good but I can’t believe I have another week of this! OMG!
Day 31: I woke up very excited. I couldn’t wait to get downstairs and complete my goal. I wanted to see if I could push myself just a little bit more. For the first time, I was able to complete 3 rounds of 7 pull-ups and 4 rounds of 10 hanging knee tucks!!! Success!!!
Conclusion: Along with the satisfaction of achieving my goal, I came away from this experience with more confidence in myself and what my body can do. I don’t know that I will continue to do pull-ups and hanging knee tucks every single day but I do know that whatever the next goal I set for myself, I am certain that I will complete it. Small goals with endpoints are a great way to realize larger resolutions. That “get in shape” resolution can be attained by setting small, realistic goals for yourself. “I will commit to working out 3 times this week,” or “I will challenge myself to hold a 1 minute plank for 7 consecutive days” make “getting in shape” achievable. Try setting a small goal for yourself this week and see how it goes. Feel free to share your experience with me!