Embrace Forward Motion

Wellness, fitness & personal growth


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Before Rushing Into New Year’s Resolutions…

It’s time for an End-of-Year Review!

End-of-Year Reviews give insight into the past year. New Year’s resolutions are more meaningful (and hopefully longer lasting) if we take time to evaluate our previous year.

Reflection is part of growth and self-improvement, so why would we want to miss out on that?

An End-of-Year Review allows you to:

  • See how you started, how you’re doing and where you’re headed
  • Record progress and personal growth
  • Compare numbers (speed/distance/time) or how you felt throughout the year
  • Notice patterns
  • Identify successes and challenges
  • Brainstorm New Year’s resolutions

Ways to get started on your review:

  • Think chronologically. Take it one month at a time. How did the year go? Which patterns, successes and challenges come to light?
  • Reflect back on last year’s resolutions. How did those turn out?
  • Identify new activities or interests you picked up. Note ones you just tried out and others you continue to do. The new keeps it fun.
  • Time to brainstorm! What would you like to accomplish in the upcoming year?

Ongoing reflection throughout the year keeps you successful. Check out how to Track Your Progress and Start a Fitness Log.

If you’re eager to get started on your resolutions, learn how to Make Physical Activity a Habit.

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Track Your Progress: Start a Fitness Log

The best way to assess progress is to track it. Logging fitness will benefit you in various ways:

  • See how you started, how you’re doing and where you’re headed
  • Have a visual of your progress
  • Compare numbers (speed/distance) or how you feel throughout the month
  • Notice patterns
  • Identify successes and challenges
  • Record your personal growth

Here I offer four ways to keep fitness/wellness logs: using a calendar, planner, journal and websites/apps. Feel free to choose the one(s) that best fit your lifestyle.

Using a calendar

As simple as it gets: focus on numbers, not words, as you fill in the boxes.

Ex: Mon, Feb. 1st – Run 2 mi, Tues, Feb. 2nd – Rest, Wed, Feb. 3rd – Bike 20 min.

Using a planner

A planner with daily and weekly entries allows you to record what you physically did and what you are mentally thinking about as you work toward your goals. Some days it can be just factual or include explanation:

Ex. Ran 2 mi on trail, lifted weights ~20 min

Ex: Ran 2 mi on Cedar Lake Trail. Beautiful day, ~70F. Felt good and energetic the entire time. Lifted weights in gym ~20 min after run, focused on upper body.

Suggestions for Daily Entries:

  • What did you do that day? Include work out AND rest days.
  • How did you feel? Did you perform how you expected?
  • What was the weather like?
  • Did you have an insight? Found something that motivated you?
  • Was there a particularly good or bad experience?
  • Recovering from injury or soreness from the previous day? What are your steps for treating it?
  • Is there something new you wish to explore?

Suggestions for Weekly Entries:

  • How did the week go overall?
  • Did you complete a weekly goal, if you have one?
  • What challenges did you perceive or overcome?
  • What do you want to focus on next week?

Using a paper or digital journal

Journals allow for a more expanded version than the Daily Planner Entries, as these tend to be filled in paragraphs of text, rather than short sentences. Ideas flow more freely and may be more expressive.

Ex: Today I biked 3 miles on Cedar Lake Trail. The weather was a perfectly sunny, but a hot 85 degrees, with no wind. The route struck me as boring, and there was a lack of shade. I’ll have to look into other routes in the area that may provide a change in scenery, and hopefully more shade.

Using websites or apps

The best websites and apps I use and recommend for recording fitness are MapMyRun, Endomondo and S Health. For more information on the websites and apps, check out the Resources tab.