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Inside my February Experiment: Simple Workout Regimen

Rather than set one or two New Year's goals as I had done in previous years, I set out to accomplish 12 things in 12 months.  Think of it as a Tim Ferris program for the average guy.  In January, I set out to practice the ancient discipline of centering prayer.  This month, I had two options- get myself stronger physically or continue to tone my spiritual life.

I chose the tougher of the two- it was time to get in shape.

Taking some leads from Leo Babauta's formula for setting goals (choose one at a time, write it down, tell others about your goal, tackle it every day), I launched right in and made it more specific:

100 push-ups a day and 200 abdominal crunches a day...off I went to tackle my February challenge.

SUCCESSES

In the beginning, as with most goals, it was pretty easy. I would say that week one was full of about 6 days of successful fitness.  My success points came on days when I would begin my fitness early in the day and chip away at it.  After all, no one feels like doing 300 of anything later in the day!  The push-ups were doable and I could crank out 30-40 at a chunk.  As for the sit-ups, keep reading.

FALLING SHORT

In the sit-up category, I have to admit that I don't really enjoy doing the darn things.  This was, from the git-go, my sticking point and still is, nearly two weeks into the experiment. Each one is of course good for my spiritual life as I can offer it up for someone who may not have the ability to work out or even leave their house for various reasons.  I'll need to see them more as an opportunity for prayer.

Another way that I fell short was on the days when I would just plain forget to do anything of the physical sort. 10pm would roll around and my motivation for doing 300 "its" was at an all time low.  I was tempted to just call it a day and begin again the following day.  And that's what I gave myself permission to do.  I've learned that beating yourself up over a small, missed goal is not as productive as starting the following day with greater resolve and determination to succeed.

THE TWO WEEK UPDATE

I feel like my February experiment is now doing better.  I've been exceeding my 100 push up goal by 10-20 reps and my wife tells me that I look stronger.  She is a sweet person so I'm fairly certain she's just trying to keep me positive but I'll take the compliment nonetheless!

As for my sit-ups, I decided to take the law into my own hands and purchase an inflatable ball.  While this doesn't leave the same feeling of doing a ton of sit-ups, it's very comfortable and better for my back.  (see below)

At the mid way in my 2nd experiment of the year, I think I'm primed and ready for a strong finish.  More updates to follow.

Photo by Pablito

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