30 day challenge #1 - The Gym

In December, my goal is to go to the gym at least 5 times a week. The stretch goal is to go all 30 days in December (the gym is closed on December 25th.)

For the normal weekdays when I'm at work, I will go to the gym straight away from work. I'll either pack my gym clothes and change at the end of the day at the office, or stop by my home, which is on the way to the gym from the office. Either way, I know for the weekdays, it will be work - gym - dinner - chores/hobbies.

For the weekends or days I am off of work, I'll be more flexible with my time, which is both great and disastrous. It doesn't matter if I go at 9am or 10am or 3pm. But I know if I let myself slide, I'll start talking myself out of it. "I'm kind of hungry, so I'll go after I eat lunch" turns into "Well, I could use today as one of the days I won't go. After all, the goal is just 5 times a week instead of 6 or 7." So, I'll wake up, get my usual two cups of coffee, then know once that is done, it is time to go to the gym. I won't have a set time - if I wake up at 8am and finish coffee #2 at 10am, I won't get to the gym until 10:30. But if I happen to wake up at 6:30, my second cup is done by 8:30 and I'm at the gym by 9. It won't be time based, it will be activity based. That way, I won't feel rushed in case I decide I need to sleep in a little bit. By having the gym earlier in the day, I won't be disrupting any social events during the weekend which are almost never before 1 or 2pm, and therefore more likely to go to the gym when it doesn't conflict with anything else.

I'm looking at my December calendar, and so far I only see one anomaly. I'm having dinner with one of my friends on the 4th straight after work. I will have to make sure that I'm ready to go to the gym after dinner. Meeting another friend on the 8th, but it's likely we'll be having lunch, so I can still go to the gym in the morning. I'm having dinner with a third friend on the 12th, but the office is letting out early that day, so I can go to the gym in the early afternoon, then still meet her for dinner. I have a doctor appointment in the afternoon of the 17th, so after work, I'll head to the doctor's office, then the gym, then start my usual evening routine.

Contingency plan: What if I get sick and am unable to go to the gym, either because I feel poor, or I don't want to spread germs? For those days, I can still do body weight exercises in my own home - sit ups, push ups, planks, my usual Physical Therapy exercises. If I do them for 45 minutes, I suppose I can count it. However, that shouldn't be done instead of going to the gym if I feel fine. Definitely saving that activity for extreme cases.

What I want to get out of this exercise is the craving and habit of going to the gym, and it would be extra nice if I have any positive changes - either I can lift things easier, or I feel better in general, or I feel I have more endurance with cardio, or I feel better about how I look. I'm hoping to get some sort of positive feedback considering I am hitting the gym hard, but I also know I won't be changing my diet yet, and I might only see some improvements in my legs or arms.

Tomorrow is December 1st, a Sunday! That means I'll get up, have my two cups of coffee, then head to the gym for a 45 - 60 minute workout! I'm looking forward to it. So far, I've really liked my gym, and I've missed working out the last two weeks while I traveled.

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