The Christmas holiday time is usually such a welcome period to relax and take in a deep breath for people. We’ve worked hard all year long and had our successes, and some failures along the way. We have racked our brains, and stretched our budgets to come up with creative gifts for family and friends, and now this time between Christmas and New Year’s day is our relax time. Or is it?
For the last two years, I have learned to appreciate this time of year for some self reflection on the past 12 months. I think about how many goals I’ve been able to reach, and how many are still in front of me. Assessing my diet and exercise progress, has my running flat and mountain trails improved, how often do I shoot my bow, what changes need to be made to my equipment, or what new equipment is out that I want to try out. I look at my arrow setup and try and figure out if there is any room for improvement, or any variation I haven’t tried yet.
Most of all, at this time of year is my chance to take in a deep breath and refocus on being better. I have to get in the mind set, and believe that right now is the time to make advances in all those areas mentioned. If ever there was a time to become motivated or inspired, it is now that the holidays are over. Right now I can focus on improving myself, make some progress over the average hunter, and start a countdown to September and bugling bulls, bucks in velvet, and all the challenges of another hunting season. Getting deeper into the wilderness away from people, being able to pack more weight, hike longer, build up mental strength and toughness, test new gear, and learning new areas are just some of the things I think about to help build that fire inside.
What are some things you can start doing, even if you haven’t exercised in a long time? Start slow, and build up. The most important thing is to just start! Once you’ve made up your mind to do something about your physical fitness, start doing it before you lose that mental focus and determination. After you have done it for a week or two, it just slowly becomes part of your normal routine and you get used to making a little time each day to improve yourself. Start with lifting weights two to three times a week for 30 minutes, and try to do some form of cardio two to three times a week for the same. Then build up from there. Walking on the treadmill or eliptical machine to start off with is ok, its something you weren’t doing the week before! Go for some hikes on trails, and eventually add a pack with some weight in it, or increase the distance or difficulty of the hike. Nick The Trainer Dude will have all kinds of suggestions and plans for people who are serious about starting, or improving, their workout routines.
Whatever your reasons, now is the time to take a step towards your goals and feel better about your odds this coming season. Do it for yourself, for your health, and most of all your overall happiness. Turn that holiday cheer into some sheer determination to be better this coming year, and chase dreams with me!