Goal Setting From the Heart; Polar HRM Giveaway


Yep, this is another Goal Post!

Which means it's time for another chance for clever and inspiring Cranketeers to chat and offer support around our various goals.

Are your goals perennial old favorites that you return to time and again? Or are they all fresh and new and shiny? Are they easy-peasey no-brainers, or are they awe-inspiring challenges or are they just plain crazy-ass outrageous?

It's all good!  I'll be very curious about how the last part of February went and what you're all up to in March.

As it happens, my thoughts on goal setting aren't really all that "from the heart."  It's honestly more of a "head' than "heart" post. But hell, "Goals From the Head" doesn't fit in very well thematically since we're just about at the end of National Please Don't Croak From A Heart Attack Month*** plus we've got a nifty Polar FT7 Heart Rate monitor to give away designed to keep your ticker tickin' throughout the year.


Anyway, I'll try to keep my thoughts on goal setting brief.

1. You May Not Even Need a "Goal"

Not everyone benefits from setting goals at all. Are you enjoying life, not screwing up in a major way, and mostly living your priorities?  Then hell, don't feel like you need to join the club just because others of us may be chasing after elusive rainbows or brass rings.

And sure, havng a fancy-pantsy Goal With a Capital G may inspire you to accomplish something important more quickly,  but it may also cause you to miss smelling a few flowers along the way.  Well, unless your goal IS to smell more flowers, in which case your golden.

2.  Know Thyself

Do you tend to achieve more when you really stretch yourself?  Or do you whine and sulk and give up in discouragement if you find yourself struggling to meet optimistic targets?

Some people do better building slowly on very achievable goals to build up an ever-increasing sense of accomplishment and confidence.

Other people just enjoy kicking ass when they can, and are quite capable of ignoring reality completely in the goal setting process. And then ignoring it again if they fail to do superhuman things. Either way they just keep on chargin' up those hills and sometimes they actually do accomplish f--cking miracles.

It helps a lot to know which kind of person you are!

3. Build in Flexibility 

Whether your goal is hard or easy, life has a way of throwing complications at us.  If you have a couple different ways to feel successful, you'll have better luck staying on track and keeping motivated.

You can mix a "stretch" goal with a "fallback" goal.  Like: Don't go out to lunch ever again, pack a healthy meal and some snacks from home every day!  Yay, great idea! But, fallback with:  cut back from five times a week to just twice a week.

Or you can shoot for a tangible, exciting, exterior type target like "run a marathon!" but also define it in terms of an hours per week fitness commitment. That way if your body turns on you and all your parts start breaking down one after the other, you can still feel successful even as you limp your way to your water-aerobics class cursing and sobbing in understandable frustration without feeling defeated.

4. OK, Here's the "From the Heart" Part

If you are a person with a lot of "shoulds" in your life, it can be all too easy to find yourself chasing someone else's goals.  You "should" get A's in school, you "should" get married and have kids, or give up those diet sodas or train for a triathlon or quit smoking or find a volunteer gig or do any of a number of virtuous things.

But you have to really want these achievements, deep down. And not just a little.  You need to be FIRED UP!!  Otherwise, you're just not going to get there and you may as well spare yourself the wasted hopes and energy.

Figure out if deep within you, you really really would like to shoot for something important to you.  If you do a gut/heart/other internal organ check, perhaps your liver just for variety, and the fire truly burns within? Then go for it!  You can confront your fears and defeatism and old habits and figure out new ways of getting what you want and deserve.

But if it ain't... who knows--freeing up the energy you've been using half-heartedly chasing goals that are depressing "shoulds" may lead to surprising new discoveries.  Wouldn't it be more exciting to chase goals that feel truly thrilling and all YOURS?

About the Monitor:

Let's run that pretty picture again, shall we?



It's from Polar and I like their high quality monitors; it's not as fancy as the Polar RCX3 I reviewed, but it's a step up from the basic Polar FT4 which I was also very happy with.

The FT7 is aimed at "those who want to know if they’re improving their fitness or burning fat." Which honestly seems like kind of a dubious distinction to me but whatever; what's cool is that it's got the comfy version of chest strap, coded to avoid cross-talk, and it also calculates calories burned as well as heart rate.


About the Giveaway:

This is not really designed as a "drive-by" giveaway to get more web traffic thing.

This is actually a "reward" opportunity for folks who are giving each other goal support and accountability by stopping by throughout March and replying to other comments on as well as leaving their own.  So if you've googled in and thought "goody!" it's probably not worth your time to hang out here all month just for the contest.  On the other hand, you may find you really like the nice folks who hang here and become a Cranketeer yourself!

The monitor winner will be chosen near the end of the month. A small group of Secret Finalists will be selected based on arbitrary and possibly irrational criteria, and then the mean old random number generator will make the final selection so that I don't have to personally say 'NO' to anyone myself.

I'm paying for postage on this one, so everyone is eligible no matter what country you're from.

***(And note: Apologies to anyone offended by the irreverent use of "Croak" above. But my own father ignored all dietary and exercise advice after his first few heart attacks and died at just about the age I am now, damn him. So it's a health risk I do take seriously, even though I do think it's weird that all these diseases have their own special celebration months. Hope you had a Happy Heart Attack Month!)

So how did your February Goals go and Watcha' All Got Planned for March?

Goal post photo: KatieDee


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