7 Ways Adventure & Fitness Change Your Goal Setting Habits (Part 1)

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7 Ways Adventure & Fitness Change Your Goal Setting Habits
by Liz Galloway

It’s a regular Tuesday and I find my place in a crowded yoga studio. I sweat through my sculpt yoga class and listen to my instructor remind us our bodies can do what we want them to (even if it hurts sometimes) it’s our minds that need convincing. Though I’ve heard many motivational mantras, those words flipped a switch that day. Fitness and adventure travel has created many positive aspects in my life, including providing the mental strength to move beyond previous boundaries. There’s nothing like remembering the bad times to appreciate the good and having a healthy outlet to improve them.

Fitness and yoga have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and it’s a beautiful aspect that can change lives. It’s changed mine. Secured my emotions, and toned my muscles. It’s given me a deeper, more profound reflection of myself and led me to add fitness and yoga instructor certifications to my skill set. But I don’t always have the future fully formed, and I like to leave a pathway for flexibility. These are seven signals I’ve found along the way that help change goal-setting habits. So you can set smarter, healthier goals.

Mental Health Boost & New Synaptic Pathways

Ikigai is a Japanese term for happiness and meaning. Iki meaning life and kai meaning hope and expectation. Roughly translated, it’s a reason for being. I lead outdoor getaways and follow the path into nature to re-energize because it has literal effects on our physical and mental being. To offset our busy lifestyles (much of if sedentary) moving the body with outdoor adventures and small steps towards the fitness we want, fights heart disease, autoimmune disease, insomnia, and depression. According to the cognitive psychologist, David Strayer after a little forest bathing our prefrontal cortex winds down and increasing its qualitative thinking rather than being overstressed on high volume at all times. Nature helps us form healthy habits, and slowly those habits carve new neural pathways in our brains. That is your brain on nature.

Failing A Thousand Ways

If you’ve ever set out on a long hike excited summit and ten things happen to stop it, you know failing in the outdoors. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sudden rainstorm, unexpected ice crossings, or your own muscles and lungs fighting you. The vulnerability and honesty it requires to truly push your physical boundaries outdoors or in the gym, is better than therapy. And every time you do it, you get a little closer to your goal. I’ve read up on ultrarunners outrunning childhood trauma, and peak baggers using nature therapy to heal emotions and bring attention to the greater good. That all sounds like rainbows and butterflies but you’re thinking how does it apply to me? Failure is failure, personally or professionally, and we’ve all experienced it. It sucks, it feels terrible, it causes doubt and fear, but we can learn from it if we chose. Listen to your reactions.

There’s a space called optimal anxiety outside our comfort zone, and I thrive there. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s where things get done because to move to the next goal post, I have to push forward. Any athlete will tell you there is a similar zone in their realm. No matter how many times we fail, we have a chance to revise our strategy and try again. There’s nothing like failure to re-set goals.

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