Is Micro-Progress the Key to Masters Fitness?

    Is Micro-Progress the Key to Masters Fitness?

    Daunting goals can freeze us on the first rung of any ladder, while micro-goals are rife with possibility.

    micro-progress, micro-goals

    Micro-Progress and the Magic of Just Getting Started” is the title of a recent New York Times article by Tim Herrera, and it had nothing to do with fitness. And everything to do with fitness.

    The point of the story is that productivity entails breaking down tasks into tiny units of progress that we can easily meet one step at a time. It’s great advice. “Run a marathon” or “lose 20 pounds” or even “get this article written” can seem like such daunting goals that we’re frozen on the first rung of the ladder.

    But how about a micro-goal like “pull on running shoes”? And then “start walking”? Loping around the block, I just might break into a jog. And I might do it again tomorrow. I’m on my way, one micro-goal at a time.

    In a nice bit of synchronicity, a website called Diet Spotlight reached out to The Masters Athlete at the same time for some input into a story called “Exercise Tips: Beginner’s Guide.” TMA co-editor Andrew Tilin fielded the question with this response:

    “Consistency is so important. Get even a little bit of exercise most every day and your fitness goals become more than attainable. They’re points on the horizon that you’re excited to reach. On days when you’re unmotivated, just get in a short workout. Then congratulate yourself on the effort. Doing a little can sometimes be a greater achievement than doing a lot.”

    So true, and so scalable, no matter where we are on our fitness journey.

    In a final touch of synchronicity, Tim Herrera used his own newsletter deadline as his touchstone for the story. Examples of newsletter-writing micro-goals were things like open document, name document, and write one sentence. Ironically, I was dancing around my own newsletter deadline, and feeling a bit overwhelmed. Should we redesign it? Add a better signup form to our site?

    I was frozen—until I heeded Tim’s advice. I opened a document and wrote a sentence. And another. The TMA newsletter went out on time. You can view it here. Then I heeded Andrew’s advice: I went for a short run.

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