Reasons to make (and complete) your To-Do List - February Fitness Challenge - March for 5 Minutes

Welcome to Week 2 - Day 8 of our challenge.

How are you finding it so far?


Written Instructions:


Today is a focus on productivity. I've asked you to make a To-Do list and complete, at least, 2 items on it. This is a mini form of goal setting... small, manageable steps we can achieve within the day. Try not to make a list of 20+ items, keep your focus specific to attainable tasks you can reasonably complete within the span of your day.


Here is a great article from Positive Psychology, The Science and Psychology of Goal-Setting 101, which outlines why goal setting is important and overviews a common way to establish goals through the SMART(ER) structure. I use this same method to help my Training/Wellness clients set measurable goals for themselves, and their lives.


A goal is great, a plan is even better... creating actionable steps to get there is the best.


I also talk about changing sensory perception by voicing an intention or affirmation out loud (instead of keeping it in our head) and, it's even more effective, when we write things down. This article from Self Development Secrets explains Why Writing Down Your Goals Can Help You Achieve Them. There is a benefit to making a list and checking off our completed tasks or goals. I prefer to use a check mark instead of crossing my item off the list to reaffirm positive psychology, but I suggest doing whatever works best for you.


There is also this effect an unfinished task has on us, called the Zeigarnik Effect. This is where our brains will hold onto an incomplete task until it is done. One of the best examples of this is when you hear a fragment of a song and it repeats in your head, the best way to stop it from continuing is to play the full song. Once the end happens, the brain files this loop cycle as complete. Funny little guy our brain is sometimes. The same thing happens to things we have intention to do, it'll loop back through taking up emotional and mental energy until we pay attention enough to complete the task. This is why it can be effective to create a To-Do List and progressively cross off or check mark items until everything is done. Here is an article from Mental Help (An American Addiction Centers Resource), The Zeigarnik Effect and Completing Everything. It explains some of the research behind this effect and how it can cause anxiety to have a pile of incomplete tasks looming in our mind. If you'd like some additional reading, I also found this article from Right Attitudes helpful. It outlines a few ways we can use The Zeigarnik Effect to our advantage. I like to use our basic psychology (well what I know and learn of it) to the benefit of our personal wellbeing. If it works to write things out and helps lift 'emotional weight' off our shoulders to 'do what needs to be done'. Then... it looks like we can help ourselves just by getting started.


Make a To-Do list, set a plan, create actionable steps, and complete (at least) 2 of those tasks. For an added benefit... write down (or acknowledge) how you feel as you're able to confirm your productivity. 🙂


Fitness Focus: 5 Minute March on the Spot


This is a Cardio specific task. For those who can't do much movement standing up, complete what you can when you can or sit in a chair and pump your arms and legs in march-like movements. Do 30 second or even 1 minute increments, multiple times throughout the day, if needed. The goal of this exercise is to get you moving. Protect your spine by actively keeping your core braced, shoulders set, and chest proud (watch the video for a more in depth explanation - if you are doing this while seated also make sure you are sitting tall and even on those hips). Keep a consistent pace with your breath; for example, inhale every 4 steps, exhale the next 4, and repeat. Pick a pattern that works for you.


For a more advanced challenge: lift your knees high with each march or quicken the pace to increase the intensity.


Complete this task as if you could still maintain a reasonable conversation while doing it. We should feel like we are working, but not struggling for breath or light headed. If 5 minutes is too long, break it down into more manageable steps. There's no harm in being where you are... look, you obviously are choosing to do something - Good for you! I like to remind my clients to concentrate on our end goal, pay mind to our aches and pains only long enough to make sure we aren't going to hurt ourselves, but push through the discomfort (lactic acid build up in the muscles that causes a burning sensation) by repeating positive affirmations; I've got this, I am strong, This is where changes are made, Growth happens with intention, I didn't start this just to stop now, I can do anything for 5 minutes. As long as it's safe to do so, push yourself. I believe in you.


Video Instructions:

There we have it. Day 8... in our February Fitness Challenge.

On to the second week!!

Any questions, message me anytime.


Once you've completed the day... comment below with your findings and progress, I'd love to support you while we challenge ourselves one day at a time. #DayOneAlways mentality with #believeagainfitness effort will create the #healthylifestyle consistency we need. Social media hashtag #februaryfitnesschallenge2021 and be sure to have FUN.


We've got this together.

🌹 Take care all and much love.