I started exercising consistently about a year ago. I’ve tried off and on and failed repeatedly. I’d get on the bike all summer, lose a bunch of weight, and then gain it all back in the winter. I realized a year ago I was trying to do too much in the winter and the pressure of trying to do too much kept me from doing anything. David Heinemeier Hansson talked about goal creep in a recent blog post:
It didn’t take long before my ambition swelled, and I upped the goal from finishing mid-pack to top 10. Of course, not before taking a brief moment to bask in the glory of reaching that first goal, enjoying success per my own definition. A definition that would surely have qualified as utter failure for many others (what schmuck is happy to be mid-pack among gentlemen?! At the time, me!).
And thus, the goal creep was on. It crept from top 10, to podium, to moving up to a bigger series, a faster car, more downforce, tougher competition, longer races, a better team, and on it went.
My old problem is that I didn’t let goal creep happen. I wanted to be on the podium before I even learned to ride. Last winter I took a different approach. I decided I didn’t have to be my high school weight again in one year. (That’s a joke. I was 6’1, 145 pounds when I graduated high school. I wouldn’t even want to be that light again, even if I could.) I wanted to lose the weight over multiple years. My first winter’s goal was to exercise for 20 minutes four days per week then ride all summer. This winter it’s 30 minutes and five days per week. I’ll keep letting the goal creep until I’m at a happy weight and fitness level.