7 Ways Adventure & Fitness Change Your Goal Setting Habits

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.

 Be a Beauty & Create Your Beast

 Define your health goals rather than letting them define you. Setting smart goals (and obtainable ones) sets you on the path to habit forming lifestyle changes. Whether you start out with 15 minute workouts, or are ready to hit an ultra marathon, there is a level of improvement for everyone. Your body will let you know how, but doing it consistently shifts your brain chemistry, and creates a habit. That creates a lifestyle. I schedule my yoga and workouts just like I would a business appointment, and I don’t move them. That helps me keep to beast mode habits.

Get Up Earlier Than You Think You Can

The little moments make life a big adventure, and an extra hour or two in the morning provides down time to situate and organize my day. I reassess my checklist, knock out the ones that will take the least time first, and then block time for the bigger projects. I try to answer emails as they come in rather than putting them off and forgetting, and I track my time. I may have a long task list but it’s the time management that allows it to get done. This has become a regular practice that has kept me efficient and accomplished for the day. Of course getting up earlier means healthy night time habits like getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and being consistent. This helps me keep my sleeping habits.

Relieve Brain Fog & Body Bloat With Diet

I’ve always said pizza was my spirit animal, but it’s not something I eat often. I recognized that brain fog and cramping can come from gluten and GMO wheat sensitivities, and my body was telling me something. We’ve all heard of the low carb diets (no pasta, bread, cookies, and cake) that seemed like a snack-ccident waiting to happen. I believe in balance, but I also know that our diet affects our internal health, so food planning it key. Gluten has a few levels that can range from celiac disease and multiple sclerosis to simple body discomfort. I knew wheat affected me with bloating, cramping, and intestinal discomfort, so I moved to plant, fish and gluten alternatives with a beneficial result, and increased energy. Find more on relieving brain fog, body bloat, and gluten in the Wheat Belly book, written by an intelligent rouge M.D., William Davis. Menu planning and reading ingredients helps me keep me diet habits.

 Experiential Living & Travel

 Travel worthy adventure and fitness retreats seem to be everywhere. See this. Do this. Be that. I’m seduced by travel through media, friends, magazines and stylized visual ads. I know, I work in media, so I over analyze it. But what about travel that helps me crush my goals in fitness, business, and life? And can it be done in 5 easy steps, please. The average person wants results fast and transformational wellness and adventure travel is at the top of that list. So when I attend a getaway or retreat, I research that it has the tools to bring me change.

Doctoral study by Michael Bennett states it eloquently as a personal journey. “He identified a three-phase process consisting of the departure, the initiation, and the return—the “hero’s journey”—where travelers venture into the unknown to learn wisdom from cultures and places outside their own, returning home to implement this knowledge, ultimately changing their lives and the lives of others around them.” Do you agree? My life grows fuller when my traveling connects with culture and charity, and my travel habits grow stronger.

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 affects 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 cognitive psychologist, David Strayer after a little forest bathing our prefrontal cortex winds down and increasing it’s qualitative thinking rather than being over stressed 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 to 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 ultra runners 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.

Whales, Sharks, Culture, People, Photos, Life

Ok maybe that was a bit much, but besides the amazing experiences you can find yourself in, there are infinite opportunities to improve ourselves (and our lives) with adventure. Travel has moved from a transaction to an emotion. That’s why I do what I do, navigating the outdoors. Some of the most unforgettable moments I’ve experienced have been watching Humpbacks bubble net feed in Alaska, swimming inches from gentle whales sharks in Mexico, peak bagging Indo China’s steepest peak (what a thigh burner) in Vietnam, to bungeeing head first from the highest bridge in Costa Rica.

Most people I know travel for themselves not just for the instagram photo. As a matter of fact, Skift’s new study found that 60% of people would not reveal a “secret gem” travel spot in order to keep it pristine. That’s keeping it personal.

Adventure travel increases your confidence, improves your tolerance, increases creativity and communication, and expands boundaries. I don’t know about you, but those sound like habits to real goal setting in life.

There’s a saying that says “First we make our habits, then our habits make us.” I let those positive habits shape me, but first I had to let them in.

Find more healthy habits, and wellness adventure on our Bali retreat with Adrienne Galloway of AG Fit  and John Kim of The Angry Therapist.