In the abstract I’m not a big believer in new year’s resolutions. But last year I resolved to work out 300 times in 2015. And I did. 301 times, actually. That’s just about 6 days per week, every week of the year. I’m sure there are people who worked out more than that, but it was a lot for me. Here are some things I learned:
- This is obvious: having a goal makes a huge difference. Just as important is tracking your progress. There were a lot of days when there was no way I would have worked out if my progress tracker was not published on the internet.
- The best kind of goals are those you have direct control over. There’s a big difference between “I will work out 300 times” and “I will be able to do a handstand by the end of the year.” (Which, by the way, I also resolved to do this year and did not achieve.) Stick to inputs, not outputs.
- Find a frictionless way to keep track of your progress. For me, it involved sending a text to IFTTT, which updated a google spreadsheet. (It actually got much more complicated than this, to the point that I’m embarrassed to explain the tracking system I set up. Feel free to ask.)
- Workout routines are overrated, because they get boring. Just do what feels right on any given day.
- This is the most important thing: you can always work out. Always. You don’t even need clothes or shoes. You definitely don’t need a gym. Just do some pushups.
Some notes on my year of 301 workouts:
- Favorite workout: running stadium stairs at the University of California’s football stadium
- Most consecutive days with a workout: twenty, from August 24 to September 12
- Most consecutive days off: five, right after the bar exam
- Next most consecutive days off: two (eleven times)
- Most workouts in a day: two (twenty-four times)
- Most frequent workout: basketball (sixty-seven times)
- Least frequent workout: [solidcore], (once)
- Number of yoga classes: twenty
- Number of runs: nine (I figured there would be more)
- Favorite workout song: Aerodynamic/One More Time (Live) by Daft Punk (huge surprise)