September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. To celebrate the Month, the Myeloma Crowd is running a 30 day Muscles4Myeloma Fitness Challenge. Get moving, track your minutes and win prizes!
Starting out a new workout program, setting sights to better eating or increased movement through the week can sometimes feel intimidating. Knowing where to start or how to start can be the biggest hurdle for many, which is why it’s important to start SMART.
Specific- Set a detailed goal for what you want to accomplish (Ex. how much weight you want to lose, what you will do to make it happen.)
Measurable- Make sure you can track your success (Ex. Tracking weight, exercise and food intake on the MoveSpring or other apps)
Attainable- Goals should push you out of your comfort zone but be achievable. (Ex. Setting a goal weight loss that will be healthy and manageable for time set.)
Realistic- Is your goal and timeframe realistic for what you want to accomplish? (Ex. Push yourself, but know what you can and can’t do.)
Timely- Setting a timeframe to accomplish your goal will help you to be accountable and drive your motivation.
It’s time to focus on the success of hitting your goals, grab a partner, plan the road ahead and make it fun!
Multiple Myeloma patient Vern Van Houten is a great example of how to set and achieve SMART goals. Vern is currently on a 500 mile walk journey and shares with us:
“I have been a Multiple Myeloma cancer patient since June 2016. In January of 2017, I had a Stem Cell Transplant and since then, have been in complete remission. I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis and PMR (Polymyalgia rheumatica). Having been treated at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for 4 years...I just turned 71 in April and want to get in better shape, lose weight and give back to those who have helped me along with helping others."
While out doing his walks for a cure to raise awareness and funding for research to give back, he finds that setting that long term goal is what will keep you going. He set a goal to walk 500 miles in 6 months and he’s 333 miles in and has learned to listen to his body when he needs rest. Providing himself a realistic timeline of 6 months, he can rest when he needs to, and push when he’s ready. Each week he updates those who are donating as an accountability to his goal.
Vern says: “when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Words to live by for all you MM patients.” You can find Vern's fundraiser here.
Thanks to our Muscles for Myeloma sponsors
about the author
Linnley joined the HealthTree Foundation in January 2020 as the Fitness Events Manager. Her husband is a childhood cancer survivor as well as a cancer biologist. Finding a cure, better treatments, and balance through treatments is what drives their family. Linnley is an Advanced Cancer Exercise Specialist and focuses on finding what you can do rather than can't.