5 steps to create Winter Fitness Goals to stay fit, healthy and connected

This winter is challenging us all. The US, where I live, is having massive surges in coronavirus deaths and infection rates. The days are short, the sunlight often hides behind gray clouds, and it’s cold and snowy in many parts of this country. It would be easy to give up, curl up and want to simply cry and hide out.

I have a long history of embracing fitness!

Thankfully that’s not my nature. 

I’ve mentioned my Twin Cities triathlon team, Team Looking Sharp, and I’ve told you that a few of us text each other every day to encourage each other and celebrate our fitness efforts. Two weeks ago, one of the members suggested we gather on Zoom and discuss our winter fitness goals. 

Organizing people

I like to organize people, which seems to be one of my strengths, so I jumped on setting up a Zoom and getting everyone invited. I also set up a Google Doc where we could record our goals. Perfect!!

I share what we did so that you too can rally your pals to gather to create a winter fitness team, in spite of a crushing pandemic. 

5 Steps for Winter Fitness Goal Setting for All!!


Marie, Nadine, Monica, me and Brooke after a run!

Figure out 3 to 5 friends that you like, trust and have interest in a winter fitness support system. Find a time soon when all of you can meet via Zoom. 


At your meeting, create a shared, visible document to record what people say. Divide the time so that each person gets 5 to 10 minutes to answer these questions:

  1. How is your fitness now? What would you like to work on this winter?
  2. Given the above, what are some goals that are SMART that you can achieve this winter?
  3. How can this group support you?

As each person takes their turn, have someone else in the group type notes on what the person is saying. That way the person speaking can talk stream-of-consciousness to get their ideas out. Editing can happen later. 


Decide how often you will meet to reflect and support each other and hold each other accountable. Set up the meetings and get going! 

My group is going to meet via Zoom on the first Sunday of the month for December, January, February and March. Plus in our case, this is the group that texts each other daily to support our strengthening efforts! We will remain in constant contact, which helps all of us. 


After the first meeting, each member goes into the shared document and edits their goals and makes them fit the SMART criteria. That way at the end of the winter, each person will know if they achieved their goals.

Step 5: DO IT!!

Jenny, the idea mavin of Team Looking Sharp!

Planning goals is the first step. The real challenge comes with implementation. That’s why it’s so helpful to be part of a team making it happen. 

Let me know if you have any questions about how to make this happen for you! I love supporting people in getting fit and staying well. 

For inspiration and an example of Winter Fitness goals, here are my goals for December 6, 2020 to March 21, 2021

Mari’s Winter 2020-21 Fitness Goals

  • Running: Run a 10K in December, January, February and March. 10 mile or half-marathon in March or April.
    • Action Steps:
      • Run 3 days a week every week no matter the weather!
      • Work with Team Looking Sharp (TLS) to schedule a 10K run day each month
      • Find a 10 mile or Half Marathon “race” for March or April
  • Skiing: Skate-ski at least 6 times over the winter. Take at least one skate-ski lesson. Keep doing classic skiing with TLS. Once the snow falls and sticks, plan to classic ski 1 or 2 times a week.
    • Action Steps:
      • Stay on top of scheduling/rescheduling a skate ski lesson at Loppet
      • Attend the lesson(s) I schedule
      • Watch videos of how to skate ski to get it in my head how to do it
      • Once there is snow, make plans to classic ski at least once a week
  • Strength: Build my strength, especially core strength
    • Actin Steps:
      • Continue my commitment to do the Daily 7 every single day, add 3 and 5 lbs weights to exercises
      • For December, continue doing NYTimes set 3-4 times a week
      • In January, start to mix it up by adding core strengthening that supports swim strength development.
      • At the start of each month look at what I plan to do that month and make sure I’m gaining strength and creating variety
  • Biking: Continue to bike on trainer each week (2-3 times/week for an hour). Do occasional 2-3 hour bike sessions.
    • Action Steps:
      • By December 19th, 2020 look for more spin class options that I can do during my sessions 
      • By mid January, schedule a 2 hour spin with TLS pals to do via FaceTime or Zoom
      • By mid February, schedule a 3 hour spin with TLS pals to do via FaceTime or Zoom 
  • Swimming: Keep up a regular swim practice
    • Action Steps:
      • Go back to 2 times per week once pools are open (maybe mid-January?)
      • Type up Olympic distance Level 4 swim workouts so I have workout options to bring to the pool. Do this by January 3rd, 2021
      • By the end of February, assuming the pool is open again, work up to 3 swim workouts each week
  • Walking: twice daily with Sam for at least 30 minutes. Keep my daily step average at 10,000 steps.

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8 thoughts on “5 steps to create Winter Fitness Goals to stay fit, healthy and connected”

  1. So grateful our paths crossed and I’m invested in getting through winter healthier and more active than ever! The gathering and connecting people and leading them is one of your many strengths! Go Mari!

    • I too am SO grateful our paths crossed Marie!! You are a wonderful inspiring influence on me!!! In fact, I’m about to go do the Daily7 and the NYTimes set!!!

  2. Nice, Mari! Reading this totally motivates me to make a plan to get through these dark cold months and come out feeling stronger. Miss you!

  3. All good!
    Thanks for your continued participation and voice to the world.

    I am enjoying the desert surroundings, they are very supportive of my holistic health. Physically I am building my pull up strength and continuing to stretch and work various muscles of my body without any equipment.
    I go out for a walk in the desert every day and pause, practicing breathing meditation and a walking breathing meditation. I take photographs as you know, eat delicious foods that are good for my being, converse with my neighbors every day and about every few days soak in the hot tub and enjoy a leisurely shower using the abundance of water here.

    Today I am going to explore the Whitewater draw, a wildlife refuge just about 15 minutes drive from here.

    Hey, have fun with all that snow and freezing temperatures! I know you will!

    Freedom peace and joy from Arizona

    • You are so correct Damiian Mario!! I will have fun with the snow and cold! So glad you are staying fit and peaceful in the Arizona magical desert!! Love always! ~Mari

  4. Organizing people is definitely one of your strengths, Mari!!! As well as inspiring people with setting goals and taking actions to meet them!

    • Jenny!!! Thanks for your vote of confidence in my ability to organize!!! You are indeed the idea mavin of our crew!!!

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