Thursday, June 6, 2013

Goal Setting

When it comes to accomplishing anything in life there is almost no more powerful thing you can do than setting a goal.  This is of course true of weight loss and fitness as well.  Setting goals is important as it keeps you on track and gives you something to strive for.  Goals though, for them to work, must be several things.  First, they must be specific.  Simply saying "I want to lose weight" or "I want to get in shape" is not a specific goal.  An example of a specific goal would be "I want to lose 50 pounds by Christmas" or "I want to run a 5K without stopping by Labor Day".  These type of specific statements give you a target to hit and are measurable. 
 Second, goals must be realistic.  This means that the goals you choose for yourself must be achievable in the time allowed.  While "I want to lost 50 pounds this month" is specific and measurable, it is not achievable. Setting goals that cannot be accomplished is counter-productive as it will cause you to fail and become discouraged.  Shoot for two to three pounds a week.
Third, goals must be challenging.  "I want to lost 5 pounds by Thanksgiving" is specific and realistic but it is not challenging.  You really won't put any effort into accomplishing this goal because it is not much of a challenge to you.  Make your goals achievable but also challenging.  "I want to run 10 miles without stopping by January 1" would be a specific, realistic and challenging goal for someone who currently does no exercise.  Choose something that will challenge you to push yourself each day to achieve it.
Make some one month, three month, six month and one year goals.  By making different goals for different times you stay motivated to achieve.  As the time passes, review your progress to see where you are doing right and where you are getting off track.  Revise your goals as necessary but be mindful of why you may not be hitting your targets.  Are your goals unreachable or are you simply not putting forth the effort necessary to achieve them?  Be honest with yourself when you answer this question.  Remember, when you cheat on your goals you are only cheating yourself.  Also, what you cheat on in private you wear in public. 
List your goals on a card and post it where you can see it and read it often.  Keep another copy of these goals with you and look at it anytime you get the chance.  By reinforcing these goals in your mind you will find the inner strength to make them happen.
Take some time tonight to set some goals and get started on the road to health and fitness.  The feeling of accomplishment from making your goals happen will be very exhilarating.

1 comment:

  1. This is totally true. Thank you.

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