Setting goals is a very important part of getting through life and achieving the things you believe in. Be them goals that you consciously set or ones that just happen in everyday life. By setting goals you help yourself to succeed. Without goals you can lose focus and direction.
If your goal is to become a millionaire, practice acts of charity, learn a new skill, or like me, rebuild your fitness and health you need a defined path to help you on your way.
To simply say ‘I want’ and to think it will happen will always leave you wanting. Goal setting is a process in which you have to carefully consider what it is you want to achieve and to then put in place a series of steps to help you make those goals a reality.
Here I have put together a few steps that I use to help me achieve my goals.
A bit of Background
My will and motivation has dropped to an all-time low. So low in fact that after telling myself (multiple times) “today is the day that I’m going to start running again” or “today is the day that I’m going to start eating in moderation & healthily” I might make that day and maybe the next but then the thoughts of “one piece of cake can’t hurt” or “walking to and from work is heaps of exercise” seep in and…well that’s why I’m here.
This lack of exercise and unhealthy eating has made me the biggest I’ve ever been, and no, I’m not calling myself fat. As you can see in my profile, I’m not. I’m saying that I’m uncomfortable and unhappy with my body (middle section) and I feel tired all the time! This unhappiness is affecting other parts of my life which I should be enjoying and appreciating more. I need to remove this grey fog that lingers behind everything I do. And the best way for me to do this is to pull myself up and set some goals.
By setting goals that motivate you, you’ll find that you will be more driven to achieve them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of you putting in the effort to achieve them is slim. Being motivated is the key to achieving your goals.
My motivation is my upcoming wedding and the need to feel like my old happy and care free self. Nobody wants to step into a new stage of their life feeling down, unhealthy and uncomfortable with themselves. I want to be the beautiful blushing bride that I’ve always pictured myself being when this day finally comes!
Outline & Write down your Goal/s
You want to set yourself a goal that is Specific, Measurable and Attainable. By outlining particular key points of your goal you give it more structure and make it easier to achieve rather than going in without a plan. If at this stage it seems daunting you need to try to look at it in a different light. Think ok so this is the end goal and to get there I need to break it down into a few smaller goals. This way you can slowly work your way towards your main goal without getting overwhelmed.
I find by writing each smaller goal down like an itemised to do list, it gives me a better perspective of what I need to achieve it and in turn my main goal.
Here are my goals:
- Weigh 5kg lighter,
- Loose at least 3cm each from my Waist, Hips, Thighs & Bust.
- Get rid of those love handles! (pretty much the same as above, but by noting it like this I find it to be more motivating)
- Get back up to being able to run an easy 5+km
- Be able to do an easy 20+ push ups (these last 2 goals will help with the wieght loss but also with my overall happiness. By achieving and maintaining a level of fitness I feel confident in my end goal being an ongoing achievement)
I want to achieve each of these by Christmas Day!
Remember to give your self a deadline. By giving yourself a time limit you’ll be less likely to stray from your goals and give your self an increased sense of urgency.
Outline What Not to Do
Ok, so you’ve made a list of the things you want to achieve and you’ve given yourself a time frame in which to do it. Now you need to make a list of the things that will throw you off your course. I find it’s all very well writing down what you want to achieve and how your going to do it but if you forget to think of the things that may stop you from achieving those goals you’ll find that they’ll start to slip in and trip you up with out you realising it.
So a few things that may inhibit my success include:
- Sugar; I have a sweet tooth and this is probably going to be my biggest obstacle.
- Cravings; As I lower my food intake to a healthier level my body will crave the excess that I had been eating.
- Excuses; I find it very easy to go ‘nope, not going for a run I’m too tired or too busy or its too cold’ by hopefully acknowledging this I’ll be more aware of when I’m doing it.
- People; I can be easily influenced into accidentally straying from my goals by people with tempting goodies and offers.
Make sure you record your progress. By doing this you help to keep yourself in check, it also helps to boost your motivation as you can see a written difference from when you begun. There are lots of different apps out there that can help you with this or if you like to do it the old fashioned way, get yourself a journal and note your progress down that way.
I’m using two tools to help me do this:
- Fit Slip; I’ve trialled and tested several weight tracking apps and have decided that Fit Slip (on Android & Iphone) is the best for what I want. It lets me put in my goal weight and has a graph showing my progress. It also allows me to set how often I want to be reminded to enter my weight as well as an option to work out my Body Fat %.
- Strava; This app records my runs and keeps an overall record of my progress for the week, month, year and all time. It also allows me to add notes and to enter exercise in manually. Which is great if i’ve done some laps in the pool or forgotten to turn strava before my run. And if you’re not a runner that’s fine too, it allows you to record heaps of different sports from alpine skiing to kyaking to even surfing!
Hopefully some of these points help you out in achieving your goals. And just remember if you want to be the type of person that consistently achieves their goals then give yourself some motivation, a steady plan and a deadline.
Good luck! I wish you all the best in achieving your goals!