It’s New Year’s eve. You are excited about the bright shiny year ahead of you. “This is my year!” you say to yourself. The year you will finally, lose that extra weight, write your book, finish school, go on that trip, etc. etc. Even posting about it on Facebook, holding yourself accountable with all your friends and family (and that weird co-worker you never really liked that still likes all of your updates 5 years later.)
And then March rolls around.
The excuses start piling on and your motivation gets lost in the chaos that is known as life. Sound familiar? Or is it just me? 😉
You are probably left wondering what went wrong when you started out so strong! Well I’m here to tell you that it’s not you. It’s your goals. It’s time to up your goal setting game.
The key is to create goals that are SMART!
Specific. The more specific the better! When we set goals that are too vague, it’s easy to push them aside because you aren’t being clear and defined enough to dictate what you really need to make things happen! If you say you want to start eating a more nutritionally based diet, it’s easy enough to justify eating unhealthily because you don’t have your goal clearly outlined. If you say you are going to cut out your nightly slice of cake except for Cake Fridays at work, and eat your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, it’s easier to know what you should be doing.
Measurable. For myself personally, this helps me stay motivated. While I was in the process of healing my Diastasis Recti, I had taken my waist measurements at the beginning of my journey, and at the end of the 8 week program. I was feeling particularly discouraged until I saw I had lost 7 inches on my waist line! I was instantly encouraged and it was all because I saw the numbers. You can say you want to lose weight. Or you can say you want to lose 5lbs in two and a half weeks.
Attainable. Although I am one who loves to dream big, you also have to set goals for yourself you are capable of achieving. You will lose interest and feel discouraged if your goals are unrealistic, and when speaking on health and fitness, goals can be downright unhealthy. Keeping your goals attainable and realistic will help you build confidence in this area, which can help create even more motivation.
Relevant. Goals need to be relevant to you as a person. My husband would be so miserable in a yoga or Zumba class. That’s just not who he is. But he would thrive in a kick boxing, crossfit setting. He is significantly more likely to keep up with a kick boxing class than he would yoga. Everyone is an individual, and needs to keep in mind what is relevant to their own personal needs and wants out of life.
Time-bound. This one hits home for me! If I don’t have a time line, it won’t happen! I tend to put everything off to the last minute. If there’s no countdown, it gets put to the bottom of my priority list. Setting how long you have to accomplish your goals, and the duration of time you set aside to accomplish them, will hold you accountable to your commitment to yourself.
And there you have it! The formula for setting a successful goal. Another tip I’d like to add is make sure you set process goals and product goals. For example. I’d like to lose 5 lbs in two and a half weeks. So I will do cardio at my gym for 45 minutes 3x a week and go for a half hour walk every day after dinner. Outlining what your process and product goals are can help eliminate any potential road blocks before you even reach them!
Good luck in achieving all you set out for. I hope you have a wonderful day.