I took the first few days of 2017 to reflect on my goals and create my resolutions. Setting new goals involves more than picking any number that you want to see on the scale; a strong goal should be achievable, motivational, and simple.
Although I ultimately want to be 122 pounds for my wedding in June, I have broken my larger goal into smaller, more achievable chunks so that my likelihood of success is higher.
To be more specific.. I have broken my BIG goal down into months to help me stay motivated and on track. Instead of feeling lost in the 10 pounds I need to lose, I can feel empowered looking at 1 or 2 pounds per month. Few things are more satisfying than checking off a goal, so provide yourself more goals to measure your progress. Think about when you right a To Do List and check “Write To Do List” off as the first thing. Even though it is a small action, it feels good! The small steps, that ultimately lead you to your BIG goal, are simple and quickly achievable to keep you motivated.
The big three of goal setting
Achievable: Really focus on what your body is capable of. Don’t tell ask yourself to lose 5 pounds this month when you know sustainable weight loss is closer to 1/2 a pound per week. If you set your goals too high, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Make your goal challenging but realistic. Strive for 2 pounds every month consistently, and in the end you will achieve lasting weight loss.
Motivational: Just going through the motions is not going to cut it for your goals. Think about what you really want and why you really want it. Set goals that really align with what you desire so that you stay motivated. For example, my wedding is a concrete moment that I want to look my very best for… especially given the backless dress I am wearing. Every little goal that I have created builds toward this moment that I can hold on to when my will power or discipline begins to wane. Don’t let your goal float endlessly through time with a “I want to lose 15 pounds this year.” Instead try “I want my relatives to compliment my progress at the 4th of July party,” now you have a real desire to help you stay focused.
Simple: All too often our goals are overly complicated, which leads to failure. Once you have your BIG goal, think about the simple steps that you need to complete that goal. Again, I want to lose about 10 pounds but losing weight is not a simple process; drinking a glass of water before EVERY meal is simple though. Drinking water before you eat can help you consume less calories during your meal. Running 1 mile every other day is simple, and the increased cardio has health benefits. Avoiding alcohol for the next three weekends is simple, concrete task. Pick an action that will help your BIG goal, but is much easier to keep track of than an ambiguous “I want to be healthier.”
2017 is your year. If you have been wanting something, make today the day you start working for it. The pillars of achievable, motivational, and simple can apply to any goal beyond fitness. This is your time. You can do this.