Tips for Setting & Achieving Goals
Goals are a great motivator by giving us something to work towards. They also provide satisfaction and accomplishment through achievement of said goals. They help to keep us focused and on track. Broad goals aren’t as effective as more specific ones. For example, if your goal is to ‘be healthy’ that is very hard to track or define ‘healthy’. Here are some of my tips on setting and achieving your goals (focusing on health/fitness):
Achievable/Specific: It is important to create specific goals that can be measured. Create a timeline to achieve these goals. You may have to do a little research here. You want to challenge yourself, but still be realistic. If you can’t run 5 km, don’t try to run a marathon in a months time. Start with a 5 km goal, and slowly work your way up, week by week, month by month. If by your deadline you do not reach your goals, don’t change the goal, simply modify the method – do not give up! Some examples of achievable/specific goals include: lose an inch off of my waist, complete a chin up, run 5 km without stopping, go to the gym 4 days every week for a month, or bring my lunch to work everyday this week.
Aesthetic VS Functional: It is a good idea to have both of these goals. Aesthetic goals are beneficial because the results are visible for you and others to notice. Examples of aesthetic goals include: drop one pant size, see calf definition, grow biceps 1 inch, or improve proportion and symmetry. Progress photos are a great way to track aestetic progress. Changes happen slowly in the body, and sometimes it takes comparing current to old photos to really appreciate how far you have come. Our eyes can trick us, but a side by side comparison helps us notice developments and areas for improvement. So be vain, take those selfies! Although you may not like them now, you will appreciate them as reference in the future. Functional goals are also important so that you are constantly pushing yourself in your workouts. Some examples of functional goals include: curl 20 lbs, do 10 squat jumps without breaks, touch your toes effortlessly, or use the Stairmaster for 20 minutes. It is a wonderful thing to feel the strength of your own body, and to be able to do something you weren’t able to just weeks before. It is one thing to look good, but to feel great is truly amazing. You will be amazed at how many aspects of your life this effects. Having energy to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Improve your golf game or do housework more efficiently.
Short VS Long Term: Long term goals help us determine where we are going, while short term goals determine how we are going to get there. Long term goals tend to be more broad, but can also be specific. A broad goal would be to lead a healthy lifestyle by example for your children, a more specific goal would be to run that half marathon. Short term goals help us to reach our long term goals. Once a goal is acheived you know you still have something else to work towards, and can create new goals or modify old ones. This ensures that we won’t plateau in our workouts and will continually evolve and grow.
Non-Physical Goals: Some goals will not be tangible, but they are still important and can be very satisfying to reach! Some examples include: completing all of your workouts in a week, pushing yourself past your quiting point, enjoying a tough workout, or going a month without ‘binging’.
Mind/Muscle Association: Don’t just breeze through your workout mindlessly. Think about the specific muscles you are working, and imagine how they are moving, contracting and releasing to do the movement. This can have an outstanding result.
Write it down: Put it in writing, make a contract with yourself, include dates. I’m a list person, and I absolutely love crossing things off. Create one and track how your goals evolve and your
Share: Tell someone, this helps you to be held accountable. Look at me, I just told the internet! Now I feel even more motivation to follow through with my goals this month.
Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Take some time for yourself, and create goals. When you start crossing things off your list, you will be happy you did.
What are some of your goals? Do you have any tips for setting and achieving goals?