Excellent goal setting is crucial to the successful lifestyle changes. Change has to be based on a foundation of solid goals. What are your goals in general? Weight loss, more muscle tone, balance glucose levels, or to achieve a better race time are some you may be thinking about. General goals are nice to help you decide what to change and improve in your life. These are not effective in getting you to where you want to be however. When setting goals, consider the following questions:
-Is this goal Challenging? A challenging goal actually pushes you to improve your lifestyle.
-Is this goal Achievable? An achievable goal will remind you that you can do this!
-Is this goal Reasonable? Sometimes goals are achievable, but not reasonable. This keeps you from becoming discouraged by unrealistic expectations.
-Is the goal Specific? You need a measurement of how to know wheen you have reached your goal.
This is called the CARS method. When designing your goal these are important questions to ask.
Here is an example of a goal that meets these questions with all yeses:
Goal: To loose 20lbs by August 8th, 2013 and to get into a size 8 by August 8th, 2013. This gives 25 weeks to loose 20lbs and to get down 2 pant sizes. This is a healthy amount of weight to loose per week. The goal is specific and has a deadline.
After setting a solid main goal, there needs to be smaller goals targeted at the main goal. This breaks up where you are in your progress so you can see acheivements along the way. I don’t want to wait until August to feel proud of the changes I have made. I also need smaller goals to help me stay on track. Here are some smaller goal examples:
Smaller Goal 1- To run for at least 30 min.s a day on Mon, Wed, Thurs, and Friday.
Smaller Goal 2- To do strength training for every muscle group on Tuesday and Saturday.
Smaller Goal 3- Eat 500 fewer calories a day on average.
Smaller Goal 4- Loose 5lbs by March 1, 2013.
Smaller Goal 5- To eat 3 servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
These goals also follow the CARS method. The smaller goals are great motivators and help get you to your main goal. One very important thing to remember is that each goal should be reviewed every other week. It is okay to change any of your goals at any time! Maybe the goal you set is not challenging enough to reap benefits. Your goal may be too difficult at this point and need broken down even further. When you realize this, do not be discouraged. Life happens and things change. Rearrange goals to suit your benefit. These goals were set to improve your quality of life, so that you may enjoy it to the fullest! Do not let this become stressful. Goal setting should just clarify what you want to accomplish and give you an outline on how to get there.
Any time you want to follow a program, take nutritional advice, or exercise advice, please talk with your physician first. You are an individual with individual needs.
Next time we will talk about how to prepare to accomplish your goals. Hope to see you then!