“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Zig Ziglar (is that a real person?)
Goal setting is an enormous part of any health and fitness journey. You have to have something to shoot for, something that you’re working hard to achieve… otherwise it’s easy to just stop, just cease to continue with your hard work.
I’m a huge believer in setting goals. I set daily goals, weekly, monthly, yearly goals. Long term goals, short term goals, and all kinds of goals in between. Sometimes my goal is to set my goals… seriously. Why do I continuously set goals? Because I love having something to work towards! And because achieving a goal and crossing it off my list is amazing. Maybe it’s because I’m super Type A, but come on, who doesn’t love that feeling?
I don’t only set fitness and health goals, I set all kinds of goals. I set goals for my business, my home, etc. The most important thing though about setting goals, is setting them correctly! How many times have you said to yourself “My goal this year is to lose weight” or “This year I’ll be successful”? While those are great goals… they’re HUGE! And in turn, they’re overwhelming. If I wrote down “I will get healthy” as one of my long term goals, it would stress me out to the max, because it’s so vague. Getting healthy can mean so many things to so many people! Maybe getting healthy means losing 20 pounds to you, but to someone else it means quitting smoking, or walking at least 30 minutes a day. Maybe getting healthy means getting mentally healthy… who knows!
I recently listened to a great talk on goal setting and wanted to share because I think it’s so hlpful in being able to set truly achievable goals that won’t scare you away from beginning to reach for them. It’s called setting “SMART” goals, and here’s what it means:
Specific: Make sure that the goal you’re setting isn’t vague and obscure. It has to be specific. Not just “I want to get healthy” but “I want to get healthy by working out” or even better, “I want to get healthy by completing a 60 day at home fitness program”… specific!
Measurable: Make it something that you can actually track! Not just “I’ll work out”… how many times will you workout? For how long at a time? How will you measure it? Will you write down each time you push play on a workout? Maybe you’re looking to lose weight or tone up… your measurement will be pounds or inches lost. Make it something that you can SEE, not something that you can only feel.
Attainable: This one is tricky. On the one hand… you should set your goals as high as possible, literally reach for the stars. But we also have to be realistic and focus on something that is truly attainable. Push yourself on goals that you can achieve with what you have in the current moment and then change your goals once the next big push becomes attainable. Example: I would freaking LOVE to have washboard abs. Great goal right? Incredible core strength and a super flat and strong stomach that can crush any workout? Sweet! I’ll get there eventually, it will be a goal, but right NOW it’s not an attainable goal because I still have a lot to work on with my core and muscle to fat ratio. It’s OK that right now my attainable goal is to continue to focus on completing HIIT training 5 days a week to eventually get me in the realm of attaining that six pack!
Relevant: Is it something that you really want? This one is important. Don’t set goals based on what you think you should be doing… set goals based on what you WANT to do. Some people set a goal of running a marathon, becoming a doctor, getting married, running their own business… and those are all awesome goals… but they don’t matter at all if you don’t truly WANT to achieve them! Don’t let anyone dictate to you what you should be striving to accomplish, you have to figure it out on your own. And seriously, if you hate yoga don’t set a goal to meditate for an hour on the beach everyday.
Time bound: You have to put a time frame on your goals, otherwise three years from now you’ll be saying “yep, still working on that goal of 10 pounds” with no progress attained. When you set your goal, set it with urgency but be realistic! Make a time frame that makes sense but one that still pushes you daily. If you’re not a runner, don’t set a goal to run a marathon in a month! Instead, set a goal of working up to a 5K over the course of 30 days and then build from there, make sense?
Remember, setting goals is for YOU, not for anyone else! Set them often, set them SMART and set yourself up to succeed! What are your goals for today? For this week? This month? The rest of 2016? If it involved fitness, I would love to talk to you! Let’s reach your goals together with accountability and at-home workouts! And don’t forget to write your goals down. Studies have shown that writing your goals down daily focuses your mind on achieving them (I might have made that up, but I’m pretty sure I read it somewhere recently)… point being: set your goals, write them down, and crush them!
Comment below with your goals for September and remember, keep them SMART!