Goal planning is one of my favourite activities. I would like nothing more than to sit down with pen in hand and a desk-size calendar to map out my goals. This is one of the reasons I loved working as a personal trainer. It was fun for me to creatively plan a health regime for my clients. The hard part was for them – sticking to it.
What are the benefits of setting goals? Goals give you the direction, energy and purpose you need to get going. Goals decrease stress and give you a sense of control and accomplishment.
Goals need to be specific. A vague goal is unlikely to be accomplished. First, a complex or long-term goal needs to be broken down into smaller or shorter-term goals to ensure success. Then, the way to know whether you have accomplished your goal is if you have some way to measure it. Ideally, you can use numbers to track your progress and achievement. Thirdly, to ensure success, make your goal attainable and achievable. Lastly, without a realistic deadline it is too easy to procrastinate. A time limit will help you stay focused on your goal.
To say, “I want to lose weight” is not specific enough. To say, “I want to lose 100 pounds in three weeks” lacks realism. Instead, a more specific and realistic goal starts, “I will lose 10 pounds in two months.” Or “I will lose two inches from my thighs in three months.” Or “I will cycle three miles to the grocery store by the end of the month.” You get the idea.
Every time you reach a goal, celebrate. Reward ideas may include making a long-distance phone call, getting a pedicure, facial or massage, buying an extravagant bouquet, or subscribing to an exercise magazine.
If you’ve always used food as your reward this will not be effective especially when you’re trying to change your eating lifestyle. If you find that there’s really nothing you don’t give yourself whenever you want it, try taking the emphasis off of buying something. Instead revamp your reward system to include reading a book or magazine just for fun, treating yourself to a long bubble bath, watching a movie or doing activities you haven’t done in a while just for fun.
Blessings on the road to health!
By Kimberley Payne, an experienced Personal Trainer who lives in Millbrook, combines Christian commitment with over fifteen years’ experience in the health and wellness arena. Visit her website www.kimberleypayne.com