Goal setting can be very overwhelming especially when you feel that there is so much work to do. How do you narrow down your focus. It is not easy, but remember to work in the positive? Instead of taking things away, perhaps focus on positive behaviors you can add in.
First, goals should be measured accurately and written specifically without bias or emotional subjectivity. For example, “I want to look good in my bathing suit.” Well, you might already look good, but your perception of your self is dominated by negative self-talk. To re-write this goal, “I will lose 15 lbs. of body fat in 7 weeks.
Goals should also be realistic and safe. If you are significantly over weight and live a sedentary life then writing a goal that you are going to lose 100 pounds in two months is not only unrealistic but dangerous. You need to focus on one realistic goal at a time. Ask what must come first in order to gain the desired weight loss goal. MOVING.
A goal could be: I will exercise a total of 30 minutes per day, 3 days a week in 4 weeks, increasing time at the beginning of each week.
From there a 5 step break down of how this is going to happen would be the next step to successfully meeting the goal. Each short-term goal should have a specific deadline to meet the larger goal.
Step 1: I will begin a 15 minutes walking program utilizing my fitness apt. 3 times a week for 1 week.
Step 2: I will continue a 15 minutes walking program and add in a 3-minute warm up of and 2-minute cool down of stretches by week 2.
Step 3: I will increase my walking time to 20 minutes with a 3-minute warm up and 2-minute cool down of stretches by week 3.
Step 4: I will increase my walking to 25 minutes with a 3-minute warm up and 2-minute cool down of stretches by week 4.
Step 5: I will re-evaluate my goal, and either increase time or intensity of task.
Framing goals around changing behavior and not outcomes driven creates a more positive and successful goal. It’s our behaviors that we can control in order to gain the outcomes we want. Taking things in small steps will help the success of your goals, ensuring that you keep moving forward, making gains and changing behaviors so that they are no longer a thought, they are a part of you whole being.
Stacie A. Zamperini M.Ed.