Goal for it!
When life gets full and busy, it often becomes a lot more challenging to maintain health goals. Social engagements usually revolve around food and alcohol; summer evenings are often spent on patios rather than in the gym or on a bike. A busy and challenging work day can leave you feeling exhausted and unmotivated. For me, these factors have meant that as summer approaches, a lot of my cute sundresses are unwearable. So, its that time again, when I re-focus, re-centre, and honour my commitment to recommit.
(image source: gritandbareit.com)
I’ve always been a big believer in setting goals for myself. I like to break them up into little bite-size portions so that I get to celebrate my achievements along the road to my end goal. So, last week, when I decided that it was time to buckle down and focus my energy on getting fit and healthy this summer, I also decided that I wanted to set some goals for myself, not just about weight loss, but about life.
(image source: therunningbesties.com)
In the past, I didn’t actively write down my goals, but this time around I decided I would. I set up google docs with my goals for the week along with my long term goals, and day by day, I monitored and tracked my goals in order to hold myself accountable. While I didn’t meet every goal I set for myself this week, I came pretty close, and I went over some key goals like weight loss (doubled it!) and number of bike rides (8 rides, not 5!)
The following are some tips you might consider when setting your own goals.
1. Set both short-term and long-term goals, and make them timely
I had CRAZY goals during round one of my weight loss, but I always broke them up into chunks. Mostly, they were weight related, rather than diverse. My big initial goal was to lose 60lbs by my sister’s wedding (lost 58.8), but I set much smaller goals in the interim, and I celebrated all of my mini-wins by setting up reward systems for myself. Pushing through to achieve these mini-goals meant that I constantly got to feel like I was succeeding.
(image source: thestudyacademy.ca)
2. Make your goals about more than just weight loss.
After I hit my lowest weight, I did p90x, and I GAINED weight. Man, was I mad. But I look at pictures of myself during that time, and I was the fittest I ever was in my entire life. I looked amazing! I gained muscle, so the number on the scale was a terrible judge of my health, or even my size for that matter. Measurements are amazing to reinforce that, but so are fitness goals. I have goals now that involve how much I want to lift, or how many times I want to climb the stairs in my building at work. While I do also have the goal of ‘fit into smallest clothes’, and a numerical scale-goal, my broader goals are much larger.
I also include healthy lifestyle goals in my weekly lists, including things like ‘clean your condo’, or ‘revise your resume’ or ‘finish your blog post’. Keeping these goals on my list means I stay on top of all my commitments that enhance joy in my life.
(image source: gritandbareit.com)
3. Write down and track your goals.
Okay, admittedly, I didn’t do this the first time around, but I’m finding it extremely motivating and gratifying to write down my goals and keep track of them. It feels fantastic to meet a goal I set for myself, and cross it off the list, and even better to go above and beyond it. Lists keep you on track and keep you accountable to yourself, and help you create a short term strategy to meet long-term goals.
4. Be realistic.
Think about what you can realistically do, and set your goals a bit above the minimum you think you can manage, especially at first. You want to feel good about yourself, you don’t want to feel like a failure if you didn’t lose 5lbs in a week, or you didn’t workout 7 days in a row. Create goals you think you can reasonably achieve while still pushing yourself. Set yourself up for success!
5. Celebrate your accomplishments.
The great thing about having weekly goals is that every week you can look back at your list and say “YEAH! I crushed this one”. If you have many things on your list, even if you fall a little short on one or two, there is still a lot to celebrate. I celebrate small goals by sharing an accomplishment with a friend, or larger goals with a gift to self. For example, yesterday I rewarded my re-commitment to myself and my awesome first week with some new workout clothes. They make me feel as cute as can be while I sweat like crazy!
Whether your goal is to lead a new project at work, meditate five days a week, lose a few lbs, or beat a personal best, I hope you articulate your goals, write them down, keep them at the front of your mind, and challenge yourself. It feels amazing when you meet your commitments to yourself! So, let’s do this!