Creating Goals That Work!

Deb Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Wellness Coach and Certified Nutrition Specialist

The annual season for creating resolutions is upon us.  This year, we suggest you try a different approach to the dreaded Annual Resolution. Instead, create realistic goals.  If you have tried to set goals in the past but didn’t reach them, you may have become disillusioned with the process. As a trainer for over 12 years who has the privilege to help people make life changes, I can tell you that goal-setting works. But, like most things you get out of it what you put in it!

First, your goals should be specific and measurable. Saying that you are going to “lose weight” is nebulous. Instead, if you express your goal in concrete terms, you can measure your progress along the way. “I will lose 25 pounds by April 1st, 2018” is very specific and something you can measure. You can also break this down into smaller mini-goals, which is a key tenet in any lasting behavior change.

Second, invest time to write down why you want to do this and what might stand on your way. Make sure this is your goal and not one created for you! To succeed at anything, the drive and motivation has to come from deep inside. Really spend some time with that “why” question. When you think you have the answer ask “why” again. Sometimes, you will uncover a deep wish, fear or important personal value that can help you stay truly committed to your goal. Write down the obstacles that will keep you from reaching your goal – be specific! And then, write down how you will surmount those obstacles.

Lastly, define your action plan: what are the specific steps that you need to take to get you from where you are now to where you want to be? Break your goals down into the smallest component parts that you can. For example, if you want to lose 25 pounds by April 1st, you will need to lose about 2 pounds per week. That’s a realistic and measurable mini-goal. Create action items and assign dates to them. Make yourself accountable to completing these actions. Share your goals and your journey with friends and family members who will be supportive.

Throughout your journey it’s important to keep a journal. Write about your successes and setbacks. There will always be setbacks, but by journaling about them you can get perspective and make a plan to avoid the setback in the future. When there are setbacks, learn from them and move on. Don’t look back, change is about looking forward and what’s possible.
“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan

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