Goal Setting 101

Anybody else’s to-do list look like this? Mine usually starts with things like “take a shower” or “eat breakfast” because it makes you feel good to know that you’ve made a small accomplishment in your day, right? Small accomplishments feel GREAT, mainly because your big ones are too big to get done all in one day. So keep that in mind when you’re trying to figure out how to reach a HUGE goal for yourself… sometimes it’s best to break it down into smaller goals first.

For example: One of the biggest mistakes my clients make when they set their goals is that they make a really big goal and then stop there. They don’t reach it as quickly as they’d like, get frustrated, and quit. Which then makes it harder to start up again, which then makes it harder to achieve their goal. So if their big goal is to “be skinny like they used to be” we make that the big one, then make smaller ones that will serve as steps to take in order to reach the big one. 
Exhibit A:
Big Goal: Get skinny like you used to be. 
Too big to do really fast so let’s make smaller goals to get there…
Goal #1: Figure out how much weight you want to lose, how much time it will take, and be specific
“I want to lose ____ lbs in ____ weeks.” 
(remember that you’re only able to safely lose 1 to 2 lbs per week so be realistic!)

Goal #2:  Join a gym or hire a trainer. Either of these will work, but make sure your gym is close to your home/work or your trainer can train you at convenient times so you’ll actually attend sessions without having to rearrange your schedule too much. (You’ll have to rearrange a little bit, obvi.)
Goal #3: Commit to working out at least twice per week to start. 
Go take a group class that has strength training involved. Pick two different ones during the week so you can see which you like best so you’ll actually go. Or schedule two sessions/week with your trainer. Either way, put them on your calendar and GO. Make it just as important as a meeting you have to attend for work, but don’t tell yourself to go to the gym EVERY night during the week, ’cause it ain’t gonna happen. And you’ll just set yourself up to feel bad later.
Goal #4: Get at least 2 servings of veggies per day. 
Notice I didn’t tell you what NOT to eat. When you look at eating healthy like taking away things that you like, it makes you not want to stick to it. So, just start by adding in the things that you know you should be getting. If you can add these things in, you might not be so hungry for other things (mickey d’s) later. 
Goal #5: Get 7 or 8 hours of sleep at least 3 days during the week. 
You sleep in order for your body to have a chance to re-charge the batteries, get back to its normal operating state, and for your muscles to heal. If you’re not allowing yourself time to sleep, you’re asking for trouble; getting sick, staying sore, being stressed the f out. It doesn’t have to be every night, but try for a couple nights a week of hitting the sack at a decent time. 
then all the sudden…
“HOLY SHIT, I’m losing weight, getting stronger, and feeling better simultaneously!”
*angels singing*
*clouds parting*

Not all these goals need to happen at once. 
Maybe work on goal # 1 for week #1. 
Add in or focus on a new goal each day/week. 
Eventually you’ll get to the point where doing all of them will come naturally…
just not the first day.
When you start making small changes, it’ll eventually add up to help you reach that big goal, but make sure you’re being realistic in the steps you’re going to take to get you there. Your goal may require 10 small steps to get you to the next level and that’s FINE. There’s no limit on how many goals you can have, so make your to-do list achievable. 
This goes for ALL types of goals.
 Say you hate your job and want a new one, but it’s in a different field than you’re already in. Damn. You might need a whole new degree or certification. Seems daunting at first, but break it down…
 Goal 1: register for class/test. Goal 2: study x number of days per week. Goal 3: update resume. Goal 4: take 20 minutes per day to search for new jobs/internships that will give you experience in that field. Goal 5: apply for new jobs. Now it’s still a lot, but much easier to wrap your head around.
Get my drift?
  1.  Make small goals. 
  2. Smile as you check them off your to-do list. 
  3. Get better. 
  4. Achieve goal. 
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Appreciate the little things…

“So when I took my jeans out of the dryer this week, I was able to put them on without having to hop around the entire bedroom. ” SCORE.
Remember that if you’ve started a new training/weight-loss program, keep in mind the little things, not just the number on the scale. For instance:
  • How your clothes might fit differently…
  • How you might have a bit more energy than you used to have…
  • How your skin might be clearer from eating more natural foods (if you’ve changed your eating habits)…
  • How you’re able to sleep a little better at night…
  • How you feel good about yourself because you’re doing something for YOU.
The quote above is what one of my clients told me this week! Victory. We’ve been training together for about 3 weeks now (this is the 4th), 3 days a week. She’s following food guidelines, she’s doing cardio on her own 3 days a week when we don’t meet, she’s listening to what I tell her, and she’s seeing RESULTS.
Try not to obsess over the scale. Weighing yourself every day isn’t going to make you feel any better about things. You might lose a pound one day and have it right back the next. (heck, you could lose a pound during a bowel movement… gross, I know. but it’s possible) And if you’re not 500lbs to begin with, you won’t be dropping a ton of weight at the beginning (like they do on The Biggest Loser) so don’t get freaked out if you only lose a pound a week, or every other week. That’s good! That’s progress. And you’re not gaining, so appreciate it!
The client I mentioned at the top hasn’t looked at a scale since we’ve started training. We’re going to do a 5 week assessment and see where we are then. So if you’re in the same boat, be patient. And appreciate the little positives that are happening to you because of the hard work you’re doing!
*image via this website
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