We’ve all had goals that we just couldn’t seem to stick to. That New Year’s resolution that lasted all of a week or the goal to stop eating sugar that ended at 9pm with a box of cookies. We’ve all been there, myself included. So why do we see some goals to the end and others are abandoned almost as quickly as they’re thought up? A lot of it comes down to how you set your goals and your underlying motivation behind that goal.
How to set yourself up for success:
1. Define your goal
Don’t be vague here. Get as specific as possible. What exactly do you want to accomplish? “I want to lose weight and tone” doesn’t have as much weight as “I’m going to lose 5% body fat and be able to deadlift my bodyweight.” Which brings me to my next point.
2. Make your goals measurable
Lose weight and tone can’t be measured. Make sure your goal can be measured. Otherwise you’ll forever be chasing a vague and elusive idea.
3. Make your goals attainable
Go ahead, stretch yourself. Goals should push you outside of your comfort zone. However, they still need to be doable. Giving yourself the goal to lose 5% body fat by next Friday isn’t pushing yourself, it’s setting you up for failure. Losing 5% body fat in 3 months however, is more realistic. Make sure that you are realistic but still pushing yourself.
4. Why do you want to achieve your goal?
This is the most important part of goal setting. Now that you have your goal ask yourself why you want to achieve your goal. Do you have a reunion coming up and you want to impress all your old class mates? Have you been struggling to lose the weight after having a baby? What is your motivation? Whatever your motivation is make sure it’s personal and meaningful. If you are trying to lose weight to please someone else or to fulfill an ideal you’re probably going to lose motivation pretty quickly. If it’s important to you and you’re really fired up you are that much more likely to see it through to the end. If you aren’t particularly attached to your goal go back to Step 1 and find a goal that is meaningful to you.
5. Make sure you have a time frame
Deadlines exist for a reason. They push us to get shit done! Once you define your goal make sure you set a realistic time to complete your goal. Mark it on your calendar. If you really want to hold yourself accountable tell a friend or family member and ask them to check in on you at the half way mark. Sometimes just knowing someone else is keeping tabs can help keep you on track.
6. Celebrate your success
Sometimes we get so laser focused on our goal that we gloss over the small victories. If your goal is to lose X pounds/body fat and you went for a walk instead of eating your usual 1/2 pint of ice cream for dessert, give yourself credit. I recommend having a jar or box and writing down your small victories. This way when you start to feel like you’re losing motivation you can read those notes and remind yourself how far you’ve come. Having something tangible can help you to not lose sight of the bigger, long term goal.
If you need help setting goals or keeping on track email me at Melissa@melissamerrittfitness.com