I’d rather watch Netflix and drink wine than go to the gym. Say what?! Okay so this may not be my sentiment all the time, but sometimes it is. However, this is something I hear from women all the time. I bring it up because it highlights something important, priorities.
If you’re on my email list, you know that last week I made the decision to drop my only summer class. This wasn’t a decision that I made lightly as school is important to me. But when the class started, I realized that the time commitment was nearly double what I was told when I signed up. If I were to stick with the course, I would have had to either half-ass my work or put growing my business and focusing on my powerlifting on hold. If you know me, you know that half-assing or phoning it in is not my M.O. So I had to take a serious look at my priorities. While school is up there, growing my business so I can help all you lovelies find your inner superhero and become the awesome badass you truly are is still number one. After months of taking it easy with my own workouts, I’m finally back to powerlifting and feels so good. I’m not willing to give that up because that’s what makes me feel most like a badass superhero. Looking at the big picture, dropping the class made the most sense and I feel good about the decision. But if I hadn’t considered my priorities I probably would have convinced myself I could do it and would have wound up feeling overwhelmed and resenting the class for taking my focus away from what’s important to me.
Recently I talked about how consistency is crucial to sticking to your goals and staying motivated, but there’s something else that often gets overlooked when people set goals, priorities. Think about it. Have you ever decided you were going to lose weight? You were really excited about it. You signed up at the gym, made a plan to go every night after work, and even bought some cute new workout gear. The first week or so was great, you kept to your program and felt awesome. But then life happened. Maybe your boss kept you late, or your kid was sick, or your best friend just broke up with her boyfriend (again), and you wind up skipping your workout. No big deal. But then the next day you decide you’d rather just go home and put your feet up. After all, you miss hanging out with your significant other (or your cat); or perhaps going to the gym means skipping bedtime with your kids and you’re not sure that’s worth it. You eventually give up on going to the gym, and you wind up feeling like you failed.
But you didn’t fail, your goal and your plan to achieve it weren’t in line with your priorities. What is most important to you in your life? Make a list of your priorities. Does your goal conflict with your priorities? If it does, ask yourself how you could tweak your goal to align it with your priorities.
Once you have a goal that aligns with your priorities, ask yourself why that goal is important to you. Having a why is crucial, so take your time with this one. Losing weight is a goal, but it’s superficial. Why do you want to lose weight? Is it so you can run around with your kids? Live longer so you’ll get to meet your future grandkids? Have the energy to travel the world and not say no to all those exciting excursions because you’re too out of shape? Dig deep, why is that important to you? And, most importantly, is the original goal really the answer to your why? You know you’ve gotten to your why when there’s genuine emotion behind it. If you couldn’t come up with a why for your goal I’d recommend going back to the drawing board and re-evaluating your goal.
Now that you have a goal with some weight that’s in line with your priorities you can start to plan how you’re going to achieve your goal. As you make your plan, refer back to your list of priorities and make sure it lines up. When you make your plan, be sure that it’s 100 percent doable. Make it easier than you think you need, you can always add on to it as it becomes part of your routine. It’s better to overachieve and feel super accomplished than to over plan and wind up feeling like you failed.
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