Setting yourself up for Success Part 3: Goal Setting
With the start of the New Year, there is no better time to be considering your fitness goals and envisioning where you want to be headed over the next few months. While that is going to look different for each of us, there are a few ways that you can look at goals to keep them realistic and actually achieve them… instead of leaving 2017 the same way you enter it. The first way to focus your own thoughts and efforts is to make SMART goals.
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Based. While you can apply this to nearly every goal you have in life, this is what it might be broken down into for your fitness goals:
- Specific: First and foremost, you have to know what your actual goal is. Most of us have several things that we would like to accomplish and each of those areas could (and should) have their own goals. What are you working towards? The possibilities are endless. For our purposes today, we will consider these four potential goals: losing weight, lowering your blood pressure, eating more vegetables and starting to run.
- Measurable: In order for something to be measurable, you have to have something to gauge it against. You would progress our first list to something like this: “I need to lose 10 pounds”, “I want to lower my blood pressure to 110/60”, “I want to eat 5 servings of veggies daily” or “I want to run my first 5k.”
- Attainable: Many of us have a huge goal that we would like to reach. Maybe you know you need to lose 100 pounds. While that is a great END goal, setting realistic stepping stones in between is necessary for your own sanity.
- Realistic: How does your goal tie into your life and other responsibilities? While we’re known around here as “No Excuse Moms” there is still a healthy amount of balance in your life. Just keep in mind that your goal will have to be balanced with all of your other life expectations.
- Time-Based: Finally, you must have some sort of timeline for your goal. This is easy if you have some sort of an event coming up or you are completing one of the NEM fitness challenges. But if you don’t have a specific event, you can make up your own date that is a reasonable amount of time to reach your goal. The problem here is to make sure that the goal means enough to you that you will actually be motivated to keep it.
The other thing that can be helpful as far as goal setting is deciding on some sort of “Fit Mission Statement” for yourself.
What exactly is a fit mission statement? It is basically an over-arching statement about WHY you have the goals that you do. As an example, I will write my current and two previous fit mission statements.
- My first mission statement: I will overcome the unhealthy habits in my family and get into the best shape of my life.
- My second fit mission statement: I will prove that your post-baby body can be BETTER than your pre-baby body!
- My current fit mission statement: I will be a good example for my daughter to help her build a strong foundation of health and fitness.
My daughter’s health is important to me, as it the potential of her not having to struggle with her weight as I always have.
When you consider your own fit mission statement, think about why you want to get into shape. It has to be something deeper than “I want to look good” or “fit into my skinny jeans”. It should be something that will ultimately motivate you to get to the gym on days when you just don’t feel up to it and choose the healthy food instead of running through the drive through. Give yourself some quiet time to sit down and brainstorm what your biggest reasons for getting into shape are, then print out your mission statement and put it somewhere you see on a regular basis, like your fridge or bathroom mirror. Make it a point to read this statement out loud to yourself. Believe it. Own it.
Finally, I highly recommend searching around the internet for other women who have been successful in their health and fitness endeavors. Not only will you realize that it is completely possible for you to meet your own goals, you can be inspired and motivated by these other amazing women. Check out our No Excuse Mom website for many inspiring women at www.noexcusemom.com.