Oct 25, 2012

Goal Setting

Goal Setting
Sometimes making a change to your life can be a difficult thing, no matter how much you know you need to or want to make that change.  Getting fit and active is a goal that a lot of mothers have, but getting started or getting motivated can be overwhelming and difficult. This is why setting fitness goals is extremely important.  Reaching your fitness goals will become a whole lot easier when you break down your goals into realistic, achievable steps (or baby-steps) as we like to call them.

I am going to help you today here on the blog, but before we go any further, I want you to grab a pen and paper (go on, I promise it will only take a few minutes).  You'll need it as you are going to work together with me through this post and before you know it, you will be on the right track to the life you want to be living:

1. Identify your long-term goal

The first thing you will need to do is identify your long-term goal.  Is your goal to be exercising three times a week?  Is it a weight loss goal? It is to run or swim a certain distance?   By identifying your goal, it gives you something to work towards. It is important to write your goal down somewhere where you can regularly see it.   If you are a visual person, sticking a picture of someone achieving that goal can also be good motivation.

2. Establish a time frame

Establishing a time frame for your goal is important as it gives you something to work towards, and work back from.  It is important that your time frame is realistic though.  Don't set yourself up for disappointment and frustration by not allowing yourself the time you need.

3. Break goal down into short term and immediate goals

Once you have set a time frame to achieve your long-term goal, you can work backwards from there to set yourself smaller, achievable goals to help keep you motivated along the way.   I'll give you an example of how this works:

Long-Term goal (6 months): Participate in a 5km running race

Short-term goal (3 months): Be comfortably running 4-6kms at least once per week, preferably twice.

Immediate goal (now): Walk or run 1 km this week and 1.5km next week.

Breaking down your goals like this helps you to see that your immediate goal is actually very achievable.  Most people can manage to fit a walk or run in somewhere in their week.  Likewise, if weight loss is your goal then an immediate goal for your first week could be cutting out (or reducing) any soft drink in your diet. Once you are easily achieving this immediate goal, you can challenge yourself by extending it.  There is nothing like achievement to help motivate you further.

Breaking goals down into achievable steps, or baby-steps, is a principle that can be applied not only to fitness, but also to life.  Is the amount of housework you have overwhelming? Why not just do 5 minutes.  Once you have achieved that 5 minutes of housework, do another 5 minutes a little later.  Slowly it will become less overwhelming and more manageable.

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” - Karen Ravn

What are your goals for your fitness, or for life at the moment?  Remember, identify your goals, establish your time frame and work out those baby-steps that will help you be on the right track to living the life you want to live.