Thursday, 30 July 2020

Goals... The Importance of Goal Setting and Success

Why do we need to set goals
Good question? We all have goals for many different reasons. They can range from a 'small' habit change to a total 'life' change. But why do some of us have the motivation to see our goals through and some of us......well, we just can't seem to get started? We need to look at our goals and break them down to manageable segments, find our stimulus and never see any part of our journey as a failure.
"Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing and that is NOT why we are here." Mark Twain

 Where do I start?
The first thing you should do is write in your diary or journal the goal you wish to achieve. It doesn't matter if it's a huge goal such as booking the holiday of your dreams, buying a house or leaving your job and travelling the world? Everything is manageable. It maybe a smaller goal for example you want to achieve a healthier lifestyle, exercise more or lose weight. These are all goals, your own personal goals you feel will make you happier, successful or achieve the lifetime change you have always dreamed of. They are your goals and YOU want to be triumphant.
"This one step - choosing a goal and sticking to it - changes everything."  Scott Reed
  1. Write down what you want - goals are all about the positive, not negative. If we take a goal from the above mentioned list - "I want to lose weight for my health or to feel better about myself". This goal will set you up from the start in a positive mindset. "I want to lose weight because I don't want to look like this anymore - I feel awful" - already this is negativity about yourself and will not help your motivation whenever you look at this statement. 
  2. Make your goal challenging, but not out of reach - your goal should be inspiring but not impossible. An easy goal is seldom motivational, neither is an unworkable goal. "I want to lose 1/4lb this week" compared to "I want to lose 10lb this week". One goal may not be challenging enough and the other way too challenging. 
  3. Choose a goal that is attainable by you - its is always best to set a goal that does not involve the influence of others. This goal is yours and relies on your input and performance. "I will lose 2lb this week - only if I can walk with my friend 3 times during the week". It is a great idea to have a "buddy" to help and support you through your journey but they must not control or effect your goal setting.
  4. Measuring your progress - achieving goals should be measurable and have a time limit. "I want to lose weight" is neither measurable or quantifiable. "I want to lose 1 stone in 3 months" is achievable and has a deadline.
Make your Goal S.M.A.R.T.
"A Goal without a Plan is just a Wish." Antoine de Saint-Exupery
S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that you can use to help you set your goals to make them attainable and motivational. Look at your goal.....the goal you have written in your diary and approach this goal using the S.M.A.R.T goal setting system. Then 'break' that goal down once again into short term, medium term and long term goals.
  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Achievable
  • R = Relevant
  • T = Time bound
The difference between a goal - "I want to lose weight to feel better about myself, starting from Monday" and a S.M.A.R.T goal "In one year, I want to lose 3 stone to be a healthier version of me" is more defined and certainly more structured. This is your long term goal. 
  • Specific - 3 stone is specific whereas "lose weight" is unclear.
  • Measurable - Your weight on day one to the end result (3 stone lighter) - is perceivable 
  • Achievable - Weight loss can vary greatly from 1/2 lb to 2lb a week. Weight loss earlier on in your journey maybe more, than your final loss of a few pounds - so 3 stone in a year is attainable
  • Relevant - the focus is solely on the weight loss of 3 stone and consistent with reachable guidelines
  • Time bound - by giving yourself a deadline you will hold yourself accountable 
You can now use this goal and break it down into smaller goals. "I want to lose 2lb this week" to "I want to lose 8lb next month". Each step toward your ultimate goal will give you the motivation you need to accomplish all you have set out to do. As an additional motivational tool you can reward yourself with each success. Just make sure the 'reward' does not un-do all the hard work you have made to succeed. The reward of a 'piece of cake' does not fair well as a weight-loss recognition award. Choose your rewards carefully. 

Set yourself goals to challenge yourself or to make self improvements. Always make your goals S.M.A.R.T goals so they are specific and defined. Be kind to yourself and recognise all your achievements with an appropriate reward. If your goals are to lose weight and feel healthier, then please read my articles Weight Loss and Maintenance Management and A Healthy Life-style


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