The purpose of Motivational Monday series is to offer tips and tools for your healthy, balanced lifestyle. One of the tools that helps me live a healthy lifestyle is to set goals.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Antony Robbins
[Choose your goal]
When I set goals for wellness, I try to think holistically. As I’ve said before, I don’t believe that sustainable weight loss is simply a physical transformation – I see it first and foremost as an emotional endeavor. You’ll want your goal to be track-able (how will you know when you reach the goal or that you’re progressing toward it?). A goal could really be anything from running a 5K to drinking 3 liters of water a day, to losing 20 lbs or writing in your journal every day.
[Choose your timeframe]
I also take into account a specific amount of time and what is personally feasible for that time frame (because I’ve been living a healthy lifestyle for a long time, my progress will look much different than someone who is just starting on their wellness journey). Giving yourself a time-frame is key in goal-setting because it creates accountability and helps you create a game plan.
I like to set my goals into categories:
- Short term goals [these are the more attainable goals that I hope to reach within a few months]
- Medium goals [I hope to reach these challenging goals within the next year or two]
- Long term goals [I really don’t know when I’ll get there, but I hope to achieve these goals in my lifetime]
[Surround yourself with reminders]
I’m a huge fan of visual reminders that motivate. I post my goals everywhere – from the car to the front door (you can read more about my notes to self by clicking here)! It keeps me accountable and helps remind me to keep living a healthy lifestyle.
[Choose a reward]
Sometimes our rewards are as simple as having more energy. Other times–say, when you’ve reached a long-term goal–you’ll want something legit to celebrate! This should be something you really want that encourages a healthy lifestyle, and it should not be an over-indulgence (your reward for not eating sugar for a month shouldn’t be to eat an entire cake). For example, when I finished my Couch to 5K program and lost 25 lbs, my reward was an iPod. Others plan on a pedicure after sticking to healthy eating for two weeks.
For the purpose of today, we’ll use an example from one of my sparkpeople blogs a year ago (I love being able to go back in time through blogs!):
My overall goals were to (1) lose 1.5 lbs (about 1%) each week for the entire month and (2) follow my Couch to 5K program so that I could run a 5K without stopping by the next month. I created an overall emotional goal for the month and then split the weight loss goal into the many facets that make up weight loss: nutrition/exercise, personal, relationship, etc. By setting smaller – easy to track – goals, I could literally see my progress and cross things off my list once I completed them [for your information: sparkpeople offers exercise and nutrition trackers, which is how I kept up with those things].
This month’s overall goal for myself is SELF-GRATITUDE. I want to focus on creating more balance in my life and loving myself more.
–Continue with c25k program & jog 3x/week
–Track each and every thing that goes into my mouth
–Meet with Becka (friend/trainer) to talk over fitness and nutrition options
–Bump up weight training from 1x/week to 2x/week
–Try one new recipe each week
–Get outdoors with my husband at least twice a week
–Change my name on all documents (I’m still in the process of this one… ugh) [*this was a few months after I had gotten married*]
–Read at least one book (started ‘Eating Animals’)
–Practice yoga at least once every week (if not at home can go to a class)
–Write in journal 20/28 days this month (even if it’s just to say “nothing to write today, will write tomorrow”)
–Self-care: get mani/pedi and one extra thing to pamper myself this month
That month I completed all my goals, including the weight loss per week. I tracked my progress on my blog (accountability) and was supported by my fellow SParkers. I also went on to complete one of my medium-term goals: to hike Waihe`e Ridge without stopping!
[I took a photo and posted it on my blog as well as on my desktop.]
[Celebrate your victories]
So many people forget to take a moment to revel in their accomplishments. Okay, so you might have 15 lbs to go, but you’ve lost 30!! So you smoked one day last week, but you were smoke free for six of those other days!!! We are often so hard on ourselves that we give up before we can get to our ultimate goals. Trust the process and enjoy the journey!
If you are catching up on the Motivational Monday series, here’s what you’ve missed:
Are you a goal setter?
What would you like to see for Motivational Mondays? Would you like to be a contributor? Comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me your motivational story, who motivates you, and/or your tips.
Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts. Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!