Thursday, September 9, 2010

Goal Setting

I have always been a person who sets goals and works hard to achieve them. I think most people should live life like this but unfortunately they don't. I think because they don't really know how to set goals. People can get caught up in the day to day activities in life and plug along. By setting goals people can continue to improve their life and feel better about themselves.

In my job it is essential that my clients have goals to achieve. I train people that want to live healthier lives and improve their health and fitness. The best way to do this is through long term and short term goals. It is essential that your goals are something that you can achieve. It would not make sense for me to be out of shape and overweight and say, "My goal is to do a 50 mile run in 6 months." A better approach would be to give a 6 month goal to running a 10K or half marathon and progress my goal from that point. Sometimes it might seem like you can achieve a goal and then something sidelines you and you may need to modify it. Rather than just saying I can't do it, you should re-evaluate it and modify it. I have had to do this many times in my life. It is OK to change your goals if things are not going they way you planned. This is life and it happens. The important thing is that you don't forget about it and give up!

I am challenging all my clients that I train in the gym to set a short term health related goal. Each goal will be a goal that could progress into a lifestyle change. Each person has their own challenges with living a healthy life. Just giving up something for a month is great but what do you do after that? Losing 5 lbs is great but can you keep it off? Likely you can't if you have not made significant changes and continue to set goals. My clients will begin with a 30 day goal.

In talking to my clients about this monthly goal they will be working towards we discussed a variety of things they could do. Some clients are challenged with drinking wine several times a week. Giving up wine for a month seems like a good goal but I disagree to a point. It is a good goal if you can maintain it. But do you have to give it up forever? NO not at all. As an example I like to drink beer sometimes. I don't drink it weekly or daily. I may have a few in a month. So I don't limit myself totally but I do not drink it every weekend. If I did I am sure I would have a weight problem. Another client said her goal is to make it to all of her training sessions. This is a great start for her because she has had a hard time getting to them lately. Everyone has such different challenges toward their goal of living a healtheir life. I have many clients that come to EVERY training session but their challenge is food related or not getting enough cardio.

When setting a health related goal ask yourself the following questions:
  • Is it something I can achieve?
  • Do I have a timeline?
  • Is it something I can sustain overtime?
  • If I accomplish it how will I feel?
  • Do I have a good plan to help me achieve this goal?
  • Do I have a good support system to help me with this goal?
  • What is my long term goal related to this short term goal?

I am excited to hear some of the goals my clients will have. I will talk about them on an upcoming blog post. I will also talk about the success stories at the end of the 30 days. I am confident there will be many of them.

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