This is a 2 part blog series dedicated to goal setting– Part 1 of accomplishing a long term goal is actually creating your goal. To keep things simpler to explain, and as to not overwhelm anyone who is new to goal setting, lets work with three major goal categories; one year goal, three month goal, weekly goal. Follow the three steps below and see what you come up with…
- Write down your top goal to reach within the year. This could be related to work, family, health, money, etc. The most important thing to consider when creating this goal is to be very specific and realistic, think numbers and dates. Since we are nutrition coaches, we are going to use a diet related goal as an example: “I’m 5’4” and weigh 150lbs. I want to weigh 135lbs by March 2018 because this is a healthy and attainable weight for my age and height. I have felt overweight for years now and I haven’t been able to keep the weight off because I never stick to clean eating or an exercise routine. I want to weigh 135lbs because in the past, this is when I was happiest with my body. If I can lose and keep off the extra weight, I can see myself being happy and confident in a bikini by next summer. I know the only way to reach this goal is to change my eating habits and workout more.” Be real with yourself here, and add as much detail as you can. Answer the ‘why’ ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions to yourself. Why is this your goal? Why haven’t you reached it in the past? What can you do to make this happen? How is this going to help you in life? And so on. Another key to keeping this goal relevant is to literally write it down somewhere and keep it handy so you can look back on it often. Perhaps on a note-card in your wallet, a sticky note on your mirror, or even a screensaver on your phone/computer!
Now that we have our goal for the year, how are we going to reach it? That’s where breaking down the steps to reach your goal comes into play.
- Write down a goal to reach within three months that is directly related to your goal for the year. 365 days is a long time, and we don’t want to get discouraged or distracted in our journey to reaching that goal. “I want to weigh 145lbs by the end of June 2017. It is fairly easy to drop the first 5lbs in three months and I know I can do this if I workout 3x/week and begin basing my diet around earth grown nutrients. I also know that adding muscle to my body will help aid in long term weight loss and will give me the toned body I want. Losing and keeping off the 5lbs will help me feel more confident this summer and give me more hope and motivation to keep working towards my goal of 135lbs.” Once you hit your three month goal, you will come up with another three month goal and so on, until you ultimately reach your year goal. Again, keep this goal handy as a reminder not to give up!
Ok, so we have our goal for the year, and our three month goal. Now comes the most important part- breaking it down into weekly goals.
- Write down a weekly goal that is going to help you reach your three month goal. Each week you will create a new goal for yourself. “This week I will commit to going to the gym on Monday/Wednesday/Friday in an effort to add more muscle and lose fat. If I wake up an hour early, I can spend a solid 45 minutes doing weight training. This will help me get it out of the way before my busy work day and I will feel so much better about myself knowing that I am working out weekly. I also know that I feel amazing when I stick to a workout routine!” Fast forward to next week…”Now that I have accomplished my goal of working out M/W/F, this week my goal is to eat healthier foods because I know my current food choices are calorie dense and lack micro-nutrients. I am going to go about this by planning my meals before I go grocery shopping and then meal prepping Sunday night. I know that if I don’t meal prep, I will succumb to poor food choices when I’m at work and I always feel so guilty when I do this.” Continue this type of weekly goal setting until you reach your three month goal. You may find that you are running out of weekly goals and if that’s the case, just think on a smaller level, perhaps something as simple as take a 15 minute walk daily, drink a bottle of water every hour, do 20 squats every morning upon waking up, eat something green at every meal, add 5lbs to your bench press, workout an extra day, workout for an hour instead of 45 mins, do a HIIT workout on Saturdays, go to bed 15 minutes earlier, flex in the mirror every morning– the weekly goals are literally endless and can be as big or small as you want! A key to these weekly goals is that you should try to continue doing them every week. Adding weight to your lifts may not be feasible every week, but drinking water every hour is something you can continue for a lifetime. Sticking to these weekly goals helps create habits that will ultimately make reaching your year goal much easier and far less stressful.
Feel free to create goals in different aspects of your life. Maybe getting healthy and saving money are your top priorities. Create a year goal for each and break it down as described above, just don’t give yourself too many goals in the beginning, as this really does take some practice. As always, we are here to guide you in all aspects of life and goal setting, so please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need help starting these lists. Make sure to check back next week for Part 2 that delves a little deeper into why we make excuses for ourselves and how to tackle our day to day task accomplishing anxieties.