Take the First Step - Make the Goal!
Thursday, January 9, 2020
Making a goal is the FIRST STEP in creating a new habit. You need to think of a goal that takes hard work and dedication to achieve but is possible. You need to choose a goal that pushes you to be the best version of yourself – a goal that challenges you just as much as it allows success. This is a new year and a new opportunity to test yourself beyond your normal limits – so create a goal strong enough to do that!
To build a proper goal, it needs to include a few things to be most effective:
Objective and Measurable
Your goal must be something that can be measured to assess your progress throughout your journey. Ex: If you want to drink more water, and you are a 150lb person, you need to state that you will drink at least 75 oz of water per day (half of your body weight [lbs] in ounces of water per day.)
A detailed goal allows you to plan specific actions to achieve that goal. If the goal is not detailed enough, you will not know how to make progress or if you are going in the correct direction. Ex: If you say you want to consume more vegetables, you need to state you will consume 3-4 servings of vegetables daily so you are able to count them and know if you are reaching your goal daily.
Challenging, but Attainable
Many people choose huge goals like losing 50lbs within 3-4 months, which is something that is not necessarily attainable in a healthy and sustainable way. The ideal amount of weight loss is 1-2lbs per week. Your goal needs to be attainable for you, not something that you WISH you could do.
Your goal needs to be specific to your body and lifestyle. Many people have a goal of losing weight, but if you are not ready to focus on losing weight and instead want to focus on gaining strength – that is exactly what you need to do! Another example: if you want to cut back on drinking alcohol but don’t feel you need to stop drinking completely, set a goal to drink alcohol only 2 days per week (which is still a positive step!)
Write the Goal Down
Write the goal down and put it somewhere that you will see it daily. This will help hold you accountable. This will be extremely helpful on the days you don’t have motivation; you will be reminded of why this is important to you and why you are doing all these new actions.
Important to You
This is one of the most important characteristics about a goal. If you do not find a goal important enough, you will not be willing to make sacrifices to achieve it. A healthy lifestyle goal is not easy to attain, especially if it requires large/challenging changes. So the goal needs to be important enough that all the excuses you could think will not distract you from what you need to do to accomplish this goal.
With the New Year upon us, it is the PERFECT time to make a healthy lifestyle change and make a goal to be the best and healthiest version of yourself. Think of a goal that you want to accomplish during 2020 AND STICK TO IT. Stick to it for the ENTIRE YEAR. This means you need to make this a goal that you can stick to for an entire year. Before you know it, the actions and lifestyle changes you have adapted to attain this goal will be habitual and not feel like work anymore.
Once you reach your goal, make another. Always focus on developing your mind, body, and spirit into the most optimal version of itself. You are stronger than you believe – you just need to take the first step.
Lindsay Wisnicky Greater Green Bay YMCA
ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach