Goals – vital to a healthy lifestyle
When I speak to someone regarding long term health and weight loss. I try to emphasize the importance of creating viable and multiple goals. Why? Goals are thoroughly human and help us to achieve success by giving us not only a “finish line” but a path.
First things first, lets identify what a goal is and differentiate it from a hope and a dream. Hopes and dreams are nice, but goals are a plan of action with measurable results and a clear line of demarcation. To want to be “20 pounds lighter” is a dream or a hope. To create a 300 calorie deficit, using a nutritionally balanced diet and exercising 30 minutes 4 days a weeks over the next 6 months in order to lose 20 lbs of fat is a goal.
Everyone should have health and fitness goals. There should be multiple goals, and they shouldn’t all involve weight loss. Even those of us who are at maintenance weight should sit down and write out some goals. It’s a good idea to have multiple goals with varying timelines, using various measurements to reach them.
An example of some goals are a goal for fitness (I.E. running a 7 minute mile), or a goal for waist size, or a goal for body fat %, or a goal for reducing cholesterol levels.
The important part of having goals is to have an end point, a discrete way to measure it, a plan to reach the goal, and in most cases, checkpoints or “way points” along the way in order to gauge your progress.
If you don’t have these, it’s not a goal, it’s a dream, and while sometimes dreams come true, well thought out and executed (and reasonable) goals almost always come true.
Let’s not forget about the compounding confidence factor either. Setting and achieving goals is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you reach a goal, you feel good about yourself, your confidence goes up, and you want to set and achieve more goals.
Overall, goals are a great tool and motivator. You can even post your goals for others to see and use, this will help motivate you to success (although it shouldn’t be your only motivation). So sit down and think about some goals. it helps, it really does.