Goal setting. It's all anyone can talk about at the turn of a new year, right?
Right. All the resolutions, that they're "really going to commit this time" and make a permanent change. How many times have you said that to yourself and by December 31st, you've forgotten what your goals even were in the first place? Well, here are some strategies I find helpful to REALLY commit and set yourself up for success...
S.M.A.R.T. goal setting. I've mentioned it before, and you've probably heard about it elsewhere. It really does help with achieving them! Make your goal(s):
- S - Specific
- M - Measurable
- A - Attainable
- R - Relevant
- T - Time-bound
Check out the audio clip below for a GREAT podcast from the American Council on Exercise on goal setting and the SMART approach. You can listen to it here, or download it from ACE's website to listen to while you're on the go!
(If you liked that one, I highly recommend just about every other episode of this podcast! Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for more podcasts embedded in future blog posts, too!)
I know I mentioned timing above, but I think this tip deserves another mention. You don't want to set goals that are too difficult to achieve in an unrealistic amount of time. Be real with yourself. Think about how long it's REALLY going to take you to get to where you want to be. I know, I know. That goal probably seems insurmountable right now, right? (Mine do too!) Have no fear, though! Use the strategies above and break down that goal into smaller, easier goals that can be realistically be completed and will then add up to your one main goal. One step at a time, and you'll eventually get there.
This one might be obvious, but actually putting pen to paper and writing out your goals makes them more real. It gets them out of your brain and onto paper, which you can then SEE and READ every day. Post them in an area where you will always be able to see them (like a bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, inside your planner, background of your computer or cell phone, etc.) and read them every single day.
I also suggest sharing your goals with at least one other person, such as a family member, significant other, or close friend. Have them help keep you accountable and ASK about your progress on a regular basis. If you have someone to report back to, you'll likely stick to your plan!
In an effort to keep myself accountable and put the above tips to good use in my own life, here are 3 of my personal goals for this year, starting with the most challenging, and how I plan to achieve them:
Last year brought many things into my life - the most profound being the revelation of what I want my career to be and where I want to be professionally in a few years. I'm taking small steps towards making it happen! Step 1: In December, I finally got my Group Fitness Instructor certification! Step 2 is to keep that momentum going and get my Personal Trainer certification! In order to do that (my main goal), I'm breaking it down into smaller goals: order my materials by the first week in February, and start studying daily by March 1st. I hope to sit for the exam by the end of September.
The RI Fit Magazine is Rhode Island's all-encompassing fitness, health, and wellness magazine. I was featured in it at the beginning of last year as a Fitness Enthusiast (see the article here). That was back before I really knew that this was the career path I wanted to take. To be able to come full circle and have an article published in that magazine would be an honor, and a great next step in this career path. By the end of the calendar year, my goal is to have an article submitted (and hopefully published!).
I really enjoyed creating the 12 Days of Fitness challenge for all of you, and I can't wait to continue to make fitness and wellness challenges for you in the future! I think they're a great way to come together as a community and support each other in achieving our goals (after all, that's what you're going to do this year, right?!). My goal by the end of the calendar year is to walk you through 2 more fitness/wellness challenges and keep you all on track for staying healthy and happy in 2015!
Thank you for reading, and I hope these tips help you in creating, committing to, and achieving the goals you set for yourself this year! I'd love to hear what YOUR goals are - comment here, or catch me on Facebook and Twitter! Until next time, have a happy and healthy week ahead.