Goal setting. It’s probably something you hear the Take Shape team talking about all the time, something your employer may mention at work, something you may mention yourself to your colleagues, partner or kids, but is it something you actually put into practice?
In theory, goal setting is simple. The best approach is like anything, it is the approach that works best for you! You just need to make sure you have a clear path towards that end game. Which in theory all sounds very simple, but we know life usually has other plans!
We’re often influenced by ideas such as SMART Goals or thoughts of climbing Everest, which seem at times a little far-fetched or unattainable. The truth is those people who have scaled Everest set themselves on a path of smaller goals, all geared up towards that one mountain. Maybe they made this goal as a kid, and all they started off doing was climbing a hill behind their house. That is still an achievement, and they learnt what they need to do next to get that one step closer.
Speaking of SMART Goals, this is exactly what that means:
This doesn’t mean you have to sit down and map out every single aspect of your goals, something like ‘lose weight’ is pretty clear and you in yourself will know what this means to you. The problem is without giving yourself a time frame, or a number of kilos, and exactly what you are doing that will make your life different to then, in turn, make the weight loss happen, it becomes very hard to turn this goal into a tangible reality.
Tips for setting, and achieving goals:
Write it down! Stick it to the fridge, bathroom mirror or even make it the background on your phone. Wherever it is make sure you can see it every single day.
Map out your smaller goals
Make sure you know the smaller goals you need to be working towards along the way. This way you won’t ever feel daunted or overwhelmed, but it will also help to keep you motivated with small achievements.
Create a checklist
Crossing items off a list is good for your sense of accomplishment! Even it if is smaller or easier tasks, you will feel like you are getting somewhere and making things happen.
Share your goal with others
Tell your friends, family, colleagues, whoever! Get them involved. The more people you have motivating you and keeping you accountable the more likely you are to achieve.
On that note, make yourself accountable!
This doesn’t mean punish yourself if you fall off track, but it does mean having regular ‘meetings’ or check ins with yourself to see how you are going. Perhaps you set up a reward system (like treating yourself to a movie) as you reach certain points, or perhaps if you are say training for a marathon and you start to slack off you have to up the training and make it that little bit harder for yourself by way of reminding yourself to stay on track.
There is plenty of literature online about goal setting, so if you want to get really serious, and you are the type of person who works well with very strict rules, then start researching! If you are the type of person who likes to have room for change or poetic licence, then play to that! Goal setting is about doing something for yourself, which means doing what works best for you! In saying this you do however need to make sure that you don’t stray so far off the path that you get lost, but if you find a slight detour, feel confident to take it.
What’s also important is to start thinking about your next goal as you get towards the end! You will find it becomes a huge part of what keeps you motivated to do more and more for yourself, so make the most of this motivation and keep pushing your self further and further!