It’s that time again when we make goals for ourselves for the year! Is anyone else like me and have a horrible track record for setting goals and then not really keeping them? I set goals every year and only very very few of them I have ever actually stuck to and accomplished. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to make this year different. I want to make this year the one that I set a goal and actually make it happen!
I read a pretty good article here that sums up some strategies to help you keep your goals. These are a few highlights that I took away from it:
1. Be specific and make it attainable – in other words don’t set my sights too high and be detailed in what I need to do to accomplish it.
2. Focus on just ONE thing. Instead of making a list of goals, choose one specific thing or area that you want to work on.
3. Plan-Plan-Plan!!!! Create a very clear plan on how to accomplish the goal.
4. Do Baby Steps – in your plan, have clear small steps along the way that can show your progress
5. Avoid repeating past failures – if you are setting a goal similar to one you’ve tried in the past – REEVALUATE the goal – determine what went wrong the first time and adjust your plan to overcome those setbacks
6. Don’t let small stumbles make you give up – when you come to a setback, take a step back, reevaluate, modify your goal plan if necessary and then keep going!
7. Get support from family and friends – share your goals with those around you and ask them to be your cheering section. Being accountable to others helps provide motivation.
8. Remember – change is a process – the habit that you are trying to change didn’t get created overnight, so it is completely unreasonable to think that changing it will be an immediate thing. It will be a slow process, but it IS doable.
9. Stay motivated – it is easy to be motivated at the beginning, find ways throughout the process to reignite that spark of motivation – remind yourself often of WHY you are doing this
10. Keep working at it! Don’t give up! Record your progress and your failures.
So what is my goal going to be this year? My one area of focus is going to be my health. I’m starting to feel old. And I don’t like it. I am tired of feeling, well, tired. I want to feel better.
Now to apply those strategies above -
I had thought about setting a realistic weight loss goal. Something specific and attainable, but then after reading this article from the New York Times, The Fat Trap, I’ve decided to change that a bit. That article is kind of long but is a great read about new research in the area of weight loss that talks about how when we are losing weight, our bodies actually fight against us. Your body becomes used to a specific weight and views it as “normal” whether it actually is or not. And then when you loose weight your body fights to get it back to where it perceives “normal” to be. It is hypothesized that it takes years – yep YEARS – of maintenance dieting and exercise at the new lower weight before your body starts to view that new weight as the norm. So to make a really long explanation short – I took away from the article a desire to focus on being healthy rather than losing a specific amount of weight.
So my goal is to begin an exercise program and to support that program with eating foods that fuel the body in a healthy way – fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy.
To make my exercise program as specific as possible, Nathan and I have decided to sign up to run (or in my case, more like run/walk) the Ortega River Run on February 25th. It is a 5 mile course and is BEAUTIFUL. We did it about 8 years ago when Dallin was just a baby and I pushed him in the jogging stroller. The course goes through an old neighborhood along the river, down little roads with huge canopy trees and lovely old houses. It really is beautiful. We’d love to have friends join us!!!!
From the 1st Place Sports website I was able to find a training schedule for a race of that length and then I modified it to make the “rest” day fall on Sunday.
So Monday I start my training! You’ll notice that the training schedule lists specific numbers of miles to “run”, well, I’m not sure I’m completely up to that so my miles will most likely be a combination of running/walking with more running hopefully mixed in as I go along. I’m very excited. I really do want to make this the one year that I accomplish my goal!!!!
Obviously this training schedule only takes me through the end of February. At that time, I plan to reevaluate, see how things went, and modify my goal as necessary to keep on improving my health for the year.
Happy goal setting everyone!