Goal Setting Defined

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about goal setting. Goal setting for health and fitness used to scare me and I would never admit that to myself or anyone else. I generally understood the purpose of fitness goals, but I didn’t use them. I shared a couple of posts back that I never owned a scale. I figured when I got into the right size jeans, I’d know that I reached my goal. I imagine to the few I appeared cool and casual about the process.

But what was really going on was a huge lack of confidence. After all, if I don’t set a goal and I only discuss my weight loss efforts with a few people, how would anyone know if I fail? How would anyone know that I have passed the secret date I set to lose the unreasonable amount of weight? It would be my silent failure. Then I can just start again.

I allowed myself to think this way for far too long. In hindsight, I think keeping things so loose and vague allowed me the room to snack and sleep past my workout time because there was no accountability if I just re-started again in a few days. I never realized that part of the problem was my lack of goal-setting knowledge and structure. I was setting myself up for failure.

Enter S.M.A.R.T goals. Once I learned about S.M.A.R.T goals, I started to feel accountable because I could no longer use the excuse of thinking goals were just ‘someday’ thoughts that sailed around in my head. Now I knew something concrete about setting goals. No excuses now.

Once of the resources I’ve picked up to help me learn about goal setting and to offer encouragement is the program titled PUSH by Chalene Johnson. I’ve read research many fitness experts over the past 20 years.  There are a lot of knowledgable experts out there. However, I seem to best connect with Chalene and her way of thinking. So I picked up the book outlining the PUSH program.

The program is designed to help with goal setting (and keeping). It focuses on a health/fitness goal and a PUSH goal which is any goal other than health/fitness. It’s a lot to review in one blog post but I will tell you I loved the chapter on reverse engineering goals.  Basically, I wrote out my goal and assigned a timeframe (my 50th birthday). Then I worked backwards to plan the steps necessary to reach that goal; all the while keeping the S.M.A.R.T goals definition in front of me.

This simple acronym accompanied with the PUSH program gave me a vision. I could see success because the steps to it were achievable and not overwhelming as just stating that I want to ‘lose a lot of weight.’

I recommend you at least check it Chalene’s PUSH program. In the meantime, please tell me what resources you recommend for goal-setting and goal-achievement. I am a lifelong learner and I am always interested in hearing other ideas.

By the way, I’ve re-lost the weight I gained since this blog started. Small steps are still victories. I will accept each and keep moving toward the next.

Until next week

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