Its that time of the year…
We all start to freak out about the goals we didn’t do and start to set up new goals for the year to come.
So, how can one set up goals that stick and actually become a reality?
Goals should be detailed so that your success is measurable. It’s too easy to say “I will drink more water“ but it’s quite another to say “I will drink 8 glasses of water a day“. Right?
Goals should always be SOLUTION FOCUSED and POSITIVE!. If I say “Don’t think about an elephant dancing ballet” this is all you will think!
We tend to “overpromise“ at the end of the year and set up too many goals. Myself included. Which is why I am applying the SMART technique.
A SMART goal is
· S – specific, significant, stretching
· M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
· A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, action-oriented
· R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
· T – time-based, timely, tangible, trackable
It’s key to analyse your current situation when creating your goal.
Some questions to ask at this point are:
– How important is this to you?
– If an ideal situation is 10, where are you now?
– What is stopping you?
– What are you attached to?
– What is working for you?
Once you’ve assessed where you are now, its time to think about how to get to that goal. Ask yourself:
– What is the most useful action?
– What has worked in the past?
– What steps could you take?
– What (if any) support would you like?
– What is the first step?
– When would you like to achieve this by?
– Is this timescale realistic?
– How commited are you to this action?
Then, it’s easier to break your goals into some milestones.
For instance, one of my goals this year is to complete the Paris Marathon on 9 April 2017 without injuries or asthma.
How does this goal fits into the S.M.A.R.T frame?
S – Specific. I want to complethe it (no time limit as of yet) because this is my 1st marathon and considering my health history completing it is enough of a challenge. I love running, so the process of training is something I look forward to! It’s important to enjoy the process as much as the idea of the goal.
M – Measurable. It has a clear end to it and a confirmed time line. I have already enrolled and got my boyfriend to do it as well (motivational) so there is no turning back. I also know I will have 4 months from starting to train in January up until the race. I have also found a running coach, which I figured was the support I needed to keep me focused.
A – attainable and action oriented. in January my priority will turn to marathon training, so fitness wise and lifestyle wise that will be the goal. I will start working on the training schedule and make sure that I fit the weeks where I will be off due to work into this time line as to make the task achievable.
Thus, with that in mind, in January I will book a 5k, a 10k and a half-marathon to act as middle milestones which help to keep me accountable.
R & T. This goal is realistic not just to me but to the running coaches I have been working with who think I am up for this challenge and agree that the timeline (T) available for training is sufficient. Also, it is a clear result –oriented goal, which makes it easier to keep your eyes on the
prize finish line!
Goal number 2: reach between 21-23% of body fat.
This goal comes from coaching as well and my overall resolution to become a lighter and better runner.
It is attainable but slow so that I can account for set backs and changes which I know will influence my eating ( work trips, career change, moving houses). My support system is a health coach who started to help me with this and will keep me accountable.
This will only be my focus once I am done with the marathon, because having too many goals at once tend to be a recipe for disaster. From April until December I have 8 months to work on it steadily.
To reach this goal I will have to work with my current lifestyle reality and things that are holding me back, but having the goal on the back of your mind gives you some perspective. In order to do this I have a few milestones to start with.
Follow a new meal plan and mentality until the end of February 2017, whne I will have a new consultation with the coach. Until then, I have to :
– Measure some of the progress with a Withings Scale.
– Commit to a eating disorder recovery journal (an app in my case)
What is important from all these goals is that they are challenging to me and are connected to some of my overarching life goals, which stems from my own personality.
When thinking about goals external things such as “loose 5 kg“ are bound to fail because just being skinnier won’t ever make you love yourself more. It shouldn’t. I am a firmly believe in health at every size, self care and self compassion, and when I was super skinny and anorexic I was miserable.
If you want fitness inspired goals I always find it easier to have trackable challenges which prove to yourself what you can achieve (like a marathon on my case, but could be anything else)
In the end, you know you have a great goal when you enjoy and feel challenged along all the actions that lead towards the achieved results.
Happy holidays! Let’s smash 2017!