When we think, ponder, contemplate, noodle, and ruminate about our goals we create vision for our future self. Throughout this Habitudes for the Holidays Challenge I have encouraged each of us to step into a new idea of personal wellness in not only physical ways, but in mental and emotional ways as well. The goals that you created for yourself in writing at the beginning of the challenge could look more like an overall goal or goals. For example, you may want to lose weight or add muscle to your physique. Great goal! Next, I asked us to take a look at our inner motivation. Why do you want to lose weight? Here is where it’s helpful to be specific on the why; I want to look good on my vacation, I want to increase my mile times, I want to be able get up and down from the floor with ease while playing with the kids… Many times in order to reach our overall goal, we need to take mini steps along the way. This is where writing your daily goals down comes into play. The more SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.) you are about your goals, the more apt you are to reach them.
Tips for making this happen:
Keep some paper or the notes app on your phone handy. Put your written goal where you can view it often. Read your daily goal several times a day. Even before you go to bed, you can jot something down and place it where you will see it first thing in the morning.
Please avoid words like should, must, can’t, or won’t. For example, I won’t eat any more junk food as snacks, is not exactly clear and it is not positive. A better example might be, I am not going to snack in front of the T.V. tonight. Or, I will have a piece of fruit when I am hungry in between meals. Not only is this more specific, but it is more positive!
When you are writing your daily goals, only do today’s and not tomorrow’s. Just with anything else, if something is set in the future it can be very easy to put it off. There is always, tomorrow. Here is another example of how not to write your daily goals: I need to start running again. Try this: Today I am going to run 1 mile.
Be sure your goals are yours. Not your boss’s, your wife’s, or what people on the Biggest Loser are doing this week. Use others for encouragement, but stay true to yourself and that vision you are creating for future you.
Setting SMART goals doesn’t mean that they are easy goals. Your goals can stretch you, and require some commitment and effort. Test out your goals by using that yardstick.
If you are having trouble reaching one of the daily goals you continue to write down, think about rephrasing it. This is ok if the bar was set too high or your circumstances change. However you should not change the goal if you are just tired of trying. Stick with it! Talk to that person or people who are holding you accountable. This is a great time to resource them!
Make sure you reward yourself when you reach your goal. Whether it’s a foot massage, watching your favorite show, or sleeping in an extra half hour, this is an important part of the process!
Check this off on your Holiday Challenge Calendar 2013!