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Setting Goals and Actually Achieving Them

Nov 8, 2007
For starters, setting goals to become more fit, lose weight or anything else you want to achieve is an important beginning when taking on a new endeavour. Think about it, unless you know what you are trying to accomplish, how will you actually do it? Most things in our lives do not happen by accident. They are usually the result of our actions or our lack of action that eventually leads to what we know as our reality.

Setting goals can help us to get ahead, but only if we do it properly and in a way that works for us. In this article I am going to suggest a few guidelines that you should follow when setting your goals. The way you set and work towards your goals will actually depend on you.

When tracking our progress, we should consider short, medium and long term goals. This will help us to keep score so to speak as we progress. These 3 time frames will work together to help us get to where we want to be, by helping us see how our daily activities become the building blocks of our future.

Suppose that you have a weight loss goal and that you want to lose 50 pounds in the next 12 months. That is great, but unless you know how to set short and medium term goals, there is a very good chance that you will not reach your goal in 12 months.

So here is how I would go about achieving a 12 month goal of losing 50 pounds. In this case the 50 pounds would be the long term goal. A medium term would be losing 25 pounds in 6 months. This medium term goal serves as a pench mark. If in 6 months I have not lost 25 pounds then I will need to correct my short term goals to allign with my 12 month goal.

For my short term goals I would look both at daily and monthly goals. If I am able to lose about 5 pounds per month then I would lose a total of 5 times 12 or 60 pounds! O.K. so now I know what I have to do in order to achieve, or even exceed my original long term goal. Now we can break this down into a daily goal by taking 5 pounds and dividing it by the number of days in a month, but then we get a small number that is difficult to measure. I do not recommend this.

Instead, let look at some of the daily and weekly things that we can do to help us lose 5 pounds by the end of the first month. I will simply list of few items and you would choose and modify them so that they work well for you. The basic premiss here is that in order to lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you burn. Here is a list of things that can help you do this:

-exercise 3 times per week (try to list specific days that fit your schedule)

-when listing the exercises, list the types of exercise you will do, and try to vary things so that you avoid getting board

-put together a meal plan, not necessarily a diet, but rather something that helps you to track the number of calories you are eating, if you do choose a diet, make sure it is something you can follow and that is well balanced as opposed to one that has you eating a lot of one or two types of foods and very little of any others

-decide what form of reward you will allow yourself for following your plan for the week, you may be able to have a special meal and dessert on the weekend if you do well all week (believe it or not, this may help your metabolism to burn more calories, just make sure this is not an everyday thing)

-write out your goals and be as specific as possible, pretend you are explaining the goals to someone else and you will likely include greater detail

-keep your goals somewhere that you will see them often, and read them everyday, preferably at the beginning and the end of the day

-share your goals with someone, a friend, a partner, sibling or a spouse, preferably someone that will encourage you and help you to be honest

Now that you have your goals outlined you need to commit to following them. Figure out what motivates you and use that power to drive you. Get a picture of it and put it somewhere you can see it everyday. Use that to help you when you start to get off track.

Another thing you should keep in mind, is that you will not look in the mirror and all of a sudden notice that 10 pounds are gone! It is a process, and with this type of thing you do not want to lose too much weight, too quickly. That is often a sign of water loss and, or muscle loss. This can be unhealthy and will not help you to achieve your longer term goals.

The last thing that I wanted to mention is that sometimes things do not always work out exactly as planned. Actually, that is true more often than not. So keep that in mind. If you find that after the first month or so, you are not on track, then adjust your short term goals to reallign with your longer term goals. You may need to alter your eating plan or your exercise routine, or maybe even both.

Now, set some realistic goals that you know you can achieve, and make it happen.
About the Author
Darcy Aleck discusses some of the easiest ways to get fit, lose excess pounds and start living healthier with more energy. You can even get free fitness coaching and motivation by subscribing to his free newsletter. Find out what you should be doing to get healthy at www.YourFreeFitnessCoach.com
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