Part 3: A Guide to Goal Setting
Hello again, welcome to part three of three of our New Year’s Resolution series. In case you missed part one “How to diet…Or Not To” and part two “No Gym No Problem” make sure to go and check them out. This week we are talking about a very important topic that normally goes overlooked: How to set proper goals.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions most people think of things or activities they want to start, or stop doing; such as “I’m going to start eating healthy” or “I’m going to start going to the gym” etc. The problem with this is it isn’t really a goal to work towards. For the purpose of this post we are going to use the example of someone that wants to lose weight as their resolution. We will go through the steps of making proper goals so that you can actually achieve and surpass them! But first I’ll go over some basic rules to follow when making your goals.
Make it Simple, make it Measurable, make it Attainable, make it Realistic, and have a Timeline. This is called SMART goal setting. Now I will go over an example of how to set these goals.
Step 1: The Big Picture: I want to lose 50Lbs by December 31st, 2019. This follows our SMART goals exactly. It is simple, measurable and has a timeline. When setting weight loss goals, an average guideline that is healthy and sustainable is about 1-2 Lbs per week so therefore 50Lbs in a year is both realistic and attainable.
Step 2: Break it down: I want to lose 5 Lbs by the last day of each month. Again, this follows our SMART format. Losing 50 Lbs is a daunting task and no easy feat that will take a lot of hard work and dedication. We need to break our big picture goal down into multiple little goals. This gives us more opportunity to make sure we stay on track with our big picture goal and by setting smaller more easily achievable goals it provides us with more opportunity to feel good about ourselves as we cross each one off the list. Setting smaller goals also makes falling short of your goal easier to over come and keep going. Falling short of your goals will happen, and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you just set that one big goal and fall short that will not feel good even if you lost 40 of your 50-pound goal. However, with all these smaller goals if you lost 40 of your 50-pound goal, you succeed a lot more than you failed and that breeds the desire to keep going.
Step 3: Make a plan: This part is crucial. You can create the best goals in the world, but if you don’t have a plan on how to reach them, then reaching them is impossible. For most weight-loss goals your plan will include proper nutrition and exercise and the first two parts of this series have been dedicated just to that so check them out for more information here.
Step 4: Write it down: Now this really should be step one, but you have to know what you are writing down first so its step 4. Writing things down in my mind makes them real. It almost tricks your mind into turning your thoughts into a reality. Furthermore write this all down in a place where you will see it or is easily accessible so that you have a constant reminder about what you are trying to achieve. Even it is something simple like a word taped to your mirror that you look at every day to help keep you motivated every little bit helps. For example I grew up playing high level volleyball and I had the word “Champion” taped in the corner of my mirror to constantly remind me of who I wanted to be.
Step 5: Track your progress: This is important to because it is only by tracking your goal do you find out if you are taking the right steps to achieve it. For weight loss, this is easy, step on a scale, write down your weight. They key to this though is to not “over track”. Weighing yourself everyday can be discouraging, remember we are only losing 1-2 pounds per week and our weight naturally fluctuates throughout the day. With this in mind I encourage you to only step on a scale once per month, at the end date that you wanted to lose those 5 pounds (and write it down). If you met your goal great! Keep going. If you maybe fell short, remember that’s okay to, the next month is a new month with another goal, you still have your big picture goal to work towards.
And that’s it! In 5 steps you have a plan for a better you. Just remember, proper goals and goal setting is a great motivational tool. Setting up your goals in this way sets you up for success. At Oakville Chiropractic Centre we use SMART goals with every patient to help design treatment plans based on what you want to achieve.
For any questions regarding what we talked about today don’t hesitate to ask. Send us an email by clicking here and submitting a form on our website or call us to make an appointment at 905-845-2291 to find out how Oakville Chiropractic Centre can help you achieve your goals.
Dr. Phillip Wessel