Some Tips For Goal Setting
New year, new (or revamped) goals. Don’t know where to begin? Below are some tips to get you started:
1.) Avoid unrealistic and/or arbitrary numbers. Oftentimes, with good intentions, we set our sights too high, too fast. Although aiming high is encouraged, this could potentially set us up for frustration or disappointment down the line. Instead of aiming to lose twenty pounds in three weeks, give yourself more time (more like twenty weeks) or a less daunting number. Then, set smaller goals in between to help keep yourself on track.
2.) Tracking. Goals are fantastic, but mean much less without tracking your progress. Think about watching a baby grow up - you don’t see the changes day to day, but looking back you realize they have changed tremendously through a series of daily micro-changes. With our goals, we may not think we are making progress if we don’t record these changes through photos, journal entries, etc. Change seldom happens all at once; it is only when we look back do we see how far we have come.
3.) General and specific. I always find it helpful to have some overarching goals as well as specific goals that are trackable. For example, a general goal that I try to live by is “zoom out, slow down, and show up.” A specific goal is “walk at least 70,000 steps per week.”4.) Set yourself up for success. No, I’m not saying sandbag it (although sometimes applicable ); however, give yourself goals you know you can achieve. I always recommend starting with small goals to boost confidence and then building from there.
5.) Factor in failures. No journey is a straight line. Know that, at some point, you will encounter a bad day or missed goal. What’s important is that we prepare for this so we know how to bounce back when this inevitably happens. Unrealistic expectations are often followed by stopping short.
6.) Less is more. Rather than giving yourself ten goals at once, try two or three to put your full focus on. Once these goals are accomplished, either build off of them or add more. Remember: there is no rush. Improvement through achieving goals is a life-long process towards a better, healthier you.
Stephanie Spoto, CSCS