Fail to Plan, Plan To Fail: The Importance of Goal Setting
Goal setting is a powerful tool, whether applied to one’s professional life, personal aspirations or health objectives. In fact, goal setting can make the critical difference between success and failure.
One obvious goal of many may be to simply stick to your diet and/or exericse program in the context of a busy, overscheduled daily routine, but effective goal setting goes far beyond this fairly elementary ambition.
While life may seem out of control at times and that you’re a passenger in life rather than the driver, remind yourselg that YOU hold the greatest power of all – that is the ability to design your own life. You can wake up every morning and decide to exercise, lift your own spirit through positive affirmations, and eat a nutritious breakfast, or you can choose other options that may be detrimental to your emotional and/or physical health. Ultimately, the decision is yours and yours alone.
Here are a few tips to make lifetime commitments through goal setting:
1. Don’t compare yourself with anyone except your self. This is not about winning or losing. This is about making your life better – whatever that means for YOU.
2. Focus on the present – How will you feel after your exercise session today? Will your ability to resist that danish fill you with a sense of accomplishment?
3. Imagine the results – literally. How you picture yourself is often a self fulfilling proficy. Day dream in detail about how you would like to look. Athletes picture themselves performing their event over and over again in ther minds until they finally perfect it. If you see your self as soft, sloppy, weak, tired, or stressed, this may very well become yoru reality for just thinking it. Picture yourself standing tall taking deep breaths, confidently striding forward as you approach life head on.
4. Take small steps – they DO count! It’s impossible to stop smoking, start drinking 64 oz of water, and exerising 5 days a week. Start slowly, one attainable goal at a time. Begin with taking a short walk and slowly work your way up.
5. Be patient – it make take weeks before you start noticing you have more energy, your clothes are fitting more loosely and you aren’t getting short of breath walking up a flight of steps. When you do recognize these signs of achievement, revel in the glory.
6. Put holes in your excuses. When you find your self coming up with an excuse not to exercise, go back to the reasons why you want to exericse in the first place. Put a stop to the negative self talk and obstacle formation. Grab that mental sledge hammer and break through!
7. Journal – If you do just one thing related to goal seetting, begin journaling. Tracking your progress can help you stay focused. Write down not only your goals, but what exercises you did, how you are feeling and what small changes you are noticing in your everyday life like, not being short of breath or lifting something with ease, or having less pain. Writing your goals in front of your journal would help you to review them daily.