It’s January and you are setting your New year’s resolutions, you have a renewed energy for all the things that you are going to achieve in the new year.
You are ready to get started on your health and fitness goals, you join that new class, get a monthly gym membership or take to running in your local park.
However it’s mid February and your trainers have been packed away in the cupboard and your gym membership is gathering dust. Does this sound like you last year and every other year before that?
It’s time to take charge of your health and fitness by setting meaningful goals and sticking to them.
We have all heard about SMART goals which are great but we are going to take it one step further to help you create a goal that’s so compelling that you can’t help but take action.
A goal is defined as 'the process of deciding what you want to achieve over a particular period' or 'An aim or an end in mind’. A goal without a deadline is merely a dream.
To start with a goal is great for your motivation as you will know what your aiming for and if you’re on track. It will help you to make decisions as you can ask yourself will this action take me closer to my end goal, if yes then great go for it if no then ditch it.
We know that to write a goal it has to be SMART, which stands for;
M- Measurable/meaningful to you
A- As if now/Achievable/All areas of your life
R- Realistic/ Responsible
T- Timed/ Positive towards what you want.
When you write your goal I want you to write it in the present tense as though it has happened for you already. An example around healthy eating could be; It’s 25th March 2018 and I am eating 5 pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables a day. I am healthier, my immune system is stronger and my complexion is glowing.
When you have come up with your goal I want you to picture yourself having achieved your goal. What does it look like for you? How do you feel? What are people saying about you or are you saying about yourself? What does it smell/taste like? Really imagine you having achieved this goal and make the picture bright and inviting and so that you can’t help but smile when you think about you having achieved this goal.
Another important aspect of motivation in the words of Tony Robbins is what we link pain and pleasure to. When you think about your goal what thoughts spring to mind. As an example I recently decided to cut all refined sugar out of my diet as I had an unhealthy addiction to sugar. I realised that I had linked eating a piece of cake to feelings of reward and pleasure. It meant relaxation to me, when the kids had been driving me bonkers it was 5 minutes to myself to indulge on a piece of cake. However I found that the amount of sugar I was eating meant that I had real peaks and troughs in my energy levels and also left me feeling quite nauseous.
I needed to change my thinking and see eating that piece of cake as the pain of feeling nauseous and the pleasure of having renewed energy levels from a healthy diet.
In your goals you need to relate your goal to pleasure, improving your health and fitness can leave you with renewed energy, better sleep, confidence and making new friends. There are so many benefits to sticking to your fitness goals if not for you then to have increased energy and focus to be with your children.
In life we attract the things that we focus on and pay attention to so why not make it something positive for you and your family's health? Happy goal setting and remember to celebrate your successes no matter how small.
Qualified pre and post natal fitness instructor and NLP practitioner.