I hope you’ve all been enjoying making some minor changes to your lifestyle, and ideally seeing some positive results. Now, with summer fast approaching, it’s time to try some goal-setting.
For the summer, you can pick your own health-related goal – it may be weight loss, a sub-two-hour marathon, or quitting smoking… Whatever it is, it should be something you really WANT to have.
Step 1: clearly identify your goal (not “I want to lose weight”, but “I will weigh 125lbs on September 30, 2011″). Your goal should be stated in SMART terms – it should be specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-based (all those years of listening to ‘corporate-speak’ have clearly rubbed off on me
Step 2: come up with a plan as to what you are going to DO in order to achieve your goal (“I will have cleansing Green Smoothies for breakfast, do a stair-climbing workout twice each week, do weight training at least 4 times a week, and attend a Bikram yoga session twice each week”). Write it down.
Step 3: break it down (“Each week I will lose 1-2 lbs”). Create a calendar showing the progress you plan to make. Celebrate your successes. Don’t beat yourself up about failures – let them be learning experiences!
Step 4: identify in advance how you will track it (“I will weigh in every Friday morning, and record my weight on the calendar”).
Step 5: periodically evaluate your plan, and your progress (“Each week, after my weekly weigh-in, I will write down an evaluation of how the week went; what went well, what obstacles did I face, am I seeing the desired results…”). Write it down. Revise your plan, if required.
Step 6: come up with a reward (besides just achieving the goal, which is reward enough!) that you will give yourself when you achieve your goal (“At the end of this process, I will celebrate my taut, beautiful body by buying a fantastic new dress and going out dancing with my girlfriends!”).
Step 7: do NOT give up on your goal.