Setting Realistic Goals

Over the years, I have found that one of the biggest reasons people become overwhelmed about their weight, eating habits, activity-level and overall sense of well-being is because they know they need to make a change, or they want to make a change, but are unsure how to drill down into specifics to set a realistic goal. A realistic health or fitness goal will set you free in many ways. It gives you something to sweat for and strive for; a real sense of purpose when your body is aching from going hard in the gym and chasing those dreams. Isn’t that what a goal is, anyway? “A goal is a dream with a deadline,” Napoleon Hill once said. Well, I say no more dreaming of a brighter, shinier you – it’s time to act! My 10 tips for setting realistic health & fitness goals:

1. Start small and keep the bigger picture in mind. If you want to lose a significant amount of weight, tackle it bit by bit; 5 or 10 pounds at a time.

2. Reframe your goal as journey or experience, not a trying task. Instead of “I need to lose 20 pounds before my cousin’s wedding,” say “I commit to working out 4 times per week from now until then”. Once you accomplish the latter AND find you have also lost the 20 pounds, it’s like double the sense of accomplishment!

3. Plan for how you will measure success. This depends entirely on your goal, but from the outset decide your method and frequency for tracking your progress. Perhaps you will weigh yourself once every two weeks, measure your bust, hips and waist every six weeks, or take a full-body selfie once a month; regardless of how or how often. This is important because it punctuates your journey and gives you milestones to look forward to and work toward. An extra slice of pizza during your cheat meal? Probably not, with a weigh in coming in three days!

4. Realize your goal requires you to make new choices every day. Keep making these positive choices that move you closer to your goal until it becomes habit. Ten times repeated = a habit.

5. You’ve made the amazing decision to make a change, now keep yourself focused, determined and strong by zeroing in on ideas like “growth,” “progress,” and “I can” – negative thoughts and a self-critical tone will not serve you.

6. Make yourself your own icon. Everyone needs a little inspiration, but aspiring for a tighter, rounder, better version of your butt instead of chasing Beyonce’s butt, means there is no way you can be disappointed.

7. Don’t expect anyone other than yourself to shake things up – it is your responsibility to keep your workouts and meals interesting!

8. If you hit a setback or obstacle, don’t let it bog you down. Acknowledge it and move forward.

9. Identify your barriers to success and develop a plan. Is the candy in your desk drawer calling out to you? Trash it! Are you noticing you have one too many glasses of wine when you go out with a certain friend? Rain cheque!

10. Remember, good things take time! Set a reasonable deadline to achieve your goal.

What new health and fitness goals are on your horizon? What can I offer to support you? Recipes, workouts, tips? Tell me what you need to succeed in the comments below, at Kitchen Table, or on Twitter or Facebook.

Remember, I’m always listening Love and joy, Tosca