Being specific means you have to be brave enough to tell yourself the truth. Many live in denial about the state of their health and it is not until confronted with an illness that they accept the truth of their condition. Being specific calls for us to admit that we have a problem and actually name the problem. Unless you are specific and admit to the problem you cannot defeat the problem. Example: I want to lose 30 pounds means accepting and admitting that I am 30 pounds overweight and as such is at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and death to name a few. It means coming clean not just to myself but to others who love me and want the best for me. If you name it, it becomes real, not nebulous.
Measurable goals are great because you can track them and, for those who love math, they can be quantified. It is easy to track progress when you have a measure to compare it against. For each pound I lose, I can subtract it from the number that I want to attain and see how far I have come but also how far I have to go. As one friend pointed out to me the other day, slow progress is still progress.
Attainable goals are goals that can be achieved. It may seem that my goal of losing 30 pounds is impossible but I believe all things are possible. I also know that we must divide our goals in to bite size pieces. They say you eat the elephant one bite at a time and in achieving your goals you must also choose to take it in bite-size pieces. It will be necessary to set long-term goals and short-term goals. My long-term goal is to lose 30 pounds but my short-term goal is to lost 10 pounds. The ten-pound weight loss is very achievable and in a short enough time to keep me motivated. Choosing to have a short-term goal is recommended as this is useful in developing “sticktoitness”. When only long-term goals are made people turn back or stop the journey because it seems they are not making progress. Do you remember taking road trips? Designating points along the way to serve as markers to let you know that you were close to your destination. Short-term goals are points on the journey that lets you know the end is drawing near.
Just as we strive to be relevant in our professional lives, our goals should be relevant to who we are and who we would like to become. Losing weight is relevant to me because I want to be healthier and I want more energy. I know from past experience that when I work out and lose weight I feel so much better. I remember discussing the benefits of exercise with a friend of mine and remarking that even the days seem to have more hours in them when I exercise because I accomplish more in shorter amounts of time.
All goals require time limits. Without specifying realistic time limits we would set goals that are unattainable and as a result, would become discouraged. There is a saying that says “to everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under the heaven”. To choose realistic time limits we must carefully study to see how long tasks are supposed to take. If you assign too little time to complete a task you will set your self up for failure. The converse is true. If you give too much time to accomplish a task you could waste time that could be spent working on other goals. It is safe to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Losing 30 pounds should take about
ut 30 weeks. I need to assign myself a short-term goal of 10 pounds in 3 months and renew that goal after each 3 month period.
We should take time to evaluate our goals to ensure that we are achieving the desired results. Take time to review the goal, time limits, and plan to see if it meets the needs of what you are trying to accomplish. If your plan does not fully meet your needs, you will need to adjust your plans. If the time allotted is sufficient, you should be making progress
Re-evaluate as often as is necessary to stay on course.
- Example: I want to lose 10 pounds in the next 3 months so that I can walk with less knee pain. After 1 month evaluate your plan. You should be halfway to your goal. If you are not making the progress that you desire, re-evaluate your plan and adjust your work out or your diet to ensure its effectiveness.
Congratulations on taking the next step in becoming a healthier you so that you can live revived!