Yesterday morning while running on the treadmill, I set a goal to run until I got to 3 miles.
Last week, my goal was to run for 30 minutes. Which do you think is the better goal?
Answer: They’re both great!
Over the years, I’ve learned that goal setting can either become a tool to inspire you to change or a trap to keep you stuck and procrastinating. Unfortunately when it comes to weight loss, most of us choose the latter.
Let’s go back to my treadmill example. This morning I chose to run miles because I felt like pushing myself to see how quickly I could run 3 miles. I felt like running fast and hard because my energy levels were high.
When my energy levels are not so high, as was the case one day last week, my goal was just to get on the treadmill and go for 30 minutes. Why 30 minutes? Because it was a big enough goal that would inspire me but I took all the pressure off of myself in do it at a certain speed or to go for a certain distance. My only goal was to finish. I talked my way through the entire workout but I was happy when it was over. I felt accomplished and gave myself a pat on the back.
Each day set mini-goals that will inspire you. Some days you may have to pray yourself through getting out of bed; then pray yourself through getting into the car; then walking into the gym. Notice those days and work through them. If you find that your mini-goals are causing you anxiety then it’s time to re-evaluate your mini-goals.
How to Follow Through On Your Goals
Step 1 – Choose your overall goal. IE: I want to release 50 pounds by June 30, 2015
Step 2 – Choose 1 or 2 mini goals each day with will move your goal forward. IE: I will walk each day for at least 20 minutes or I will drink 6 cups of water
Step 3 – Make your goals inspiring each day. When the day comes that you don’t feel like doing your usual walking routine, then what are you going to do to still feel successful? Find something that will still give you a sense of success. Can you walk to the store or to the mall? Can you go for a walk with a friend? Can you break your walk into 5 minute walks throughout the day?
I don’t believe that forcing yourself to ‘just do it’ is the answer. It works for many people but if you’ve got faulty beliefs (IE: exercise is hard, dieting is painful) tied to your goal then ‘forcing’ yourself to do something will only make you resent it more.
I believe the solution is to create an atmosphere of success. Make more positive associations with the task and your brain will start to see that, ‘it’s not so bad after-all’. Success begets success. The most important point is that you are moving forward in your goals each day.
Many of us set crazy goals; ‘I’m going to cut out all my junk food’, ‘I’m going to exercise every day for 2 hours’ which leave you feeling overwhelmed and quickly leads you to start procrastinating instead of getting done what you need to.
In our Haven program, we have a weekly weigh in which ‘should’ be inspiring. Unfortunately for many of us, we start to dread the weekly weigh-in. Why? Because we have not adjusted our mini-goals based on how we’re feeling. If you’re having a rough week then take that into consideration and re-adjust your goal. Your goal might be to get through the week without binge-eating or to just carve out 2-3 times to exercise. Structure your goal so that you feel encouraged by what you’ve accomplished, instead of feeling like a failure and then submit that daily goal to God.
Here are a few ways to adjust your current goals so they inspire you.
- If you’re struggling to cut out all junk food – Set a goal to eat 3 healthy meals per day.
- If you’re struggling to stop eating after 8:00 pm – Choose a list of foods that you will eat if you do get hungry
- If you’re struggling with getting to the gym every day – Commit to finding creative ways to be active for a certain period of time.
- If you’re struggling with giving up sweet or diet drinks – Set a goal to have one less than the day before or drinking one cup of water for every sweet or diet drink you consume.
- If you’re struggling with emotional eating – just commit to eat 1 healthy snack along with the food that you want to eat.
It’s time to change the way we set our goals each day. Change the focus from what you won’t do to what you will do. Constantly create mini-successes. What is the best we can do given the circumstances? It’s time to stop beating up on ourselves for not achieving our goals and show ourselves some love and grace by setting goals that we can and want to achieve.
Until Next Week,
Are you an emotional eater? – I’m so excited to be interviewing Kimberly Taylor on this subject, Thursday, December 4th. We have limited spots for this popular topic so reserve yours now! Register here at Success Webinars