Setting Yourself Up for Success by Defining Goals for Health and Fitness

altIt’s April and do you know where your New Year’s resolutions are? Have you lost them? Do you remember what they were?

Maybe they were the same ones you make every year and maybe they lasted briefly and then were pushed aside in the face of everyday life, once again.

So, how do you make this look different? How do you make your goals happen for you? There are a few key elements that, when put in place, increase your likelihood of success dramatically.

Let’s Be Realistic

Set realistic goals. Sure it would be nice to completely revamp your diet and lose fifteen pounds in a month, but is that really going to happen? When we set unrealistic goals for ourselves, we set ourselves up for disappointment when the inevitable “failure” happens. Goals need to be babysteps toward the bigger picture. Pick goals that are achievable, but still inspiring. How about cutting out one or two food “no-no’s” at a time or exercising twice per week instead of none? Start small and head toward the big!

Can You Measure It?

Set measurable goals. When goals are vague, we don’t know if we have actually achieved them. It’s hard to celebrate reaching the finish line if you don’t know where the finish line is! Choose a distance you want to be able to run without walking. Choose a pair of pants you want to be able to wear. Choose goals that are measureable so you can gauge your progress, fine tune your path toward your end point, and celebrate a concrete success when it happens.

What’s the Plan?

Create a structure around achieving your goal. I can say I want to exercise three times a week, but if I don’t do the research and join a gym, is it going to happen? The simpler you can make it to achieve your goal, the more likely it will happen. Planning helps make life simple. If you are trying to eat healthier, plan your weekly grocery shopping for a certain time, go with a list of food in hand, get home and pre-prepare as much food for the week as possible. Have a plan, make life easy, and you will find yourself headed toward your goal in no time.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Create accountability for yourself. The first step in accountability is telling other people your goals. Make it public, post it on Facebook or Twitter. The more people you tell, the more likely you will follow through – you’ll just have to! Not only will you feel obligated, but more importantly, you will be creating a support team who are excited for you to reach your goal. Have a workout partner or a healthy food potluck group that meets and shares recipes and dishes for the week’s lunches. Another level of accountability is to create consequences for yourself. Promise a friend you will pay them fifty dollars for every time you eat a forbidden food!

Know What Your Bottom Line Is

Draw a clear picture for yourself, create a structure and a plan, have milestones to measure your success, and share your goals and successes with those in your life. They will be there to help you through the bad days and congratulate you on the good days. Tell people what you are up to and enroll them in your life. You are more likely to be successful…which means you are more likely to be a happy healthy human being!