Do you need some OOOMPH in your day?
Winter season is upon us and as the days get shorter, it’s easy to feel less energetic and motivated than usual. Add to that all the extra challenges we are facing and it’s easy to start to lose motivation and feel stuck or in a rut. You can get your motivation back by intentionally setting goals for yourself. Not only can goal setting help you stay healthy, but it can also help you feeling more content and satisfied, despite the cold weather.
You may be wondering, “how is goal setting going to help me?”. Goal setting is one of the best ways to continuously challenge yourself and push your limits. Setting goals will help you achieve extraordinary milestones in your life, especially when it comes to your health and wellness.
Set the Goals
It’s important to set goals in a variety of areas, but before doing so, identify one or two big goals and then break them down into smaller, achievable goals. Do not try and change everything at the same time, instead focus on making 1 or 2 changes and then you can add more goals as you progress.
For example, if you want to lose thirty pounds by Summer, map out how you can do so by breaking down the goal into smaller weekly goals. How many calories should you be eating daily? What foods do you need to consider eliminating? Another example might be to run a 5K, you will need to set your target date to accomplish that and then work backwards to map out how many days and kms you will need to run weekly to achieve that goal. Perhaps you will need to find a 5K program to help you create your plan.
Set the goal, choose a date to achieve that goal and then work backwards to create your plan to hit the goal target date.
Here are some examples of some goals:
#1) Fitness Goals
- Strength train 3x per week for 45 minutes per session
- Do yoga twice per week
- Run 3-5 km twice per week
#2) Nutrition Goals
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day, trying to aim for at least 5 servings
- Prepare healthy meals for the day ahead of time so you are prepared to stay on track
- Try a new healthy recipe every week
- Consider adding a meatless dinner once or twice a week
#3) Wellness Goals
- Drink 8-10 cups of water each day
- Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night
- Stretch and meditate every morning
- Pick up a good book and add reading to your downtime
Track Your Progress
Not only is identifying your goals important, it’s crucial that you track your progress. Tracking your progress allows you to hold yourself accountable and helps you identify what’s working and not working when it comes to achieving your goal.
Going back to our weight loss example, tracking your progress gives you a visual of some of the smaller changes taking place. Taking your measurements weekly will encourage you when the number on the scale is slow to move. Tracking each week also allows you to tweak what you are doing if you are not seeing the results you are hoping for. Be patient thought, results can take time.
Tools to Help Track Your Progress
Calendar/planner– A calendar is an excellent visual for scheduling out your weeks and providing reference for when you would like to achieve your mini goals. Additionally, a planner is such a great way to map out your fitness schedule, meal planning, and wellness opportunities. There are also some great apps you can use if you prefer a digital tacking system. An example would be MyFitnessPal.
Daily Checklist– a checklist is an amazing tool to help you achieve your daily tasks. The psychological satisfaction of “checking off” each task is often enough motivation to ensure that you get your tasks done.
Journal- a journal is a great tool to keep track of your fitness achievements. If you are strength training, you can easily keep track of the weight you were able to lift with each set/ rep. A journal is a great way to write out exactly how you’ve been feeling while accomplishing all of your goals.
Show up For Yourself
When you are trying to achieve a goal, it is easy to let life’s inconveniences get in the way. Do yourself a favour and SHOW UP for yourself. Had to work late and missed your gym window? Go to bed an hour earlier to ensure you get your workout in the next day. Did not get to yoga because it was too cold to leave the house? Grab your mat and pop on a yoga YouTube video and get your session done! The more you allow yourself to slip on your daily mini-tasks, the easier it will be to make excuses for not putting the work in to accomplish your goal.
Get an Accountability Buddy
Some of us work better in teams, even when it comes to personal development. Having a partner to rely on to pull you through when times get tough is often just the medicine you need! An accountability buddy is an excellent way to stay motivated to complete your goal. Perhaps you and your friend can turn your goal into a ‘competition’ to stay motivated.
There are two reasons human beings do just about anything: 1. To avoid pain and 2. To be rewarded with pleasure.
Use a reward system as your motivation to accomplish the goal. If the goal is to lose weight, reward yourself with a special outfit when you hit your target weight or a new workout item.
Don’t forget to reward yourself along the way when you hit your weekly goals as well. It can be small rewards like a special meal on Saturday evening, or a peppermint mocha after your yoga class on Sunday. It’s fun to treat yourself, especially after accomplishing tasks you might not always be eager to do.