Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why Should I Set Goals?

With the New Year, you hear a lot about people talking about goal setting, or making resolutions for the new year ahead. I am all about resolutions, but what happened to setting goals year round? I am a firm believer that every day is a new beginning, but one positive thing the New Year brings is a fresh start to accomplish as much as you can in the year to come.

So, why is goal setting important?

Goal setting is important, to me, because it gives you a direction and a place to concentrate your efforts. For example, my 2015 goal was to compete in the IDFA BC Classic. With this goal in mind, I knew where I wanted to go in terms of diet and exercise. My nutrition and work out plan transformed to help me achieve that goal, and I was now working out with a purpose, rather than for the sake of getting to the gym and sweating (which is still great, don't get me wrong). I am a very goal oriented person, so having a deadline in my head will help me work harder to get there.

How do I go about setting goals?

First off, your goal should fit into these three guidelines:

1. Have a specific time line for all of your goals, whether it's six months, one year, five years, etc.
My example: I want to complete the 8 week Shred program.
This would be considered a short term goal. Another short term goal could be something like, I want to do cardiovascular exercise twice per week for two weeks.

Breaking your goal up into smaller segments will make it seem much more attainable!

2. Make your goal realistic. If you know you absolutely will not do cardiovascular exercise twice per week, why would you set that as a goal if you will only do it once?
My example: "Work out six days per week, every week."
This is unrealistic for me given that I like to take two rest days per week, and often my gym schedule changes as more events pop up throughout the year. If you are setting stretch goals - that's great! But you may find yourself becoming discouraged if you continuously don't meet these goals. Make sure the goal you are setting is realistic for you. It's great to dream, but you can always work up to those dreams, too!

It is great to set a large goal, but make sure you are setting the goal for the right reasons.

3. Write it down! I use my planner for goal setting, but I also have a notebook where I write down my goals, too. This way I have it written down in two places, and often times I'll put it on my blog as well to keep me extra accountable! Having your goals written down on paper allows you to visually see where you want to go. It's great to have goals in your head, but it becomes easy to forget about them when you can't check them off your list as you achieve them.

For me, a general goals list works just fine. However, you may find it helpful to divide things into separate categories, such as personal goals, health goals, professional goals, etc. Keeping a running list in the notes section of your phone may also help if you want to check-in while you're on the go.

For my own goals, the ones that will take the longest for me are gardening, growing my nails, and blogging consistently. Traveling to a new place will be a longterm goal as well, though I do think I will achieve that this summer. Plans are in the works, anyway! On the same note, I personally try to keep my list on the shorter side and will sprinkle in some weekly goals as I go through my planner every week.

Finally, there really are no rules when it comes to goal setting. You are the master of your life, so do whatever works for you! I hope you found this post helpful & let me know in the comments what some of your goals are. Thanks for reading!

Have a goal, create a plan, make it happen!

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