Setting the bar a little lower

After reading my interview last week, perhaps there was something that stuck with you, as it has with me. One of the responses Jen gave was in regards to goal setting, she indicated her success came through setting smaller, short-term goals. 

As a former Special Educator and High School Principal, I know about goal setting, in terms of goals for a child, in an educational setting.  However, I never translated this into goals relating to fitness. Quite frankly, I’m not sure why,

The idea of setting smaller benchmarks could be helpful to someone struggling with their wellness and might promote some marked improvement.  How many times have you heard, “I want to lose 15 pounds.”  Or, “I want to get back down to a size 8.”  What if we just made more of these statements, in smaller increments? 

Thinking about it and working at it on a smaller scale just may help.  Perhaps saying, “I’m a size 12 now, I’d like to be in a 10 by Christmas,” would be helpful.  Then, at Christmas time, setting the next goal would be appropriate.  Maybe, in regards to fitness, and our overall wellness, some lack success because the goal seems too lofty and when it isn’t achieved in a short period of time, it seems useless. 

So, what to do about this?  Well, if you’re trying to jumpstart your fitness program, how about instead of saying, “I’m gonna go to the gym every day this week,” you commit to 3 days to start.  If, like Jen, you’re going to start out with walking, maybe you begin by giving yourself a goal of 30 minutes, 4 days per week.  Then, when you’re successful with that, you can add a day or increase the amount of time.

Instead of saying “I’m only going to eat fruits and vegetables as a snack from now on”, make a smaller commitment to the healthier things.  Ease you’re way into having sugar snap peas as your snack of choice, don’t try to go cold turkey.  I know cold turkey works for some… I look at how well it worked for my dad when he wanted to quit smoking.  But, maybe this strategy isn’t for everyone.  Maybe some need to think about making smaller goals which leads to feeling the reward of success a little more often.

With that said, my recent trip to Florida resulted in what I call my “ice cream baby”.  Instead of thinking my new addition is just going to disappear, I’m going to say that if it’s one pound lighter by the end of the week, I’ll be super happy.  BUT, I’m not going to reward myself with ice cream, that’s for sure.  I’ll look at my accomplishment as the reward and maybe that will motivate me to work just that much harder next week. 

What’s the first goal in your master plan?  Think on it and share if you care to – you could be someone’s inspiration.

Carri Nelsen


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