When I started my health and fitness journey, I just wanted to lose weight. I had been frustrated by my inability to keep my waist line from growing. Everything that I knew how to do, that worked in my 20′s, 30′s, and even 40′s was not working in my 50’s. I had given up hope and had begun believing that I was destined to have that frumpy older woman’s body.
Then a friend of mine exposed me to a group who knew more than I did about getting and maintaining a healthy and fit body. It was the personal testimonials that caught my eye and got me wondering, could this possibly work for me too? I kept going back to their web site and reading the stories of woman just like me. This went on for 3 or 4 months. I would read a few new ones then ponder in the back of my mind the possibilities for myself. God was using these stories to ignite my passions once again to give this a try. The first step in goal setting is dreaming. Dreaming is what catches our imaginations and ignites our passions. Without these passions we will not make the commitment that we need to get from where we are to where we want to be. Step number one in goal setting is dreaming.
As I continued to ponder the possibilities, I continued to feel my dissatisfaction with the current condition of my body. I had to do something. The dreams above had engaged my passion to give it one more try, but I didn’t know how to go about getting a more healthy and fit body like the ones that I read about. I was missing knowledge and wisdom in this area of my life. I knew from reading the testimonies that the folks that ran this online health and fitness business, did know some things that I did not. It did however cost money to gain that knowledge and wisdom from them.
The money was a hard thing for me. I had never paid someone to help me in this area of life before. So I pondered a bit longer. Finally I decided that it would be worth the money because what I would gain would be worth what it would cost me. This helped me to make a full commitment to my personal success. Step number two in goal setting is connecting with others who are already at where you are trying to go. They already possess the knowledge and wisdom. You just need to gain that knowledge and wisdom from them. In this case, I was paying for their experience to direct my life for a short period of time.
I touched on step three in goal setting above, and that is commitment. The money helped me to really clarify my own person commitment that I was making to gain a healthy and fit life. For some people, having to pay money may not cause that same level of commitment, but for me, it did. It is like building a fence around your yard. You don’t just set the main posts on the ground. Nope, you dig holes that are at least 1/3 the distance of the length of post that will be above the ground. Then you add concrete to the hole around the post to ensure that the post is fully committed to holding up the fence itself.
I knew from the details of the online business that the commitment that I was making had a fixed time frame. It was 12 weeks. All the testimonies that I had read were done in 12 week segments depending upon what a client was working towards. I knew that I could keep a commitment for 12 weeks. That is just a bit longer than a school quarter. It is shorter than a college semester. Definitely doable. This would be important for those harder moments on the journey.
When I worked for Applied Materials as a Field Engineering Manager I held regular monthly meetings with my customers. During those meetings we would discuss all the concerns that the customer had regarding their equipment that they had purchased from my company. It would cover many things. To help us move forward and make progress addressing those concerns I created a monthly action item list. While this list was just that, a list. It did help us to keep a focus on our main goal of high customer satisfaction. They wouldn’t be satisfied if that list didn’t get smaller.
The next step for goal setting is to set up your plan. It needs to be specific, measurable, actionable, and compatible. In my case, I was paying for this action plan. My goal was a healthy and fit life. My action plan was specific in the areas of food (amounts and types specifically defined), cardio (specific caloric objectives for each four week segment), and weight lifting (major muscle groups, sets, and reps for each four week segment).
Each week I had to give a report to my online trainer how well I stuck with the plan and any changes in body weight, body fat percentage, or body measurements. I could see each week a visible tangible change that this action plan was working. My online trainer was sure that I could lose 20 lbs in just 12 weeks. I suspect that her personal experience is what she was speaking from. She had seen this done before and she spoke so confidently that I believed that I could as well.
At the end of my 12 week commitment, I had made great progress. I felt so much better. I looked leaner because I was leaner and I was definitely more fit. I did not lose 20 lbs. I had lost 16. That was great but it was not 20. So I needed to reevaluate my goal and my commitment. From that evaluation I had determined that what I was doing was working. What I needed to do to get to my 20 lb loss was to incorporate one more 4 week segment. I wanted to do this but I didn’t want to pay for it. So I shared with my online trainer my goal adjustment and my new loner status. She was happy to wait an additional four weeks for my final stats before writing my success story. I did get to my 20 lb weight loss goal.
The next step in goal setting is making adjustments to your plan as you go. There is no way that you can know everything that you will deal with once you set a goal and put in place a plan. For you to be successful, you have to see making adjustments to your plan as a part of your success and not failure. This is what all successful people do. It really is a part of learning.
The very last step in any good goal setting plan is to celebrate while you begin to dream again, now that you’ve reached your desired goal. You will find that you have learned many new things and that you are also changed because of having achieved your goal. Take a moment to really enjoy your accomplishment. This process will fuel a whole new set of dreams for you that you can then start this process again and keep on going. I hope that this has blessed you and encouraged you to do some goal setting. You will never regret it. If you would like help on your health and fitness journey, click my web site below to get started.