Now that Christmas Day has been and gone and the New Year is looming, many of us turn our focus to setting New Year resolutions (that we may or may not keep) which often includes some form of diet, weight loss plan or new fitness regime. I personally don’t believe in diets or weight loss plans, just small steps to a healthier lifestyle.
Below you can find exactly what you need to do to achieve a healthier lifestyle. These are sensible steps, not a magic pill or an overnight fix!
You need to set a goal! Here’s my 5 steps to successful goal setting:
1. Be specific! Saying “I want to lose weight & tone up” or ” I want to eat healthier” is not enough. It’s too vague. How much weight do you want to lose? Is there a specific weight you want to reach? What do you mean by eating healthier? Do you want to each more fruit & vegetables? Rather than eat 4 biscuits a day do you want to stop after 1?
- Have a figure to measure. A numerical target that is specific, realistic & safe. Here are some examples: lose 2 inches from the waist, weight loss of 0.5-2lbs per week (this is a safe amount, anything more and you start to lose more than just fat!), eat one vegetable portion with every meal, hoop for one track without dropping the hoop, jog for one minute without stopping.
- Be realistic. Saying you want to be a size 10 in 4 weeks when you are currently a size 16 is unachievable, and failure will leave you de-motivated. You want to be motivated to keep working towards your goal. Look at where you are now. Think about your current fitness level along with your eating & drinking habits. If you want to go for a really big lifestyle change, think about a series of small targets which will lead you to where you want to be. Also look at how much time you can set aside for the goal. Did you set the goal for yourself or are doing it for someone else?
- Resource. Consider what you need to do to achieve your goal. In the example of “lose 2 inches from the waist.” you could commit to working out once or twice a week, and track food intake/calories. Can you access venues, facilities & support networks to help you?
Are there any barriers that could get in the way? Time, kids, work?
Take a step back to look at your goal and ask yourself if this is a realistic target. There is nothing wrong with changing the goal, it has to be achievable!
- Timescale. When would you like to achieve this goal by? You will need to set a date by which to reach your goal by. Do you have a wedding, holiday, scheduled event to aim for? This will be your LTG (Long Term Goal). Now you have this you can start to work backwards into smaller time frames. Next will be your MTG (Medium Term Goal) this could be half of the duration of your LTG and from there set your STG (Short Term Goal) this could be a few weeks or 1 month from now. The STG & MTG must lead to your LTG & have a set target at the end to be achieved.
LTG: to go from a size 16 to a size 10 in 6 months.
The MTG goal could be: Be a size 12 in 3 months time.
So the STG could be to drop one dress in 1 month. Go from size 16-14.This is just a quick example. You can set shorter time frames. For example a LTG of 12 weeks, MTG 8 weeks, STG 4 weeks.
Think about timescales that will work for you in your life.
So, you have created your goal with the steps above, and you’re working hard. What can you do to make sure you are heading in the right direction? Evaluate at regular intervals (when you reach your STG, MTG & LTG) and see the results.
You can review, did you meet the goal within the timeframe? Look at what worked well for you, did anything delay your progress. Re-write your goal if necessary, amend it you can even raise the initial goal! Just keep those 5 steps in mind and you will succeed.
Between now and the New Year (or before classes resume on January 9th) start to think about a goal you can work towards in 2017 using the steps above.
Write your LTG, MTG & STG. Get them in your diary, put post it notes around your house, set them as a screen saver on your phone. Put them wherever you will see them regularly. The more you see them the more your brain will absorb the message and you will believe you can achieve it and it will happen!
Also begin to think about how you will feel when you reach your goal. Will you be happy? Will you feel more confident? Proud? Imagine that feeling whenever you are working towards that goal.
Have fun thinking of your goals. If you do have any questions or want some help setting a goal, please do get in touch.
Already set a goal? Post it below or send it to me in a message, I’d be more than happy to support you in achieving it.
I’ll be walking a marathon for charity in May 2017. Applying the steps above my LTG is to walk 26.2 miles in under 7 hours (based on me currently being able to walk 1 mile in approx 15 minutes), so my medium term goal could be to walk 13.1 miles in approx 3.5 hours. My short term goal could be to walk 7.5 miles in approx 2 hours. This is just a rough estimation so you get the idea. I’ll plan properly and review to make sure if this is realistic within the time I have.