Goal Digger

Let me guess, the summer has you re-evaluating things in the mirror. It has you looking at things from the front AND the back. It has you setting goals, giving yourself ultimatums, and making promises to yourself you already know you won't be keeping. As much as I wish this wasn't a reality for most women leading up to summer, I know it is. I've been there and I'm sure if you're not, you have been before.

Hear me, I am not advocating for no change. I want change in my health and fitness. I am advocating for change, more specifically a change in how we set our health goals. I think most of us are good at setting goals, not so good at reaching them. We have gotten into the shame and blame cycle way too much due to unreached goals and unfulfilled promises to ourselves, when maybe we just didn't set the right goals in the beginning.

Bold goals sound good on paper. Obtainable goals are good in real life.

When we set bold goals that are unrealistic and out of touch with our real life, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. But when we set goals that aren't easy, but possible, and can fit into our life, we set ourselves up for a win. Those are the kind of goals I want to talk with you about today. What are obtainable goals when it comes to health, and how do we set them? Well, I am giving you my 3 best attempts at doing just that.

1. Know your ultimate goal.
Your ultimate goal IS NOT the goal you are working towards every day. This is the big picture goal. This may even be a goal that is less defined. You may not know exactly what this goal looks like played out, because it is a bigger concept that you can work towards for the entirety of your life.

For example, an ultimate goal could be:
Be strong
Make healthy choices
Live well
Be active
Feel confident

These are not goals that can be fulfilled in a day, week, month, or year; they are goals that will take a lifetime to reach.

Why is it important to have an ultimate goal? It's important because it keeps us with a healthy perspective of what our health and fitness should be; a life-long investment. It's great to commit to your health and wellness for a week or a month, but knowing your ultimate goal helps keep you focused on the big picture, not just on the short term. It allows you to see every day as an opportunity to make a contribution to your future self. Kind of like saving for retirement, right? Not always the most glamorous way to use your money now, but I promise you this, when you're 65 you will feel like a millionaire... probably because if you started early enough, you will be!

2. Determine what really matters to YOU.
Too often we set our health and fitness goals based on what we think matters... to others. But what really matters to you? With all the progress made in the whole "body positive" conversation, I still think the voices in our minds can still be louder than the positivity telling us to love ourselves. We still hear the voice telling us the ideal pant size, body type, and, of course, number on the scale. But do you really care about those things?

Sure being a size 4 sounds nice, but depending on your build, that may not even be obtainable OR healthy for you. A model-like body type looks appealing on a magazine spread, but in actuality is not most women's bone structure. And can we all just agree it's time to stop comparing our current weight with our high school weight? That is of course unless you want to relive Geometry and World History again. Let's all agree to be thankful that we aren't the same girl we were in High School, and okay with the fact that our bodies aren't either.

So back to my question; what really matters to you? Is it a feeling? Is it the ability to complete a physical challenge? Is it the energy and endurance to tackle your daily schedule? Figure out what matters to YOU, and you will find you are reaching more of your goals without giving up or burning out. It's crazy what you are capable of when you are doing it out of personal conviction rather than unspoken expectations.

3. Build fences around what you want to grow.
It's a pretty basic concept in gardening. If you want the seeds you plant to have the opportunity to take root, grow, and bloom, you do have to ensure they have the nutrients they need. But that's not all. You can do great at watering them, ensuring they get sunlight, even weeding them so nothing stunts their growth, but all that goes out the window when a cute little bunny hops along and decides to feast on your bounty. You do have to feed your garden, but you also have to protect it from getting uprooted, damaged, and ultimately destroyed. That's where a garden box and fencing come into play. They keep out those cute little predators that can wreak havoc on the seeds you planted and worked so hard to tend.

Friend, there are "cute little bunnies" that can also do a number on your health and fitness goals. You need to build fences around your goals, that I hope based on what we talked about with tip #2, are actually your personal convictions. Put up those safe guards that will keep you true to what you have defined matters to you.

What are those fences and safe guards? They are friends who support you and remind you of your goals. Your daily routine can serve as a fence. Build in time to do what you need to stay on track, be it meal planning, food prepping, or scheduling exercise classes. Positive and encouraging mantras can double as a fence to keep your head in the game. Whatever your "fence" looks like, be sure to get it up. After all, we all protect the things that matter to us.

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