It’s monthly challenge time, and for November we are focusing on goals, goals, goals. We have had a really good run this last couple of months, and we want to maintain and grow this momentum.
How are we getting on?
Back in September we asked you all to draw up a goal – as two months have passed, it’s time to reflect on where we are with those goals, and whether we need to set new ones. If you didn’t set a goal, then maybe it’s time to set one, to reinvigorate your mojo and get focused again.
A lot of members wanted to lose 2 stones for Christmas and there is still time to hit that goal, if you were one of them, keeping up the hard work, motivation, sacrifice and dedication, will ensure you get there.
Are you on track to achieve your ultimate goal? Are you happy with your progress or could you do better?Are you sticking to your plan? Is the plan the right plan? Does your goal need revising? What parts of your plan aren’t working? Which parts are working? Why is this?
These are questions you need to ask yourself and answer honestly, to address any issues that you might be having with your progress.
Your goal might have been to participate in an particular event that has now been and gone, e.g. a lot of you had Woodland Warrior as a goal. So it is maybe time to refresh your goals, set a new one or if you didn’t set a goal back in September, have a think about what it is that you want to achieve this month (and beyond).
Do you want to improve your fitness?
Do you want to lose a particular amount of weight?
Is there a particular outfit you want to fit in at Christmas party time?
Is there a particular event that you want to participate in?
Do you want to see a particular improvement in your health?
Whatever your goal is, it needs to be specific and achievable.
Why set a goal?
Goals give you a vision – Goals give you motivation – Goals allow you to measure your success – Goals boost your self-belief and self-confidence – Goals, when written down make the invisible, visible – What you get from achieving your goal, is not as important as what you become in the process
How do we set goals?
When setting goals, it is vital that we make those goals ‘S-M-A-R-T’ goals.
S- Specific – the goal specifically states what we want to achieve
M- Measurable – the goal must be capable of being measured. Only if it can be measured do you know if you are succeeding
A- Achievable – you must be able to achieve the goal in the time frame set – to set an unachievable goal just leads to failure. Failure in turn leads to a reduction in self confidence and self belief and then you give up completely!
R-Realistic – Along with achievable it must be realistic, and take into consideration all the other things you have going on in your life.
T – Time bound – only if you set a date that you want to achieve your goal by, will you know when you have achieved success.
SMART goals allow us to measure our success specifically against our expectations of ourselves, rather than just having some airy fairy idea of what we might fancy doing or achieving.
What are you prepared to sacrifice?
Deciding how much you are prepared to sacrifice and for how long, is a very important part of the goal setting process. It goes hand in hand, with not taking on too many other goals. We all have busy lives, we all have things that we have to do, responsibilities to other people, and these things are quite often set in stone, and not open to change or compromise. So you need to look at which aspects of your life are open to change and compromise and how you can manipulate these areas of your life to fit in with your goals and aspirations.
Know your goal in detail
Having a specific goal, means that you can break down what success looks like on a week by week basis. If you know this, you are much more likely to stay focused and on track, because you are able to measure if you are winning. So keeping it weight loss related; if you want to lose 1 stone in 7 weeks, you need to lose around 2lbs a week, each week. If you step on the scales and you have lost 1lb, whilst it is still good, you know its not enough, and you need to re-evaluate your performance and work out how to improve on it. If you step on the scales and you have lost 2lbs, then you have achieved your weekly goal. You know that you are experiencing success and on your way to achieving your main goal.
Example plan for weight loss
Weight loss is all about the nutrition. So we need to focus all our attention on this. Forget about the exercise, this is all about the food and drink.
Example goal – I want to lose 1 stone, before my works Christmas party. The party is on Friday 20th December, which is 7 weeks away.
Working backwards – 1 stones is 14 pounds. 14 pounds split over 7 weeks is an average loss of 2lbs a week. So you now know what your weekly goal is 2lbs a week weight loss.
You could also introduce some intermediate goals too, and celebrate with a little treat as you hit them:
w/c 25th November goal – 8lbs gone
w/c 16th December – 1 stone gone! And party time!!!
So now you know the goal(s) in detail, how exactly are you going to do it?
To lose 2lbs a week, you need to stick to your calorie allowance like glue, and make sure you get that calorie deficit. Remember! You are not going to exercise your way to 1000 calorie a day deficit!
So your plan simply becomes:
- I will eat to my calorie allowance of 1300 calories every day without fail, by tracking the calories consumed exactly in my Meal Tracker or Check It Before You Wreck It book.
- My breakfast will be 260 calories, my lunch will be 390 calories, my evening meal will be 390 calories and my total snacks will be 260 calories.
- I will put all my energy into making sure I hit my calorie allowance.
- I will get weighed every week at Be Strong, to make sure I am on track.
Turn your goals into reality by downloading and completing your own goal setting sheet here.
Measuring progress and success
Point number 4 above is the clear way of measuring success. But there are also other measures in this plan, that aren’t as obvious.
If you are doing points 1 and 2 every day, at the end of the day you have stuck to your calories and tracked or written absolutely everything down, you can give yourself a little high five on your way to bed!
Then once a week, when you stride up to those scales (confident that you have lost), you will know that you are winning when the scales tell you that you have lost 2 pounds since the last time you got on them.
You will jump off those scales in elation, and you will be high-fiving yourself, and your friends, and wanting to tell everyone how well you are doing. You will also know that by hitting that 2lb a week target you are absolutely on track to hit your overall goal.
This is what will give you the motivation to keep going for another week, and another and another, until you hit that 1 stone weight loss by 20th December, and rock up to your Christmas Party feeling like a million dollars!
If you have a goal which is a physical challenge, make sure your plan has something to measure. If you can tick off training sessions you can measure your progress. You know whether you are on the way to achieving what you set out to.
Use the data!
Measuring our success along the way is really important for keeping our motivation levels high, as we have already said. If we know that we are being successful, it builds our self-belief and self confidence, our mindset becomes more positive and most importantly, it spurs us on to keep going. That is why, it is so important to have the mini goals to celebrate at regular intervals. Use the information that you are gathering about your progress along the way to give yourself something to celebrate, shout about and tell the world how great you are doing!
Along the way we also need to reflect on how we are performing, and whether the plan is getting you to where you want to be. By measuring success each day or week, this is easy to keep on top of. If we aren’t getting the results we expect, or we aren’t ticking things off our plan or schedule as we should be, we need to spend a little time reflecting, and then work out if we are really sticking to the plan, the reasons for us not doing, or whether the plan needs to change slightly.
Are you actually following the plan? If you aren’t, why not? Are you giving it your best shot? What is getting in the way? Is there a way to manage this?
If you are following the plan – why is it not working? Have you employed the right method? Do some tweaks need to be made to get you back on track?
Once we have worked out what the problem is we can either amend the plan, or get more focused and get back on track.
We should reflect regularly to make sure we are hitting our goals, and heading in the right direction. If the plan isn’t right, and you don’t know where to make the changes, ask for help. We love it when people contact us, so don’t be frightened of doing so. Don’t just keep heading down the wrong path, or spit your dummy out and give up. Because you wanted this remember?! You spent time devising this goal and this plan, to get you what you want. So don’t waste all that time and effort, just review and revise the plan, then get back on track. Because if you don’t you will be back here in a few months time starting all over again.
Keeping the motivation
Don’t forget that within this website there is an abundance of information and inspiration to keep you on track with your goals. Use the forums to chat with other Be Strong members about yours and their progress, pick up tips and other techniques to keep you on track. The weekly discussion articles can help you to refocus when the going gets tough, and the recipe section can give you some inspiration when you just don’t know what to eat. The programmes are all personalised for you, to give you the best chance at success and are free for all members! Lastly and most importantly if your goal is weight loss, the weight tracker and meal tracker tools will absolutely be the key to your success. The weight tracker lets you track your progress and the meal tracker keeps you focused on eating within your calories, whilst still learning about the food you love eating.
Get a goal. Write a plan. Stick to it! Lets see where November can take you!
We can’t wait to see what you all achieve.