We have been through the basics of weight loss over the last few weeks, but not everyone comes to Be Strong for weight loss, and to be honest it isn’t what we are all about.
What we are really about is changing lifestyles to achieve our health and fitness goals, be around longer for our loved ones, and living our lives as happily as possible, being the best version of ourselves.
Doing all that sounds like a mighty task, but with a little bit of direction, and a heck of a lot of motivation, commitment, dedication and sacrifice we can all get there. We just need a plan!
This week we are going to focus on goals and plans. Goals and plans are absolutely fundamental to our success, and they need to be clear and structured in order to deliver!
A plan is like a road map to our goal – we need to have a clear idea of what it is that we want to do, much like we need a clear address to where we are travelling, and then the plan is the route we follow to get us there.
Why we should set goals
The call to achieve a goal pulls you away from the million other things that we also have to achieve every day, week and month – work tasks, doing the shopping, paying the bills, putting a wash on, keeping up with friends, the list goes on. Having a goal requires physical and mental training and will bring highs and lows, growth in mind and body, challenges and self-improvement. Who we become in the process of achieving our goal is far greater than what you get by achieving your goal.
Whether you are starting this journey due to inspiration or desperation – You’ll be glad you did.
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible, however goals ‘held’ in the mind are more likely to be jumbled up with the other 1500 thoughts per minute that the average human being experiences., therefore we recommend that you write a goal down, to be able to give some clarity and separation to this important thing that you want to achieve.
People with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve than people without written goals, and all motivational ‘gurus’ agree that goals should be written down. The act of writing down a goal down in is a very powerful motivator as it forces us to avoid being vague – and being specific is the key to your success. However, only 3 out of every 100 adults write their goals down on paper, which perhaps is a reason why 92% of New years goals fail by January 15th – quitters day! But you are still here – so well done for hanging on in there and celebrate the fact that you are doing better than everyone that has already given up this year!
What is vital to appreciate is that in the process of achieving your goal you will have to make sacrifices. If you don’t make sacrifices, you will sacrifice your goal!
Setting a goal
When setting goals, it is vital that we make those goals ‘S-M-A-R-T’ goals.
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 – setting 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 whether 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.
10 SMART Goal ideas for 2020
- Be able to run 5k by April
- Lose 2 stones by April
- Reduce Cholesterol to less than 5 by Easter
- Reverse diabetes/pre-diabetes by my summer holiday
- Be able to plank for 5 minutes by the end of February
- Achieve ‘Healthy BMI’ status by the end of the year
- Reduce Blood Pressure to healthy range by my summer holiday
- Take part in an obstacle/mud event in September
- Complete a 1 mile open water swim in August
- Walk Hadrian’s wall in May
You will see that some of these are long term goals and some are short term goals. If you pick a long term goal, you may need to set some short term goals for along the way to keep you focused. Sometimes, a goal a year hence, can be too far away to stay focused, so having things in the interim to aim for keeps you on track.
Know your goal in detail
The key to achieving your goal, is to know the specifics. You must know it in infinite detail, so that you can judge whether you are making the right amount of progress. By the specifics, I mean you need to know how many weeks away it is, and exactly where you should be at certain dates along the way. That way you can break down what success looks like on a week by week basis.
So as an an example we will use a weight loss goal. If you want to lose 2 stones in 15 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.
Setting your plan
Once you know your goal in detail, you can set your plan accordingly. Your plan has to also be SMART too. It needs to specifically set out exactly what needs to be done on which days (or every day, depending on your goal.) and for how long.
Make sure your plan is relevant to your goal. There’s no point planning a weight loss goal, and focusing on exercise, likewise there’s no point setting a goal to swim a certain distance, then train for it by running or walking.
For example: If your goal is to complete a walking challenge, you need to know the distance, the terrain and when you will be doing it, so that you can plan your training accordingly – taking into account the things you will face on your event – weather, carrying kit, correct clothing, the terrain and gradients you will be navigating etc. You would then draw up a regular training plan, that includes all of these things.
For weight loss: you need to know above everything else how many calories you should consume every day, and then you need to know how you are going to meet that target. So for this, you need to understand how many calories are in the food that you want to eat, and how that fits with your daily calorie allowance. Sticking to your calorie allowance every day, will get you to your goal – nothing else! How do you know that you have stuck to your calories? By tracking them!
Make sure your plan is realistic and fits in with all your other ‘must do’s’ – don’t set yourself up to fail from the get go by over-committing yourself, because you will soon burn out and give up.
This week we want you to check the goals that you have set for 2020! Are they SMART! Do you have a smart plan as to how you are going to achieve them. If you haven’t got a goal yet, have a go at setting one, and devising your plan.
Write them down, and keep it with you at all times, as a screen saver on your phone, on a piece of paper in your bag, in your diary or stuck on the fridge – or all four if you have to.
Use our goal setting document, to set out your goal and your plan to achieve it. We look forward to you sharing them with us. Why not share your goals and plans in the ‘Challenges‘ section of the community forum.