In any life venture it is extremely valuable to be goal oriented. Now and again we have to remind ourselves as to WHY we are doing WHAT we’re doing! What is the specific result we are hoping for? Knowing what we’re aiming at improves our focus and motivates us to stay on course.
In case studies it’s been proven that college graduates with very clear and specific goals are on the whole much more successful than their wishy-washy vague counterparts. In regard to pursuing the “best version” of our healthy selves, it behooves us to also be clear and specific in regard to personally meaningful goal setting!
My first recommendation is to have a clear “Vision of Ideal Self.” What are you aiming at? Is your ideal realistic? Do a little fine tuning here. Whenever IDEALS and REALITY are worlds away, something has to change to bring them closer together. In my mind the healthiest people have learned to marry their ideals to their realities.
Adjust your ideals to what is realistic for your age, and maintainable at this particular stage of your life. This is important! Keep it current! Don’t try to claw and grasp at a 20 year old vision of self! Our cultural obsession with youth and beauty has robbed us of the grace to just AGE! Aging is NOT a disease; it’s a normal process of life. I’m all for healthy aging, feeling and looking as good as possible, but I’m personally against it becoming a compulsive extreme. Maintenance or sustainability of ideals is also essential! Is your goal look or weight or work out plan a reasonable place for you to live or is it somewhere you will only be able to visit briefly? Choose goals that you can live with!
Once we are comfortable with what we are aiming at, and feel that our “Vision of Ideal Self” is reasonable, sustainable, and current we adjust our reality. This means we do what we have to do in our own real, daily lives to move us towards our goal. We’re talking behavior modification here. Brass tacks. The hard work of actually implementing what we KNOW we should be doing and by golly, just doing it! Discipline is required to start creating new priorities, new habits, new mindsets and breaking the grip of thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that are taking us nowhere we want to go.
If you feel lost and ill equipped, get help! Smart people ask for directions! Hire a trainer, join a gym, see a counselor, go to Weight Watchers, turn off the T.V., stop making excuses and decide! What changes are you really looking for in regard to your health profile? Are you truly interested in doing what needs to be done to make a change? Are you ready? Why would you want to make a lifestyle change? Do you have a medical issue that needs attention? Are you uncomfortable in the body you live in? Do you lack energy or joy? If you know WHY you are making a change it will help to keep you motivated! EYE ON THE PRIZE- consider the result you’re hoping for and get busy!
Making a plan includes our clear goals, reasons for the goals, and a timeline that is fair to you and everyone else. Think about how long you’ve been “out there” and give yourself a timeline to “recover.” Don’t throw your body for a loop by overdoing. If weight loss is a part of your goal, I like to aim at .5 to 1.5 pounds per week as a realistic goal for weight that comes off and stays off forever. If it’s getting exercise reincorporated, be patient! Start small, add in more time and exertion as your body adjusts and cooperates, and eventually move towards 3-4 Cardio hours a week, 3 fatiguing weekly strength sessions, plus daily stretch & balance for 10 minutes or more. If it’s cleaning up some stinkin’ thinkin’ and bad ‘tudes, pay attention to the head space and remember that behaviors (good or bad) FOLLOW thoughts, attitudes, and feelings, so we need to shift the internal world in order to see a real and lasting external change!
Yes you can. Eyes on the Prize.
Know what you’re aiming for!