Personally, I feel like I am in a sense of limbo if I am not working towards a goal! Whether that is fitness, work, blogging or parenting, I tend to stay motivated and succeed if I am working towards something to keep me on track.
I lost 5 stone on my weight loss journey and I did that in stages. Although I had an end goal in mind (9 stone) that feels like a long way off when you are at 14 stone and can’t see the end of the tunnel and so smaller targets help to keep you motivated and on several occasions stopped me from giving up. I want to talk about the importance of goal setting as well as what I am looking towards now because everyone assumes that now I am at my target weight I have nothing to work towards which simply isn’t true.
The Benefits of Goal Setting
In case you’re still not convinced and don’t want to take my word for it, here are some of the benefits that I have gained from setting goals!
Motivation – When you have mapped out something that you want and know exactly how to get it, it gives you motivation because there is an end in sight. You know you have to achieve certain steps or things and then you will reach the thing you really want. If you don’t set goals, you still know what you want but not how to get there which can be demoralizing and doesn’t make it feel real in your mind!
Focus – Defining clear goals can help keep you on track, avoids going off on a tangent and keeps things clear in your mind. Staying focused is key to achieving what you want and this is easier when you have clear targets in front of you.
Purpose – Without something to achieve or do, we tend to get stuck in limbo and go through life on “autopilot” which can lead to depression and stop you from appreciating things. Channeling your energy into something and improving your own life can give you a sense of empowerment and the confidence to make the changes that you want and creates a sense of purpose.
Faster – Because you are focused and motivated, it means that you tend to achieve your goals faster because you know exactly what you want and you have got the fastest path to get there.
Appreciation – You know how hard you have worked to get to this point, which means you appreciate how things feel when you achieve them, or even what it feels like to fail. This makes you more empathetic to others and can make you appreciate what you have and its true worth.
Overall, setting goals gives you a greater sense of achievement all round and that is something that can add light structure to your life too. If you have ever felt like you really wanted something but you aren’t sure how to get there, setting a goal can help you on your first step. Now, it’s all good and well talking about goals and how great they are but how do you set them properly? and what makes a good goal? Because not all goals are created equal!
How to set a goal
You may or may not have heard of SMART goals and this is something that I was introduced to in the world of business and management and actually, it definitely applies to fitness and other areas too. Whenever I set myself a target, big or small, this is what I consider while I do. Here is an easy explanation to SMART and how it ties in with your goals.
SMART stands for:
Specific – Know the details, use numbers, timings and restrictions so that you stay on track and know exactly what you are after
Measurable – How will you know along the way (or at the end) how you will achieve it?
Achievable – There’s a fine line between a challenge and something that isn’t achievable!
Relevant – Is the goal helping to work towards your larger aim?
Time – How long is it going to take you to achieve?
The more information and thought you put into goal setting, the more likely you are to achieve them because you have a clear path to get there.
So Now you know how to set a goal and why you should, but don’t forget that they are specific to you! Something you consider really easy may in fact take a lot longer for someone else so make sure that you keep them relevant and specific to your needs. Anything that isn’t challenging enough won’t push you to carry on when times get tough and something that is too hard will feel unattainable and you’ll quit pretty easily. Try testing out some short-term goals for yourself until you get more confidence and then you can aim for making larger, long-term changes.
My Goals for the next 6 months:
So, at the moment I am aiming to do quite a few things in different aspects of my life and I thought to give you some inspiration I would outline my goals for the next 6 months.
As a parent: Read at least 4 times per week with the little guy to improve his reading and encourage creativity.
As a netball player: Focus on strength exercises to improve and strengthen my ankle after its injury as well as improving my jumping ability to make me more agile.
As a runner: Start a 16 week training program to build my stamina from 10k up to 14 miles (just over half marathon distance) and boost my speed to beat my current personal best of 1:57:20
As a blogger: Keep up with 2 new posts each week throughout Christmas and the New Year!
As a wife: Make sure I put down the blog, work, housework, devices and put aside the lists and everything in my head to be in the moment and aim to have at least one calm evening that we can spend properly together bonding and working on our relationship to stop life getting in the way.
As you can see I clearly have a lot to work on, I may reach some of these, I may not. You will also notice that most of these will require shorter interim goals to meet before getting to these, but wish me luck!