“A goal without a plan is just a wish” Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
In discussing goals with my clients, I have the following dialogue. Ask yourself these six questions, or sit down with a friend and go through the discussion, together. Write down your answers.
What is your goal?
Why are you here? Why are we having this conversation? Why are you reading this article?
Why is it important to you?
Dig deeper. The “why” is going to keep you going on the days you want to quit. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Make sure your goal is important enough to celebrate when you succeed and important enough to upset you when you struggle.
What obstacles have you faced in the past?
You are here because you have not already accomplished your goal. Have you tried before? What went wrong? When did it get hard? If you haven’t tried before, what is stopping you? Why now?
What happens if you achieve your goal? Paint that picture. How do you look? How do you feel? What are you doing? What happens if you don’t achieve your goal?
How can I help you?
You don’t have to do this alone. Do you need motivation? Accountability? Education? All of these resources are available to you.
Where do we go from here?
It’s your move. It’s time to take action. What does that action look like for you? Do you need to join a gym, join a recreational sports team, or ask a friend to go walking every day? Do you need to hire a trainer at your gym or do you know enough to manage on your own? Are you already going to the gym and you just need a more specific plan?
Once it is clear why the client is sitting in front of me, I get to do my part and provide some education. When you begin a new exercise program, it is important that you not only manage your results, but your expectations. The following is the order in which you should expect changes in your body:
- Improve recruitment of muscles to burn maximum calories and have the body work as one unit
- Improve balance and coordination
- Expect more inches lost than pounds
- Improve recovery time
- Greater endurance
- Greater rate of body fat loss
- Increased strength
- Increased metabolism
- Habits become behaviors
- Increased speed and power
- Advanced results
- Behaviors become lifestyle
Understanding the order of these changes, when you begin your program, will help you manage not only your results and expectations, but also your emotions. It will lead to creating a sustainable lifestyle, rather than just short term success.
Now, it’s your turn to join the conversation. Scroll down to the comments and tell us, “What is your goal and why is it important to you?”
Stay tuned for part 2 of “Goal Setting” to learn how to create and review SMART goals.