Pay It Forward Fitness and Health: You Gotta Have Goals

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

You Gotta Have Goals

As we start the last day of 2014, it's a great time to talk about goals. Lots of people focus on making New Year's Resolutions or choosing three words for the new year, and those are both fun, sometimes helpful exercises, but without goals the best resolutions can quickly fade and the most powerful personal theme words soon lose their strength.

So let's get into goals just a bit.

Well, I really wasn't thinking about football goals, although they are meaningful for two reasons. One, of course for many people New Years day is a great football day. Two, however, a bit more on point, is that a football goal post is a super example of a measurable goal (one of the five characteristics of a good goal - we'll get to that in a bit). When a kicker attempts a field goal on the football field, everyone knows immediately if the kick is successful - it's a clearly, exactly measurable event. 

So if you want change in your life, for the new year or just you truly feel the need to change, and whether that change is an increase or decrease or a whole new path, if you don't have goals, your chances of success are severely limited.

What makes a good goal? Many folks insist on S.M.A.R.T. goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. If your goals lack any of the five aspects you may be just wasting your time.

For example, a goal statement of "I want to be happier" is way too vague and not measurable. Happiness isn't really a goal anyway, it's a state of being - a goal might relate to a specific activity that you know makes you happy. For example, the goal "This year I want to attend two plays a month" is not only specific but for many people it could also meet the other four criteria of S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Since our focus is fitness and health, examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals could be:

  • I will release 20 pounds by June 30
  • I will walk my dog two miles a day five or more days a week
  • I will substitute raw almonds for candy bars as my afternoon snack and only have dessert after dinner once a week.
So S.M.A.R.T. goals can help you actually reach the success you desire.

And one more tip? Write down your goals and put them somewhere prominent so you can see them often.

Once you have a list of goals, or even one super-important goal, another technique is to create a vision board, aka dream board. The visibility and impact of a personally created vision board can be very powerful. Marge and I wrote a book about creating vision boards and we'd love for you to have a free copy. Just fill out the form at the top right of this blog and we'll email you a link to download a PDF copy of Create Your Powerful Vision Board - 10 Steps to Success. 

Have fun with your goals, make them powerful. And if you create a vision board, we'd love to see a photo.

Happy New Year.