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Getting Healthy: Setting Goals

December 5, 2017


So?  How did it go?  Did you do the Life Assessment and see where you are at so that you know what to do next?  If not, do it!  


Once you know where you are at and who you are, it's time to set goals to get you where you want to be.  But BEWARE!  Goal setting can be a dangerous task that leads to guaranteed failure if not undertaken sensibly.  


"I'm going to read 50 books, write one book, publish three short stories, get up at 5:30 am and be home writing by 7, meditate, and get to work on my other responsibilities."  This was actually a New Year's resolution from a couple of years ago.  Do you think I succeeded?  Hell no!  Sure, I published a book, but all of the things together were impossible to achieve.  The mere thought of them gave me anxiety when I pressured myself to achieve them.


So what should I have done?  Well, for starters, I should have kept the number of goals down to one or two.  The sheer quantity of the goals is a sure recipe for failure.  Next, the one or two goals I set should have been SMART.  SMART is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Results-oriented, and Time bound.  Without these parameters, how can I know if I am really achieving my goal?


One resolution that many are going to set for this new year is for physical fitness.  Most will say "I'm going to go to the gym more" or "I'm going to lose 10 lbs."  Ok, that's great.  Go for it.  But what does going to the gym "more" even mean?  If you don't currently go at all, then I guess going just once is "more".  Would you really be satisfied with that, though?  What about losing 10 lbs?  How?  What are the tasks required that will lead to you losing 10 lbs?  


Start out with realistic goals knowing that you can always step them up.  If you set something that won't likely happen or within an unrealistic time frame, you will feel let down and be unlikely to try again.  Instead, set the bar low enough to be attainable, but high enough that you will have a sense of achievement after accomplishing it.  The emotional state you will be in after making it will propel you to set and achieve another goal.  Add all of these achieved goals together and you have something really BIG!


Stay SMART, stay motivated, and stay healthy!  And remember - you don't have to do it alone.    

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