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HOW TO SET REALISTIC GOALS ... AND REACH THEM.

Updated: Mar 23, 2022


Before we begin, I ask you a question: have you ever set yourself goals that you have not achieved? It has happened to me many times and I know how frustrating and demotivating it can be. Usually it goes like this: you start out driven by an inner need or an external drive, enthusiastic for a short time ... Then you start to prioritize other things and you lose the initial focus ... Finding yourself more and more distant from the starting certainties and demoralized.


The worst aspect is that, every time we DO NOT reach a goal that we have set ourselves, this experience reinforces our personal story about it.


One of the sentences that unfortunately are too often told is "I started training many times, but I always quit, so it makes no sense".


Which between the lines means "It is useless to put myself out there, I am destined to stay where I am" (... Even if I don't like where I am so much).


If you recognize yourself, you are not alone! I have experienced this myself regarding my relationship with food, and I know exactly how it feels.


But now we are here together to find out the solution, aren't we? ...


Starting point: YOU ARE NOT THE REASON WHY THE GOALS WERE NOT REALIZED. YOU SIMPLY WERE NOT "SET" IN THE CORRECT WAY IN ORDER TO SUCCEED IT. IN OTHER WORDS, THE PREREQUISITES WERE WRONG FROM DAY 1.


Example:

  • Goal: I want to lose 5 kg

  • I decide to hit the gym at least 4 times a week and at least for an hour (if I have to lose them, I throw my head down!)

  • I can follow this routine for 2-3 weeks, following a huge organizational effort

  • Week 4 I miss two workouts, I just haven’t been able to find the time to take them: "Well, do you see it's impossible?"

  • I just feel stressed at the idea of having to frame these workouts too in my already hectic schedule

  • The motivation decreases and ... "No, I will never make it, useless" and I quit

  • After a few weeks or months the decision returns: I will do it, let’s sign up for a new program!

  • I obviously choose to "hit hard" ... I have to lose 5 kg !!

  • MMMH… Let’s start on Monday.

  • I eat until oblivion till Monday ... I can of couse, I will start working out then.

  • Biiiip: RE-WIND and REPEAT for years !!

How do you feel: bad for yourself because you haven't been able to change what you don't like, but also with more and more alibis to use on the next attempt.


What really happened instead: THE PROCESS OF DEFINING THE GOALS WAS WRONG.


Sound trivial? Perhaps. But believe me: here is the difference between "setting yourself" for success or failure, from day ONE.


Well… So ??


… So let's think of a model that can help us overcome this huge limit that too often lies between us and what we want to be.


GOAL SETTING - THE STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS -


STEP 1: Set your results-based goal

When you set yourself a goal, it is "based on results" which are generally numerical: for example, lose 5 kg, walk 10,000 steps a day, do 1 hour of training, and so on. That is the point where you want to arrive: you can visualize it as the city of arrival on a map.


Thinking only about that is not constructive for a big reason: a results-based goal does not consider what happens “step-by-step”!


If you do not consider the route to reach your city, the probability that you will get lost on the way becomes very high! What you need is a "road map" where you can see each stage.


So, if your goal is to lose 5 kg, the first thing you need to think about are the tools that you have realistically available, both internal and external, to be able to achieve it.


STEP 2: GET CLARITY ABOUT YOUR "WHY’s"

A goal must be included in your value structure to understand if it is truly aligned with yourself, your real needs and your routine: why do you want to lose 5 kg? Why do you think that going back to wearing those clothes that used to fit you so well is so important to you? Why do those 5 kg "weigh" you so much? ...


By analyzing your goal more deeply you give yourself many more chances to reach it. Try asking yourself the following questions and see what happens:

  • Why do you think that reaching your goal will improve your life?

  • Perhaps losing those 5 kg will allow you to carry out daily activities with less effort, you will have more energy to play with your children or grandchildren, or will make you feel more at ease with your partner

  • What are you realistically willing to do to achieve your goal?

  • For example, are you willing to invest financially in a fitness subscription, or to schedule time for yourself outside of work and / or family to train, or to cook differently for you and the rest of the family, or to wake up an hour early once a week to get your workout ...

  • What are you not willing to invest?

  • Maybe you are willing to subscribe to a fitness program but not to devote more than half an hour a day to a maximum of 2 times a week

  • Do you want to achieve this goal for yourself or for someone else (partner, family, social pression)?

  • This is a very important point to focus on.

  • How do you think you will feel after reaching your goal? Visualize your image!

  • More self-confident? Stronger? More energetic? More relaxed in your relationship with food? More present in your children's activities? ... For example, if I think of myself at 70 (yes, why not?) I visualize myself as an nice lady, with a still good posture and way of moving, chatting with her friends. And why shouldn't I?

  • When do I want to reach my goal? Is this timeline realistic with my current life? In other words, do I have the right energies and resources at this moment in my life to achieve it in a certain amount of time?


STEP 3: SET YOUR BEHAVIORAL GOALS

We cannot always control the final result, but we can always control our behaviors, absolutely yes (uhuhuhuh, this sentence has become one of my absolute Mantras !!).


What you do or don't do always has consequences.


The "goals based on behavior" are the actions - "steps" that you have the will and the possibility to implement in the path towards your final goal.


Here it is your road-map!


How do you know the actions to start with?


Start by writing a list of the actions you are willing to take: as mentioned before, they can be sign up to a fitness program, realistically specifying how much time a week you want to dedicate to it, if you are willing to get up once a week half an hour earlier and dedicate it to a workout, etc… Even the smallest actions of change count.


From this list, then choose those that seem easier to perform and those that create the most enthusiasm.


You are now ready to start! For the first two weeks focus on the first chosen actions, one or two. Stay focused on that, not thinking it's not enough; you are already doing a lot!


If you can be consistent to 90%, then you are ready to add another action for the next two weeks, and so on. This way you are building your routine based on what you are truly willing and able to do.


There is no rush: the most important thing is consistency.


If at any time you add a new behavior and you find yourself becoming less consistent, not being able to maintain it, take a step back and start again from what is now part of your routine: remember that you are setting yourself for success, which means you are changing habits over time, allowing yourself to be what you want to.


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