Setting Goals that Get Sh*t Done
In order to evaluate your start point (or maybe your re-start point) and your progress, you have to know what you're trying to accomplish. Imagine you're in your car driving down the highway. You don't know where you're going, you don't know how to get there and you have no idea how long it will take you. Will you need to stop and fill up for gas? Is it worth taking a break to grab a bite to eat? You don't know. You're just driving.
I don't know ANYONE who has EVER done this. Getting in the car and driving inexplicably to nowhere like Forrest Gump on a run just isn't something we do. So why do so many of us make decisions to go on a diet or start a new workout plan without setting specific, measurable goals to hit?
If you're going to put in the effort to challenge yourself in your workouts and eat healthfully and mindfully, possibly restricting certain foods or overall calories... PLEASE take an extra 15 minutes to decide what you really want out of your hard work!
You are the only person who can decide what is "worth it" to you. If you want to lose weight, don't just say "I want to lose weight". Be specific. You deserve to have a "finish line" so that you can celebrate what you've accomplished.
If you're setting goals here are some KEY things to include to help you define your own success.
1. Make It Measurable and Specific
It's not "I want to be healthy." (Too vague!) It's not even "I want to lose weight." (STILL too vague!) It's "I want to lose 5 pounds." That is something you can easily measure and it's black and white. Either you did it or you didn't.
2. Start Small
Often times we choose REALLY lofty goals that might seem totally attainable when we're all hyped up and excited but then leaving us reeling and defeated a week later when we aren't sure what the next move is.
"I want to lose 5 pounds." is a lot less scary than "I want to lose 25 pounds." You can always set new goals once you've reached your initial ones.
3. Set Time Limits
Just saying you want to achieve something and making sure it's specific and measurable isn't enough. You need a finish line that doesn't just exist... it has to be close enough to excite you. You need to be able to taste the victory.
"I want to lose 5 pounds in 6 weeks."
This is a well thought out, awesome goals that GETS SH*T DONE. It's measurable, you've defined success. It's not overwhelming or scary, it's acheivebale! Plus, you now have a time frame for when you want to complete this, which will always help to keep you on track.
So take the time to write down whatever your goal is. It DOES NOT have to be related to weight loss in ANY way. That was just an example. Maybe you want to get stronger and be able to do a push-up. Maybe you want to drink 3 liters of water per day for a week. Whatever your goal is, open up a fresh document in your phone and WRITE. IT. DOWN.
Or, if you want more accountability tell a friend or send me an email and tell me about it! I'd love to hear about what you REALLY want!
Ashley is a Pilates instructor and entrepreneur in NYC who specializes in biomechanics and exercise nutrition for women. She uses the science behind exercise physiology to empower her clients to lead healthy, happy lives. Her passion project is writing “The LEAN Life Newsletter” which goes out every Tuesday and focuses on Lifestyle, Exercise, Active recovery, and Nutrition and serves as the backbone for her L.E.A.N. Life online health and fitness programs. She aims to get this information into the hands of as many women as possible so they can feel stronger and more confident in their bodies. For more information head to AshleyBrownPilates.com or @AshleyBrownPilates on instagram, or click here to get on the L.E.A.N. Life List!