We often want to change something or other but the biggest hurdle can be getting going. I mean, we all love excuses and procrastinating. Don’t panic; you’re only human. One way to overcome this hurdle is to utilise goal setting to help you on your way.
What is a goal? It can be anything; big or small. For example, it could be to apply for a new job or promotion, to go on your dream holiday, to improve your fitness, compete in a triathlon, or to start a new business. Basically a goal is something (anything) you aspire to achieve. Athletes have tons of goals that all contribute to that dream (a really big goal). My goal is to compete at the Winter Olympics in 2022. That is a long way off and is a very lofty goal indeed. However by breaking it down I am able to manage that overall task step by step over many years, making it much more achievable.
Think about your goal. I am going to use the example of running a Park Run for the first time. Goals need to be SMART (remember this from school/work/uni??). Zzzzzzz I know. But really, they do; so bear with. This stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed.
So using my example lets do first things first and set a SMART goal.
Enter and finish a Park Run within four weeks from today.
The goal is specific (easy with simpler ones), measurable (simple yes/no did I finish), attainable (there is a Parkrun in the next four weeks), realistic (5 km is a relatively short distance; a marathon would not be realistic) and timely (within four weeks). This means that in four weeks I’ll be able to ask myself the question did I finish a Park Run? If the answer is yes then the goal is achieved. If no, then you can reflect on why and maybe reset the goal with the aim to avoid the same pitfall.
Once, you’ve set the goal you can break it down into smaller bits which when achieved lead you closer to the main goal. With my example goal I’ll need to do the following before I can enter/race. Work backwards to create an action plan.
These are some of the questions I’d need answers to before I can achieve my goal.
when and where are the park runs in the next four weeks? which can I make? how do I sign up? do I need new running trainers or kit so that I am comfortable and safe? who can I ask to come with me on the day for support? shall I do some training beforehand? what training and when? I am not sure what to do, who can help me?
Now you can create a list of to do’s to fit into your time scale. For instance if you want to run in three weeks time you may set a mini goal to enter by the end of the week and have sought out some running trainers from a specialist shop. You might then allow yourself two weeks to train and arrange to chat with a friend who is more experienced so that you can get some advice. Planning your to do’s for certain times/days is very important and if you leave them as a list they can seem overwhelming.
Once you have your plan for the four weeks you can simply set out ticking things off day by day, week by week meaning that when the day comes you’ll see your original goal as a much smaller step than you originally thought. Once you’ve achieved it, you can set a new goal and repeat the process! It’s simple. Once you get the hang of it you can tackle bigger goals which will take longer to achieve by working out the baby steps.
And lastly, here are some tips for achieving your goals.
- involve others and make yourself accountable
- don’t let fear stop you from setting the big goals
- allow yourself more time than you think you need (everything always takes longer)
- be prepared for setbacks (injury, financial issues etc.) and be flexible
- try to look at how far you’ve come
- if it’s tough, keep going
- ask for help if you need it
- celebrate the little wins, smile!
If KimFit can help you in anyway in achieving your goals please please get in touch! It’s almost the end of ‘Get Real with Kimberley’ and I hope you have enjoyed it and feel more empowered for your health and fitness journey. Please direct any questions to me via firstname.lastname@example.org and Good luck x