The Importance of Goal Setting
Friday, January 29, 2016
When I started tracking and weighing again on January 5th, I made an unofficial goal to lose 20 pounds by the end of January. The purpose behind the goal is that I figured if I could do 20 in January and then another 20 in February, I'd lose 40 pounds my first couple months AND I also know that 40 pounds ago all of my dress pants fit pretty comfortably. The importance of this is that I have an important week-long business trip at the end of February and I really do not want to buy new clothes for my trip.
Twenty pounds in a month is a lofty goal. I know. What I have learned about setting goals, however, is that there isn't much point if you make it too easy. Setting a goal we are not sure we can achieve (but that is still attainable) causes us to stretch...it causes us to reach higher, work harder, and make decisions that support our goals. I have learned that having a purpose behind the goal (like wanting to fit in my pants) and placing a deadline (like the end of the month) creates a sense of urgency that finds it's way into everything I do. One mile or three miles today? Three, because I want to lost 20 pounds by the end of the month. Milky Way Simply Caramel at midnight because I have room in my calorie budget? No, because I want to fit into my pants at the end of February.
As we are quickly approaching the end of the month, I couldn't help but do a quick check on the scales this morning to see where I'm at on the way to my goal. I'm not there yet, but 17 pounds is not far from the 20. 17-only three pounds more and I've reached a goal I didn't think I'd quite be able to make. I have 3 more days, including today, to reach my goal. Can I do it? I'm not sure, but I'm sure going to try. Part of the beauty of a goal, is that it's not necessarily a failure if you don't reach it. I mean, how far would I be from 20 pounds in one month if I hadn't set that goal? I can't say for sure because that is not the choice I made, but if I had to guess, I think I would likely be further than 3 pounds right now.
So, in an effort to reach my goal, I want to issue a challenge to my spark friends to challenge me. Please, for anyone who takes the time to read this, challenge me in the comments. I want you to issue fitness challenges. Post a 10 minute exercise and I vow to complete every single one I can between now and January 31st. As I complete them, I'll post in the comments which ones I have completed and sincerely thank each of you for helping me meet my goal.
Finally, I challenge all of my friends to set goals of your own-make them hard to reach, set a time limit and a reward at the end. It makes a difference. Now, GO!