The new guide to goal-setting

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Ahh… health and wellness goals. Our greatest motivational friends. And sometimes, downer frenemies.

Goal-setting is an important, positive thing when it comes to our overall health and well-being. It helps us project a favourable outcome that we want to achieve – maybe even within a certain timeframe – and if done right, can help us not only get to where we want to go, but maintain it too! (Isn’t that always the ultimate goal?) Whether it’s losing 8 pounds or running on the treadmill for 35 minutes without stopping  – it’s always kind of the same…isn’t it?

So here are a few ways to reset your goal-setting so getting there is as awesome as being there.

Go small. Go short.

The larger your goal, and the further out your time frame, the harder and more frustrating it will likely be to attain it. Instead of “I want to lose 13 pounds by Christmas,” how about “I want to start eating better and moving more starting today”?  See the diff? Smaller, more immediate goal-setting sets you up for success. You can control what you do this morning. You can’t control what you might do 15 weeks from now. Go small. Go short. Go day by day. You’ll enjoy the process, feel more motivated and, guaranteed, see more immediate results.

Get crazy-specific.

“I want to be more active.” Oh yeah? Good for you! But wait… what do you mean by that? And how are you going to do that? And when are you going to start? Not so simple, is it? But how does this goal sound: “I want to start walking to work and home three times a week.” See what we mean?

Give yourself a reality check.

If you work full-time, have two kids and a rowdy cocker spaniel AND volunteer once a week, maybe training for an Ironman is a little out of scope… at the moment. Setting goals that feel doable might sound like an obvious tactic, but you’d be amazed how many of us overshoot! (Why do you think most people abandon their new year’s resolutions by January 10th?) The key to success is to stay realistic. Ironman? Insane. 10K without keeling over? Now you’re talking – and running.

And while you’re at it, give yourself a BREAK.

Slipped a little on your way to healthier eating success? Slacked a little on your way to fitness improvement? It’s all good. You’re human, and if you’re like us, already rocking lots of things each and every day to be proud of. In fact, “slipping up” a little is a necessary part of succeeding, and therefore not a slip-up at all. Think of your little setbacks as mini-breaks. Little opportunities to dust yourself off and hit reset. Wake up the next day and get yourself back on track. As your mum used to say, every day is a new day.

Enjoy the ride, sister.

So often, we get so lost in where we WANT to be that we forget to be grateful for where we ARE. We forget to enjoy our health, our strength, our good fortune. Self-improvement is a wonderful thing, but the journey there is even more wonderful. So the next time you take your bike out, roll out your Pilates mat, run with the dog, power walk home from work, kick around a soccer ball with your kids, join that kick-box class… be proud of what you’re already doing and psyched as it all just keeps getting better.

And to stay focused and beat your every goals, what’s better than new workout clothes?

Happy goal-setting, everyone.

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