set yourself up for SUCCESS

So many of us set goals but don’t reach them. Not because we’re incapable or we lack drive and ability, but because we set our standards so high or are unsure of the necessary steps to get there. We then quickly lose motivation or feel like were not progressing and then we quit. Sound familiar? We set ourselves up for failure before we’ve even started.

Whether it’s learning a language, gaining 20kg, improving your health and fitness or training for a marathon. You wouldn’t decide you wanted to run a marathon and then expect to be ready a week later. Likewise there’s no way you could go from 3 stone overweight to being a gym bunny over night.

Goal setting leads to SUCCESS!

It’s so easy to go all guns blazing when you decide that you want to accomplish a new goal, only to feel lacking in motivation a few days later when you cant see any improvements or changes and you’ve not achieved your goal.

Goal setting may seem like a boring, useless and time wasting task when, in reality, it’s going to be your best friend! There’s no point having a vision without realising the necessary and appropriate steps you need to take to get there.

Setting smaller goals also makes that huge goal feel more achievable. Saying to someone with anorexia, ‘you need to gain 20kg’ is a huge and terrifying task (and will probably set off a million alarm bells telling them not to do it!). Instead, telling them that in one week they should try adding in an snack each day and in 2 weeks they need to have gained 1kg seems like a much more manageable task.

Just like with someone who wants to lose 5 stone, stop smoking, stop drinking every weekend and cut out their takeaway habit. Seems like a hell of a lot to change, right? Instead, aiming to walk for 20 minutes 3 times a week and cut out that last cigarette before bed is a much more manageable place to start.

But the question is, how do you set goals?? Well of course everyone works differently but setting yourself some short, medium and long term goals is a good place to start. Here’s a few examples to show you what kind of thing we mean. Everyone is different, so think of goals personal to YOU.

Weight gain

Short term goal examples (1 week)

  • face one food fear
  • write down the reasons you want to recover
  • gain 0.5kg

Medium term goal examples (1-3 months)

  • go out for a meal with some friends and order something that you wouldn’t normally eat
  • begin a low intensity, resistance based workout routine twice a week
  • gain 4kg

Long term goal examples (6 months-1 year)

  • reach your goal weight (the weight at which your body is functioning healthily)
  • be discharged from therapy sessions
  • go on a holiday with some friends, fully embrace the food and drink and actually have a good time!

 

Weight loss/improve health and fitness

Short term goal examples (1 week)

  • walk for 30minutes, twice a week
  • meet with a personal trainer and have a gym induction
  • cut out one of your habitual cigarettes – maybe the one before bed or the one with your morning coffee

Medium term goal examples (1-3 months)

  • be able to run without stopping for 20 minutes
  • cut down number of cigarettes smoked by half
  • lose half a stone

Long term goal examples (6 months – 1 year)

  • stop smoking
  • enter a 5k or 10k race
  • stop buying takeaways

Just because somebody else’s goal is to train for a marathon and your goal is to walk to and from work each day, doesn’t mean that you are any less successful or have accomplished less than them. Goals are unique to the individual so focus on YOU!

OK, but how am I actually going to achieve this?

Setting your goals is only the first step. You now have a clear idea of what you are aiming for and the time frame to do it, but you may have already said last year “I’m going to run a marathon by Christmas” and never did it. What makes the difference between goal setting and achievable goal setting is the following:

  • measure your goals- whether it’s by weighing yourself every fortnight or tracking your daily steps. If you can’t measure your goal, how will you ever know you’ve achieved it? Seeing figures go up or down is important to stay motivated!
  • have a deadline- notice how all the above examples for goal setting have a time frame. For every week in your diary write how many weeks you have remaining to reach your target and stay on track. Write in big pen, make lots of asterisks and circle important dates. (Don’t then leave this diary somewhere and never look at it again!)
  • record your progress- in that diary with all your goals and deadlines in which you haven’t misplaced, write down your progress as you go too. Record those measurements/ distances so you don’t forget and so you can admire how amazing you’re doing.
  • remove your barriers– so what stopped you from doing that marathon last year? Was it because you didn’t have time to train after work or you were too tired in the evenings? Was it winter and raining lots so you didn’t want to be running outside wet in the dark? Find out anything that could prevent you from achieving your goal and make the necessary changes so that nothing can stop you. No time? Get up an hour earlier. It was raining? Train in the gym. Or train in summer. Or man up. Sometimes you might have a mental barrier and think “I’ll never be able to run that distance”, which is why it is important to praise yourself every time you achieve a smaller goal and make progress. Big yourself up Mo Farrah!!
  • reward yourself- if you need an incentive to reach your short/ mid-term goals, write in your diary what you will do for yourself when you achieve them. This could be getting your nails done or going to your favourite restaurant.

 

The final step? DOING IT! Get out there and get stuck in! You can sit and write down elaborate goals with pretty colours using your fav gel pens for days. That’s certainly how we procrastinated at uni when we didn’t actually want to do the work. But unless you get yourself together and actually DO what you say you will, it’s all a massive waste of time really. You can make excuses as to why you didn’t do it, or you can just do it and get the results! The bottom line is this- all goals are achievable with the right mentality and the right conditions. You just have to take control of that mentality and make your conditions favourable to set yourself up for success.

So what are your goals this week? What do you want to achieve in 4 or 8 or 36 weeks time? Have you just smashed your first ever weights workout? WOOH YEAH! Write it down, put your goals and achievements somewhere you can see them (Ella even used to stick things on the fridge during recovery!). If you follow our little guide, you’re more than just likely to reach that goal, you’re going to bloody SMASH IT! *fist pump*