Ready-Set-Go For Your Goals!

January 25, 2013

Setting Goals...Would you drive cross-country, from New York to Los Angeles, without a map?  Would you set off on your trip without any planning?  Would you get in your car, turn the ignition, and expect to arrive in Los Angeles without any preparation?  Of course not!  If you want to arrive at a destination successfully, you must have a plan.  The same is true for your goals.

Setting goals is a powerful process for personal planning. The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in your life.

Whether you have weight loss surgery goals, personal or professional goals, making a plan is essential for you to achieve them. It is not enough to think about them, floating around in your head without any foundation. You need to write them down and develop a plan with strategies for success in reaching your goals.

Are Your Goals S.M.A.R.T.?

Create categories to organize your goals. Examples of categories are: Personal, Career, Education, Family, Health/Fitness, Financial, and Self Improvement.

Next, list a minimum of one goal in each category. In creating your goals, make them S.M.A.R.T!

S=Specific
M=Measurable
A=Attainable
R=Realistic
T=Timely

SPECIFIC - A specific goal rather than a general, broad goal. A general goal would be to "Exercise". A specific goal would be to join a gym and workout three days a week. Another example of a general goal would be to "Drink water." A specific goal would be to drink 64 ounces of water throughout the day, drink 32 ounces by 1:00 in the afternoon and the other 32 ounces by dinner..

MEASURABLE - Create milestones for measuring your progress toward your accomplishments. When you measure your progress, you stay on track and remain focused to reach your target dates. An example is to join a gym and workout three days a week by indicating on your calendar the three days you worked out. Another example is to keep a daily tally of each eight-ounce glass of water you drink.

ATTAINABLE - Make sure that your goals are attainable so you can figure out ways to achieve them. Once attainable and defined, you start to develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and the steps you need to take to obtain success. If your goals are attainable, you move closer and closer to accomplishing your desired outcome.

REALISTIC - A realistic goal must represent an objective that you are willing and able to work on. Every goal should be something you can visualize yourself reaching. In goal setting, if you can't see it, then it is difficult to achieve it. If you believe you can reach your goal, then it can be accomplished.

TIMELY - A goal should be defined within a certain period of time. Without a time frame association, there is no sense of when you will reach your goal. Give yourself a deadline so you can work toward accomplishing your goal. If your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight, when do you want to lose it by? If you leave your deadline open-ended as in "someday," you do not have a sense of when you will achieve your goal. If you ground it within a time frame, "by September 1st," then you've already put into motion accomplishing your goal.

Tips for Setting Goals

Other helpful tips in setting your goals:

  • Write your goals in a journal or in a special place so you can see them. Marking them in an organized manner allows you to note your progress or fine tune your goals as you work toward them.
  • On your OH Profile, utilize the ObesityHelp Goal system. Sharing your goals, or even posting them as a reminder for yourself, is a good way to help get and stay on track with those things most important to you.
  • Write your goal as a positive statement. Express your goals in an affirming manner. Reflect your goal in an empowering way.
  • If you have multiple goals, assign priorities to each of them. By prioritizing your goals, you avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals. Prioritization of goals also keeps you focused on the ones most important to you.

Goal setting also serves as an important way to:

  • Choose what is important for you to achieve and accomplish in your life.
  • Focus on your own personal priorities of what you desire in your life.
  • Keep you motivated and inspired in a positive mode of self-improvement.
  • Build your self-confidence and self-esteem based on your successful achievement of reaching your goals and making them a reality in your life.

You Reached Your Goals - Yay You!

When you have achieved a goal, congratulate yourself. Take the time to enjoy the fulfillment of accomplishing the steps you took to get there! Reflect on the progress you made toward your goals and how you can apply the same persistence and determination to other goals. Most importantly, embrace the self-confidence and self-esteem you feel from mapping out your journey by setting goals to the destinations of an accomplishment and an achievement!  You did it!

Another thing....Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. ~ from Life's Little Instruction Book!

cathy wilson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cathy Wilson had RNY surgery in 2001 and lost 147 pounds. Cathy is a regular contributor to the OH Blog and authored the "Mind Matters" column in ObesityHelp Magazine. Cathy is a licensed pilot and loves flying. She is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).

Read more articles by Cathy!