The importance of setting achievable goals
Whether you want to drop a dress size for an important event or need to lose weight before a 10k race, the importance of laying out realistic goals is paramount to your success.
The key to setting goals is to:
• Recognise that things cannot be achieved overnight
• Be realistic
• Make a plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail
Firstly, have in mind a realistic target of where you want to be and how long you have to achieve your goal. It’s important to be honest with yourself so you don’t get discouraged. Next, you need to break your goal down into bite-sized chunks. For example, if you want to lose a stone in three months, this is the equivalent of losing 1lb a week.
It’s important not to measure or weigh yourself every day, as you may not see results and lose enthusiasm. Make some milestones in your diary for every two weeks to monitor your progress. Whilst you have your diary out, look ahead for any possible ‘blips’ where you might not be able to exercise as frequently, or perhaps where you might be tempted to binge eat or drink – at parties or nights out, for example. You might need to adjust your milestones around these so you work extra hard before and after these events.
Let’s say you want to run a half marathon in three months’ time. Depending on your starting level of fitness, you should plan to increase your running regime over the target period and use these milestones to assess your progress.
If you find that you are falling short of your milestones, look again at how you have planned. Be prepared to make adjustments to your exercise programme and dietary intake to make sure you achieve success.