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Setting Goals & Reaping Rewards

Ever tried to set a goal for yourself, only to get overwhelmed with the thought of everything you'd have to do to achieve it? Don't feel bad! We all have been there, including yours truly. I believe in learning from my mistakes, refining my methods, and constant improvement in anything I do, including goal setting.


What is the definition of a goal? If you look in any dictionary, you're bound to find something like this: "the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end", which is how defines it.

But, I don't see a goal as an 'end' at all. I believe in using goals as 'stepping-stones' for constant improvement over a lifetime. See, as we achieve something, we tend to relax a bit because we've 'hit the mark', but if you cannot sustain that marker point, wasn't that really just a momentary achievement?


Before you begin deciding what kind of goals you are going to make, keep in mind that every goal can be attained using the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goal-setting structure.

When writing down your goals, remember to ask yourself, 'Is this goal....':


(Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?)


(How can you measure this goal?)


(Is it logically able to be reached?)


(Do you honestly see yourself being able to reach it?)


(How long do you think it will take to achieve?)


(Are you going to enjoy reaching this goal?)


(How do you plan to reward yourself once the goal is met that won't ruin your efforts?)


I have found that the most ideal way for anyone to achieve something is by following two simple steps:

STEP 1: Answer this question for yourself: "What, overall, do I want my future to look like?" Don't put a timeline on yourself unless you really want to drive yourself crazy, or unless what you are looking to achieve has a set date and time already attached to it.

STEP 2: Create a list of 5-10 small 'stepping-stone' goals that get you closer to your end-point, and as you reach each small goal, add a few more along the way.

Allow me to give you an example of this...

Say you have been struggling to stick to a diet lately. Your clothes all fit much tighter than they did a few months ago, but you can't afford to go out and keep buying larger clothes. You also had a medical exam last week, and the doctor is concerned because your blood pressure has increased significantly, plus your blood sugars are borderline diabetic numbers.

But you're stuck on where to start. It's confusing, frustrating, annoying, and depressing. It sends you into an emotional tornado, which sends you to the fridge looking for comfort, right?

WRONG. Not any more. (Not if I have anything to say about it, at least.)

How do you tackle this problem? Head-on. And here is how:

STEP 1: You want to be healthier, lose weight, get back to normal numbers at your medical visits, and fit into your clothes, right? Okay--there you have it. Your basic long-term goal is to get to a healthier state.

STEP 2: Now, what can you do in smaller steps to get healthier? These would be considered your short-term goals. Things like cooking at home more often than going out to eat, exercising for 30 minutes 4 times per week, gaining strength and endurance from your workouts, drinking enough water every day, etc. I have learned that starting with ONE small goal, then tracking it each day for 2 full weeks, it becomes a solid habit. Then, add another new short-term goal once you have achieved the first one--and continue to add on new things until they all become habits over time.


Notice I never said a word about using weight loss as your goal. There's a great reason why I refuse to use weight loss as a goal--it NEVER works to keep you motivated. Your bodyweight is dependent on SO MANY factors, if you tie your progress to that one single number every day of your life, you will only work toward it for a short period of time. Find things that will challenge you instead of frustrate you, because making weight loss a goal WILL FRUSTRATE YOU.

As you begin to create these habits, which eventually develop into a new lifestyle, rewarding your efforts can also help keep you on track. I do suggest that you do NOT use food as a reward. If your nutrition is so skewed that you feel like you're deprived most of the time, that's a huge sign you need to work with a professional who can help you create a more balanced approach to your dietary needs.

I suggest my clients make a list of experiences or items they can use as rewards. These rewards include things like new workout clothes, new running shoes, a pedicure or manicure, a massage, a new outfit for going out, a new workout accessory (i.e. FitBit, foam roller for home use, new headphones, etc.), or even purchasing sessions with a certified trainer who can help boost your hard work to that next level.

Now, set up your own goals, and go out there and achieve them!

In good health,



Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Hit me up via the 'CONTACT' tab up at the top of this page!

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