I have been thinking a lot lately about goal setting. This is not because I have been planning to make any New Year’s resolutions, but because I think that setting specific goals is critical to success.
I started my “body for life” transformation on August 20, 2004. You can view my progress here. One reason that I think this program works is because you commit to specific exercise and eating plans that are doable by beginners (less than one hour of exercise a day 6 days a week; 6 days a week of controlled but reasonable eating; one free day) . Further, the plan is broken into 12 week “challenges” allowing you to set mini-goals. I had known for several years that I needed to “exercise more” and “eat better/less” but always found that tomorrow would be a great day to begin. My goals were nubilous (weigh less; be in better shape) and therefore unattainable. One day a few months ago I dusted off my “body for life” book and decided that I would begin immediately. It was just time. I set specific goals, initially promising myself 4 weeks of following the program to the letter. I have now been following the program for 18 weeks and am well and truly addicted to my new lifestyle. As I near the end of my second “challenge” when I suspect that I will achieve all of my current fitness goals, I am pondering how to set creative goals for “maintenance”. Can maintenance even be a goal?
Separate from my current fitness obsession, I have been pondering how to incorporate “body for life” processes into my daily life. For example, I track all of my exercise & nutrition using excel spreadsheets to follow my progress over time. Can I use this type of self-monitoring to perform better at work and school? I used to be a horrible procrastinator, but I am finding that I now have less of a tendency to delay tasks until the last minute. Can personal and professional acheivement be attained if you have not voiced (even to yourself) specific goals?