Are you a Goal Setter or a Goal BELIEVER??

What do I mean by goal setter vs. goal believer? Setting goals can be just as damaging to our mental health as continuing ignorantly in our unhealthy habits.  Have you ever made a goal to be more motivated only to beat yourself up later because you didn’t achieve your goal? How beneficial is that?  Don’t get me wrong, setting goals to challenge ourselves is essential, but when we just ‘set’ a goal, what is helping us accomplish it?

This is why I want you to be a goal BELIEVER. If you are a goal believer, you are setting a goal, formulating a plan (making smaller goals) and BELIEVING that you will accomplish it. You are promising to yourself that no matter what happens along the way you will not give up. You will find a way around all the life situations that get thrown at you and you WILL succeed. An idea is just a thought until you put action to it and then BELIEVE 100 percent that you want it, deserve it and CAN achieve it.

How do you start to become a goal believer? First, set a POSITIVE goal. Your goal should not be something like "I need to lose some weight, so I can look better in a bathing suit for our vacation." What you are effectively saying to yourself is, “I don’t like who I am, and I won’t enjoy my vacation unless I like how I look in a swimsuit.”

 I want to look good in a swimsuit too, but that is not why I exercise.  Instead put a positive spin on it, "I want to get back to exercising regularly so my body feels good again." See the difference, let the aesthetics be a happy byproduct. What goal seems like it can better overcome doubt, difficulty and detours? The second one of course!

Now let’s talk about how to make a goal believer out of you!

1. Make your goals quantitative (measurable), not qualitative (abstract). 

This makes them easier to track. For example, just saying “I want to lose weight” doesn’t give you anything to track and mark your forward progress. Yes, I hear you saying you can measure losing weight by seeing the number on the scale go down, but it is still too abstract.  There are so many ways to lose weight including unhealthy methods.  Instead, making a quantitative goal like “I want to focus on getting in at least 4 workouts a week.” You now have a goal that you can track weekly. You will know instantly whether you kept your promise to yourself. Yes, a goal is a PROMISE to yourself!

2. Break big goals down into easier day-to-day tasks. 

If you have never been active and never tracked any food before, trying to change all of it at once can become overwhelming. The process of weighing and measuring food, making time you didn't think you had for exercise, and grocery shopping in a whole new way is A LOT. Even for me it can still be overwhelming, and health and fitness is a passion of mine. This is not to discourage you but, full disclosure, I still have my bad days; occasionally, they are allowed. Instead, focus on today and doing a little more than you did yesterday.

3. Be ready to spend necessary the amount of time achieving your goal.  

The first and last 5% of our goals are the hardest.  Getting through that initial phase is difficult because you are in unfamiliar territory, whether it is the gym, your meal plan, or your new habits. Remember, habits do not form overnight.  Some of our bad habits we are years into.

For example, one bad habit may be always eating on the go; never taking time to plan and fuel your body properly. Did you just start one day not eating and then every day after that is was the same? NO! If you could do a time-lapse of how that bad habit started I am sure it would be hours long!

The last 5% is hard because you have a 95% solution; 95% is a solid ‘A’.  You have come so far and are likely happy with where you are now compared to where you started.  Don’t Settle!  You don’t see 24.9 stickers on the windows of cars (95% of a marathon).  The end is in sight!  Push through and enjoy the satisfaction of reaching 100%.  The confidence boost will be enormous!

When I first started losing weight I started as a Goal Setter with a negative mindset. "Just lose the 30 pounds Elisabeth and you will be happy," was my goal. I was a mom to an 18-month-old and working full time while my husband was finishing up his last semester of college. I was sleeping in until my little girl woke up at 7:30. I wasn't packing lunches for work and eating mostly from the food court at the mall. Panda Express was my meal of choice. I would get the 3-course plate and pretty much eat the whole thing. I would come home tired and jumping right into mom and wife duties. Finally, in the late evening I would sit on my couch and eat ice cream, from the carton (which at times is still a guilty pleasure of mine).

If this was my routine, how in the heck was I going to create a habit of eating better and working out?

Well, I am proof that the goal setter mentality is a total bust. I told my husband I was going to start going to the gym at 5:30 in the morning and that I was no longer going to eat ice cream. I bought a gym membership (which we could not afford) and started my gym routine. I threw out all the ice cream and refused to buy anymore. I told myself I couldn't eat out anymore and that I had to eat 1200 calories, because that was a number I had heard somewhere.

Want to know how long I lasted?

The workouts lasted longer than the no ice cream rule, but I burnt out after about 10 days. I woke up one morning and was too tired to go to the gym. That was the first day I ate ice cream again.

So, what changed in me? I knew I couldn't do it all. I wanted to, but I couldn't. and my sweet husband reminded me that I did not need to. Phew! This is where the second rule came into play. My goal of “lose the weight” was not working for me. My new goal was to get four days of exercise in a week, whatever method that might be. I knew I would lose weight, and I knew I would get stronger, and I knew I would feel better if I did just that.  I started running the block with our horrible Graco non-jogging stroller. I would run the long length of the block and walk the short. I purchased some at home workout videos (Bob Harper of course!) and worked those in while my little one played. This was manageable. I wasn't overwhelmed and despite my imperfect plan for nutrition, I was losing weight.

These small victories have led me to where I am now. Even to this day I am still always working on small, challenging goals I believe 100 percent that I will achieve. I don't break promises to others, so I won't to myself either. Create a plan that starts with a little more than you can do now and build from there. You will be surprised how quickly the little goals get you to your big goal.

5. Journal your progress!! 

This is so important in self-reflection and moving forward! Make notes of your successes and failures. You will start to see habits and trends. The successful ones you can build off, and ineffective ones you can prepare for. When you can write it down you can be honest with yourself. This allows you to not stunt your growth potential.

Are you now a Goal BELIEVER?? You deserve everything you want and more. Start believing that and you are only a goal away from achieving it!

If you want help setting attainable goals you can comment or email me, and I would be happy to help get you started! Click HERE to Learn more Sign-Up for my 12 Week Customized Program

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Hey friend! I am a wife to an amazing and dedicated Air Force Pilot, as well as a mom to three very beautiful, yet sassy girls. I started my own fitness journey 10 years ago when I knew that being a new mom was not meant to make me feel the way I did.  I knew I was better than the lies I was letting the world tell me.  I set out to change myself for the better and in the process I gained a passion to help other women experience the same joy! I may love to pound out the heavy weights but I also started with simple home workouts that I know work. I have a love for the outdoors as well as traveling. I want to make sure you find that same joy, living a life you love!