Want to know how making a goal for yourself can make all the difference in a successful fitness and health journey? Well you’re in luck! Keep reading for a guest post by Jackelyn Ho from the amazing online health and fitness magazine, Fiterazzi. See what she has to say about goal setting and how it can actually work if you do it the right way.
You hear it all the time.
“You have to set a goal. You have to make a goal. You have to eat, sleep, dream, and live the goal. If not, you’re doomed from the beginning.”
-A quote created from the top of my head using things I hear all the time
It sounds awfully annoying, repetitive and non-inspirational. How many times have you written down a goal and still have not seen it to fruition? Wait, maybe don’t count it. That might not make a person feel great. Let’s just make a mental note of it.
Now, I am not here to lecture you or be the world’s next inspirational speaker, but I am here to tell you that goals actually do work. It’s really just a mind game.
Goal setting is a fun little process that humans have done over the years to help them aspire for more. We’re built to always want something new and different, and goals make that possibility more attaining. How in the world does writing down or thinking of a goal make a difference? Let me elaborate.
First, I want you to start by thinking of something that you really want. Make it relatively realistic. Let’s rule out stuff like “marry the cutie in my Yoga class by tomorrow night” or “wake up tomorrow morning looking like someone who is not me”. In fact, follow these easy set of rules for SMART goal setting:
S - Specific: State exactly what you want to do (who, what, when, where, why).
M - Measurable: How will you measure the success and fulfillment of this goal?
A - Attainable: Make this something that you can visualize yourself achieving. Let it be a mix of challenge and attainability. Don’t limit yourself, but don’t stretch too far too soon.
R - Relevant: How does this goal align with your life objectives and overall “big picture”? By knowing how your goal fits in with your life, you are able to see it coming true.
T - Time: Set target dates to keep yourself on track. It’ll subconsciously encourage you to get moving.
Now that you have that all sorted out, let’s talk.
You’re going to think about it all day, everyday. When something is at the forefront of your mind, it will be more likely to happen. Do you remember the last time you were on Instagram or Pinterest stalking some version of healthy food porn? Did you ever happen to actually go on and make that dish? I know I have a serious pinning/liking syndrome, but somewhere down the line, I sure did make that dish! Going through my Instagram feed is like a mobile version of the world’s best cookbook. At some point, I finally get the courage to go into my kitchen and recreate some of these gorgeous recipes. Why? Because I see it EVERY SINGLE DAY. There’s no escaping it. When I see it and think about it every day, I become tempted to make it happen.
The same thing goes for your personal fitness goals. If you constantly think about how you want to dead lift double your weight, you can make it happen. Put up pictures of that number around your room. Make it your lock screen image. Use it as your alarm’s name in the morning. Thinking about it will help the process of making it come true because…
Visualizing success is part of success. When you can see yourself completing the goal, you are already halfway there. Our brain doesn’t truly know the difference between a daydream and reality. Think about it. When you go off to daydream, your eyes glaze over, your hearing becomes momentously deaf and you actually see things that aren’t really happening (yet). You are in a completely different dimension because your mind thinks that your daydream is what’s actually real. When you can visualize your goal coming true, your mind will become accustomed to the idea that, “Wow, this really is real.” Now that’s when…
Subconscious efforts turn into bigger efforts. Let’s say that you want to achieve your first pull-up. Right now, you can only go up one inch, but you want to make it so that your chin goes over the bar. Your brain now knows that you are going to do everything you can to make that goal come to life. It starts noticing everything that has to do with pull-ups. You’ll go to your group fitness class and all you can hear the instructor say is, “biceps, lats, deltoids.” You subconsciously work a little harder to strengthen those key muscles. You’ll start putting in more effort into building upper body strength. You’ll notice all the people at the gym doing pull-ups and you watch for a moment, admiring their superhuman strength. You visualize yourself doing that soon, very soon. You come back a week later to try your pull-up and now you’re two inches up, but shaking a lot less than you were last week. This process repeats until one day you’re caught off guard and you find yourself doing ten effortless, strong pull-ups.
Nothing is impossible.
Jackelyn Ho is the Editor-In-Chief of Fiterazzi Magazine (www.fiterazzi.com), an online health and fitness magazine focused on positive body image. She’s pretty tired of hearing people tell people that they can lose 10 pounds in 10 days and that their muffin top is the worst thing that could ever happen. She thinks that every body is different and we should stop making each other feel bad. That’s the kind of stuff you’ll find on Fiterazzi. Read it, believe it and then inspire those around you.