A few days ago I posted an embarrassing picture and talked to you about setting goals for yourself. If you didn't see it it was probably for the best.
However you did miss out on an interesting phenomenon and that is that only around 3% of adults have a written down goal for themselves. We also talked about how having a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Sensitive) goal could change whether or not it actually gets done.
I have found that to be true in my work with beginning clients as well. They struggle because they don't know where they are truly going. They have yet to decide on the Specific part of that goal.
They say something like "I want 6 pack abs".
Well isn't that convenient... You already have them, but you can't see them!
My absolute most favorite is "I'd like to tone up".
What does that even mean?
Do we really want to be like Alice when it comes to reaching our goals?
I realize this is somewhat tongue in cheek, but not by a lot. I do hope you get the point here though. To actually make these goals SMART, you would need to put some additional clarifying details on them.
The first of which is make them Specific, in this case by adding a number, for example "I want to lose 3 inches from my waist".
Aha! Now we are getting somewhere.
By simply adding a number to the goal we have now taken it from ambiguity to not only Specific but also Measurable.
We can easily ascertain where you are today AND know exactly when you've reached your desired target.
So far so good? Good!
Forgive me. I'm going to get a little bit woo...
How does it feel to be 3" leaner around the waist? Do you carry yourself differently without those 3" around the middle?
What type of behaviors does a person who is 3" leaner around the waist engage in? Do you not focus on the quantity of exercise as much but rather the quality of exercise?
How does food taste to a 3" leaner you? Do you look forward to your post-workout meal replacement shake instead of just grabbing what's available at the drive thru?
What daily/weekly rituals do you engage in being 3" leaner around the middle? Do you enjoy leisurely walking with an audiobook or with your partner?
Apply as many sensations as you can to your goal. The clothing you wear. How does it fit? Environment. How do people and loved ones respond differently? What about coworkers?
The more detailed your descriptions are the better. They will only help to solidify the visualization process and help you "see" what you will "look like" when you Attain/Achieve your Goal State.
And this brings us to our final point for today. Is your goal Attainable or Achievable? I will use these words interchangeably, so I hope you see that's not a choice here.
The answer to this will all depend on you and your current circumstances.
To take our "3 inches off the waist" goal from before:
A person who has 20% body fat stands a greater chance of success than a person with 10% body fat.
An untrained beginner would stand a better chance than a highly trained athlete.
A 20 year old would stand a better chance than a 50 year old.
So what do you do if you find yourself on the negative side of one of these? Why, adjust the goal of course Alice (or Alvin)!