Journal entry

Goal setting

Fady Rofail

It’s a pretty grey Monday morning as I start to write this and after getting to work today I started thinking about what my motivation was today. The New Year has started and like many others I’m trying to figure out what my own resolutions will be this year and how I plan to actually stick to them.  Like many of you reading this I have personal goals that float in and out of my consciousness and on a day like today they seem so much more fleeting. I guess the person who coined the hashtag “Monday Motivation” had days like this in mind. This is why by March treadmills, bikes and classes at the gym will seem emptier and the line at the local burger place seems a little busier (By the way I am a burger lover myself so don’t feel bad if you are too!). We are generally not quitters. I don’t think when we back away from some of the ridiculous promises we make with ourselves it’s a bad thing either. Actually it can be an opportunity to take a fresh look at something in your life you want to improve upon or do and come up with a good plan to get there.  

This is where proper goal setting comes in. Many people can be very hard on themselves without realizing how unrealistic their expectations can be. This can be especially true at this time of the year with weight loss and fitness. If you’re honest with yourself, you know you probably will not lose 20lbs in safe or healthy way in 2 weeks or run a 20 minute 5k after training for just 1 month if you have never run before!  If this is the standard you’re holding yourself to, you should definitely reconsider your strategy and maybe try adjusting your goals so you’re not disappointed when you don’t achieve them. Try SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measureable, Agreeable, Reasonable and Time based (goals). This is how I determine if a goal is appropriate for a client or myself. I find this principle can be applied to any goal for any aspect of life.  

Being specific about what your target is and how to measure whether or not you have progressed towards it are very important. Doing so will allow you to adjust your strategy to achieve these goals when things are or not as far as you feel they would be at a given point. This will also allow for checkpoints for yourself as well. You should have a way of holding yourself accountable to your goal. This is what it means to have an agreeable goal. Meaning you answer to someone for it, this could be yourself or someone else. A time aspect is very important because it keeps you honest and gives you a target to aim towards. The last and I think most important of this group is the reasonable aspect of your goals. Educate yourself on what you hope to achieve so you can set realistic expectations for yourself. We’re not all hidden astronauts or track stars so why put that kind of burden on ourselves? It doesn’t make sense and only becomes a source of constant frustration. Doing good research including speaking to the correct professional like a Physician, Registered Dietitian, PT, Kinesiologist or Personal Trainer for some health and wellness related goals.

These strategies are easy to understand but can be hard to implement because like most things great in life, they require patience. There may not be the quick reward we desire, but the end result can be worth the wait. So maybe don’t completely forget about those New Year’s resolutions you made just yet, but try and tweak them. You may just find that “Monday Motivation” to get you moving on a grey, dreary day of your own.

Until Next Time

Fady Rofail PT DPT MCPA

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