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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Goal Setting Part I

Last week for Healthy Thursday, we talked about making the lifestyle change of committing to doing something every day.

How's that going for you? Are you feeling better when you finally lay down to sleep at night? You should be! It's a great step to be challenging yourself, even a tiny bit, each day. You're living  and that's beautiful!

Today, we're going to start talking about setting goals that will actually get you the result you're hoping for. In sports, we use goal setting all the time. It keeps us focused during practice and gives us a reason to high five and butt slap like crazy when we see those goals realized (the butt slap part was a joke...only boys do that...for some strange reason). Reaching a goal is a euphoric feeling that everyone has the potential to experience...if they just understand the "how" behind it. I believe there are four pretty crucial components to being a successful goal-reacher. We'll talk about two of them today.

The first is pretty self-explanatory...set some! Many people think goals are lame and a waste of time. As a self-proclaimed "goal apologist," it's my opinion that those people are either lazy and don't want to feel the challenge a goal presents lacking the motivation, or they've poorly set goals in the past that just caused frustration. Be honest with yourself for a second. What keeps you from setting goals? No (*shaking my mommy pointer finger at you*), I said to be honest  with yourself. Work on fixing whatever mental block you have against goals and allow them into your life. I promise they'll treat you well, once you've read the manual on how to use them (which is what I'm writing here, so you're in luck!).

When goals are properly set and a bit of determination is added to the mix, a very rewarding experience can be expected...not just hoped for. Don't be afraid of setting goals, and by all means, know that you are worth the effort  it takes to set and achieve goals. You are a creation of Christ, fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). You are worth it.

Before you decide which goals you want to set, let's talk about the second component of successful goal-reaching...

Be reasonable. By all means, set goals that are easily attainable for YOU. Don't read a magazine and use the author's goals. Don't overhear a conversation your friends are having about their hope to run a half marathon in a month, and decide that's what you're going to shoot for too when you don't even know where your tennis shoes are because it's been so long since you've run (that sentence was probably a run-on, but it visually illustrates my point, so I hope the grammar police are still able to follow).

Think about where you currently are and determine what a small step to where you want to be would look like. Maybe it's "doing something" every day (like we talked about last week). Maybe it's jogging to the stop sign at the end of your block, then walking the rest of your normal evening route. Maybe it's only eating one helping of dinner when you usually go back for seconds. Whatever it is, be real with yourself. Choose small goals that you know you can reach rather quickly if you are determined to do so.

Set yourself up for success. Make your goals attainable and reasonable for where you are today. Once you've done that, you reevaluate and re-set new goals...once you've rewarded yourself. We'll talk about all of that next week.

For now, what's your deal with goals? Why haven't you set any in the past? Think about that and figure out what reasonable goal(s) you can set for yourself today...

Let's take care of these "vessels" God has given us. We can do it! I believe in you!


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