Do you find yourself setting the same unreachable goals over & over again?
Setting the right goals can make all the difference.
Just when I thought there were no new ways to approach goal setting, I came across "Burnout: The Secret To Unlocking The Stress Cycle" by Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA
The book offers a new take that emphasizes avoiding burnout - which often seems to be our problem when it comes to not achieving all the things we want.
Instead of boring old SMART goals, their framework involves setting goals that mean something to you - can be achieved soon - you are certain you can achieve - and that you feel good about.
Use this method when you're feeling overwhelmed or burnt out - or if you want to avoid getting to that stage!
"Why does this goal matter to you? How much does it matter? Tailor your goal so that it matters to you."
Goals driven by the notion of "I should" or societal ideals like "women should look like…" are not inspiring! Focus on the difference it will make in your life instead. What are the outcomes that, once achieved, will make so much difference that it's worth the work? Whether it's self-confidence, setting an example for your kids, or living longer - a personal connection helps you commit.
"When will you know you’ve succeeded? Your goal should be achievable without requiring patience."
What deadline feels realistic but not too far off? Is it 30 days? 7 days? This allows you to get some quick wins under your belt and experience positive changes sooner.
A deadline months away may feel distant, abstract and thus unattainable. On the flip side, aiming for achievable milestones in the near future can give boost your motivation.
"How confident are you that you can succeed? Your goal should be within your control."
I’m always preaching this one! When we set unattainable goals, we fail and that knocks our confidence. Goals should be both personally achievable and feasible in terms of time and resources.
While "everyone has a book in them," most of us lack the time and energy required to write the said book, even though we have the ability. Same goes for weight loss and fitness goals.
"What improvement will you experience when you win? It should be something that feels good, not just something that avoids suffering."
You might have heard of push and pull motivation. In the context of fitness, weight loss, and health, we often think about getting rid of fat or avoiding health issues (push factors). But there are so many exciting outcomes (pull factors) of becoming fitter, healthier, or losing weight. While push factors can motivate us, pull factors are more exciting.
Reflect on the positive outcomes of your fitness journey: like more energy, better mood, and overall well-being. Actually, don’t just reflect on them, take a moment to visualize yourself as a new person - feeling amazing!
CONCRETE & SPECIFIC
Concrete: "How will you know you’ve succeeded? There is an external indication that you have succeeded."
Specific: "As opposed to general. You should be able to visualize precisely what success will look like."
A real trigger for burnout is not reaching the targets we set for ourselves. We may never feel good enough simply because we're not setting a clear target and acknowledging when we reach it.
Instead of a goal to "get fit," aim to complete a certain number of steps, miles, or workouts by a specific date so you get to celebrate milestones or adjust the plan as necessary.
Over to you:
What goal would be meaningful to you? How is your goal meaningful to you?
What timeline works for you?
What are you certain you could achieve by this deadline?
Can you picture the exact outcome?
What are the positive outcomes?
How will you measure your progress?
Reframing goals-you-never-reach in this way, removes overwhelm and boosts confidence by giving you a quick win.
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Clara Depont is a certified personal trainer at www.claradepont.com where she trains women in their 50s and 60s. When she’s not writing blogs on how to stay vibrant, fit and happy she’s traveling in search of a forest or a sexy coastline. You can get to know her best through Weekly Emails, Instagram or Facebook. She is British and lives in New Mexico.
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