Spring is a time of renewal and the form that often takes in people’s lives is a desire to change old habits. I don’t know if there is supporting data but aside from the traditional New Years ‘goals’ I’d be willing to bet Spring is right up there as far as people wanting to change. Now if wanting to change created change I’d be one big amazing changed being. There has to be something the ‘want’ can stand on. Having a goal is different from setting a goal. Having a goal is vague. Oh, yeah I have a goal to lose 20pounds. Setting a goal as a specific focused activity and relating to that set goal is another thing entirely.
A goal is like a recipe. Without a recipe we sometimes hit on exactly the right combination of items and create an superb meal. But try again to reproduce that meal and you may end up with a dud that even the chickens snub their noses at. With a recipe the meal is reproducible each and every time. So it is with goals. Setting our goals out on paper, yes, paper… (the kinesthetic connection required in writing things on paper helps to integrate that which is being written about)… is actually not the first step.
It is my belief that the desire to change something in our lives is first a spark within our spiritual selves. Then we engage our minds as we mull over the ins and outs of how we might create the change we seek. Finally the body signs on and the work really begins. Thus the writing of the goals comes a bit down the road.
Creating goals is an activity that requires self honesty and acceptance of where we are currently. If these two things are not in place, I think it would be hard to create realistic goals. The way I’ve learned to set goals through the BFFM format as well as other teachings is to set an ultimate long range goal, a twelve month goal a 90 day/three month goal, weekly and daily goals. The day to day goals keep us focused in the short term and the long term goals give us something to strive toward.
A few days ago I created my current body transformation goal list. This is what it looks like:
1) Ultimate Long Range Goal: I am so happy and grateful that I am at my goal weight of 135# with a body fat of 20%. My body is well proportioned and athletically muscular. I am healthy in body, mind and spirit. My weight is easily maintained by eating clean foods that nourish my body and daily exercise that keeps me fit.
2) Twelve Month Goal: By 14 April 2013 I am 135 pounds with body fat of 20%. I no longer take medication for metabolic syndrome. I am thrilled that my body responds positively to my training. I feel strong and healthy.
3) Three Month Goal: I am very happy and grateful to have lost 20 pounds. My body fat has gone from 38% to 25%. I’m feeling very strong and I am able to do (at least) three pull-ups. I can run 3 miles without stopping. My clothing looks good on me and I will NEVER be asked again if I am pregnant because my abs are flat, firm and beginning to show definition.
4) Weekly Goals: I am losing at least 1 pound of body fat every week! The scale is moving steadily down each week. My attitude about the work required to accomplish the goal of fat loss is upbeat and positive. My focus is on fat loss not merely weight loss. I will use body fat calculators to determine the difference. I love working out and the way my body feels when it’s challenged physically.
5) Daily Goals: I am so grateful for the opportunity to have another day that every morning I will say the following thanksgiving, “I am blessed to have this day before me in which to re-create my body, this amazing Chalice of Spirit, into a healthy & vibrantly energized body. I will use this day to shrink my fat and grow my spirit.” I am grateful to be lifting weights and using HIIT on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to achieve this. On Tuesday and Thursday I am running at least 2 miles without walking. On Saturday I am participating in family sports/recreational activities. On Sunday I am resting my precious body and spending time in worship with others. I am eating clean food daily in the 1600 to 2000 calorie range. I am happily having 7-8 hours of sound rest each night. I am drinking plenty of water; at least 1 gallon to keep my system hydrated. I am joyful about reviewing my goals daily and reading them in their posted locations throughout the house. I am giving thanks each night before bed for the opportunity to live another day to my highest potential.
So you noticed that these goals are all written in the present tense did you? Turns out our subconcious mind responds best to reprogramming that is present tense. The subconcious or reptilian brain is a simple sort. So keeping the language clear, present, and focused allows our inner reptile to be at ease.
You may have also noticed that all the goals are stated in the positive. This is another important feature to setting good goals. Accentuate the positive, ELIMINATE the negative….hmmm that’s a catchy phrase 😉
A very simple way to engage the energy of our goals daily is to post them as affirmations in prominent places around the house. I’ve used this technique with good results a number of times. You’d be surprised how effectively the subconcious can be re-programmed. Another simple tool is to write your goals and literally carry them around with you daily and refer to it often.
This is merely a very broad overview of goal setting. There’s doubtless a pile of books you may want to read and I’m sure you’re adept at finding them. More important is that you make your list. Be specific. Follow through. I’d look forward to hearing about your goals and how you go about achieving them.