Setting Positive Goals

I come across many people who say:

‘I want to lose weight’

or

‘I have 2 stone to lose, then I’ll be happy, but nothing seems to be working’.

It’s struck me recently, that (I think) they’re looking at things the wrong way. They focusing on the negative, what they want to ‘lose’ or get rid of, instead of who they want to become.

The very word ‘lose’ is negative and I don’t think it should be the focus.

As far as I’m concerned, Weight loss should be a bi product of positive action. Sure you can have a weekly, monthly, 6 monthly and yearly aims for what you’d like your weight, body fat % or body measurements to be, but why focus on the loss all the time? Why focus on what you want to get rid of?

Why have the dark shadow or ball and chain of weight loss around you all the time, when you could be thinking about the positive action you can take to make changes instead? And then have weight loss come as a result, or even without thinking about it?

Example: 4 goals
I was talking to someone recently who had 4 goals, in this order:

1. Getting to be Super again, healthy, happy and believing in herself.

2. Focus on Nutrition: eat healthier and fuel her training.

3. Weight loss: specifics detailed.

4. Train for a marathon.

Most of them are good, and in the positive. And it’s important to remember, goals should be written positively, so that you get what you want as opposed to what you don’t want. And you’ll focus on what you’ll do to get what you want.

But I don’t see the need in having weight loss as an immediate goal. There are much better things to have as goals you can take action to achieve, and off the back of them, the weight loss will be an outcome or result.

The formula that works
When I aimed to lose weight initially, losing the weight was exactly that – an aim. If I did it right, weight loss would come as a RESULT of the goals I was going to focus on. It was still a goal, but it was an outcome goal, not something to be focused on too much.

I figured that if I increased my activity to burn around 5,000 calories a week, and ate more healthily, I’d lose weight.

I didn’t know if it would work, but I definitely wasn’t going to go on a diet and it seemed the best way to think about it.

My aim was to lose 0.5lb a week, and after 6 months (26 weeks), I’d lost 12lbs. 🙂

At that time, my main goals were:
1. Training for events (activity: 5,000 calorie burn a week),
2. Eating healthily / improving my nutrition and
3. Raising money for charity.

If I did 1 and 2 right, 3 would come and weight loss would probably come too.

1, 2 and 3 were action goals which I could focus on, and the weight loss would be a resulting goal. (which I didn’t need to focus on, but it would be good to keep a track of to make sure I was doing everything right and to see my progress).

Put simply, the formula was:

Positive Action 1 + Positive Action 2 = Result+

Or

Activity + Healthy Eating = Weight Loss (+ raising money for charity!)

And if I didn’t get the result I was after, the actions I was doing needed to change to get better results.

Luckily for me then, the positive changes I’d made in my lifestyle, led me down the path of further weight loss, without even thinking about the weight loss itself much:

Activity + Improved nutrition = The best shape I’ve ever been in, plus lots of achieving great things including raising money for charity, and running marathons etc.

The weight loss was not an aim anymore – I was happy with how I was/what I weighed, but it dropped off because of the lifestyle changes I’d made anyway! 🙂

4 goals reworked
So if we go back to the 4 goals above, we would try this instead:

1. Being Super again: healthy, happy, fit and feeling good. Believing in yourself and become who I what to be.

2. Train for a marathon, and stay motivated to train. Increased activity: 3 runs, 2 cross training, and fun time with the family. Raise money for charity / friend (and train for other event through the year).

3. Focus on nutrition: eat healthily, fuel for training. Recognise any weaknesses and have a coping strategies to change bad habits. Substitute poor choices with better ones.

If she has those 3 goals and works hard to focus on and achieve them in the next year, along with an aim of losing weight. It will happen.

Measurements
When you start a journey like this, measurement is important. It can help motivate you to continue, and can provide feedback to show if your actions are being productive (ie weight loss) or destructive (ie weight gain).

To track your progress and weight it’s important to take measurements of some kind:

– Body weight
– Body fat %
– BMI
– Body measurements
– Waist to height ratio
– Waist to hip ratio

It doesn’t need to be all of me measurements, or it can be all of them or just some or one. The main point is to aim for the healthy range for weight / body fat % / BMI / waist to height ratio or waist to hip ratio. (Body measurements will show your progress month by month, but you probably won’t find a healthy range, as we’re all so different).

Measuring once a week, (or once a month) at the same time, and not getting emotional about the RESULT. Remembering that the result is dependant on the ACTION you’ve taken. (Once a week is better as it gives you continuous feedback about how your actions are affecting your weight. Once a month will perhaps show larger outcomes if you’re doing everything right).

If it’s been negative action (not enough exercise / unhealthy eating) the chances are the result will be negative / not what you’re aiming for.

But it’s a result you can change, with some focus and some positive action, you can become anyone you want to become. You can use the measurement as feedback that your actions aren’t working and something needs to change to get the results you’re after.

No down in the dumps, emotional, upset about not losing weight. Just logical, results and action based solutions. 🙂

If it’s been positive action with a positive result, you can pat yourself on the back and know that your plan is working and you will get there.

Want to set your own goals?
– Look at your life – what is it you’d like to improve?
– What is important to you?
– What does the best version of you look like?
– What can you do to become the best you can be?

6 types of goals:
– Life
– Yearly
– 6 monthly
– 3 monthly
– Weekly
– Daily

Finally, in case you are short of ideas, or if you’d like to know what goals I’ve set myself this year, here are my goals for 2014…. 🙂

At the end of the post in the link above, there are tips on how to best set your own goals. Take a read and see if it helps.

So, what goals are you going to / or have you set yourself?

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2 Responses to Setting Positive Goals

  1. Pingback: My goals for 2015 | Lorn Pearson Trains…

  2. Pingback: Need motivation? – part 3 of 3 | Lorn Pearson Trains…

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