Hello, and welcome back to “UNB Fitness Corner”. My name is Darrin Miller and I’m the staff writer here at UNB for fitness. Keeping in the spirit of the Papi promotion, I’m pictured here in one of my favorite undies – the classic thin band thong from Papi. Last week we focused on the first attribute required in setting successful fitness goals. This week, we focus on expanding upon the last two attributes:
Goals Must Be Realistic
The general rule of thumb here is do not set yourself up for a fall. Use common sense when setting your goals. The goal of “I want to be a millionaire by 30-Apr-2011” when today is 29-Apr-2011 is (barring the lottery of course) pretty infeasible. Similarly, if your goal is loosing 30 pounds and you started working on that goal three days before your goal deadline, good luck and more power to you! Remember, goal setting is a tool for you to use to achieve things in life. Moreover, we predict how well we will do reaching a goal by how well we have done in the past. Negative reinforcement related to unmet goals will set in motion a perpetual cycle of unmet desires. Therefore, reach for the stars but keep your feet on the ground.
Goals Must Be Modifiable
So far it sounds like goal setting is pretty stringent – must be specific, well defined, visible, measurable – almost carved in stone. How ironic then that they must also be modifiable. Almost sounds like that “back door” a manager always leaves himself when he says something like “Based upon predicted absenteeism and projected work load, I think we can handle the additional project should our parameters remain constant in our ever-changing environment.” The key thing to remember here is to be honest with yourself. Changing your goal from
- “I want to loose 30 pounds by 15-Sep-2011 bringing my weight down to 150 pounds from 180 pounds” to
- “I want to loose 20 pounds by 20-Oct-2011 bringing my weight down to 160 pounds from 180 pounds”
Because you have decided to forego your good eating habits and you just did not feel like exercising is a cop out. Changing this goal because you were involved in an accident and will have your leg in a cast for eight weeks is simply using the rule that goals must be modifiable. If there is ever a question as to whether you are just giving up or righteously modifying your goals, just ask yourself one question. How guilty do I feel about changing this goal?
Now that you have been exposed to the ins and outs about developing goals, in the next issue we will discuss the benefits of proper goal setting.
Goals mean different things to different people and effect, mold, and guide each of us differently. Some people have their whole life designed out as a series of never ending goals. They strive for the next victory, the next accomplishment, the next milestone. Other people create goals only when the “bigger” milestones in life are to be focused on – that first car, that first house, etc. Whatever type of individual you may be keep in mind that developing and striving to achieve goals will help you shape your vision of your future. As one of my friends once said “Goals pave the pathway to success through the forest of life.”