All Entries For goals
If you're like most people, you've been reflecting on your life as of late and looking forward, setting new goals and envisioning where you want to be in the future. If you've set some goals for 2012, great! That is the first step to making your dreams become a reality. But you may not be sure just how you're going to take the steps necessary to bring those goals to fruition. That's OK. I've got some help for you.
Behavior experts say that it takes about one month to form a new habit, and many people try to create (or break) habits at the start of each year. With the right attitude and focus, you can stick to your New Year's resolutions and achieve long-term success.
Here are 31 smart goal-setting tips that will help you do exactly that. Read More ›
A new year brings new opportunities to set new goals and try new things. Trying new things brings new opportunities to face difficulty that might cause you to fail. Failing brings new opportunities to decide if you will continue and try again or if you will simply quit.
It seems a little strange talking about yearly goal setting and failing doesn't it? Well, this year I think it may be helpful to start with the end of the year in mind. Ask yourself this question. How do you want to finish this statement this time next year?
"In January I set three goals and throughout the year I ________________________."
- Was committed to them and worked hard to make healthy choices a part of my day-to-day life. Although there were difficulties and times when I did not do as well as I thought I might, I stuck to my commitment toward my goals and I reached them.
- Quit on all of them because when things got tough I gave up and went back to the old habits I started the year with because it was easier than following through on my commitment to myself.
- Found the process to be more difficult than I thought it would be. I was surprised by how tough it was some days to follow through on things but I stuck with it through the difficulties and I am 50 percent closer to my goals than I was a year ago.
Last year I had you rate your commitment to weight loss and to evaluate if it was the right level to reach your goals. As you begin to think about the goals you will set for 2012, start by re-evaluating your level of commitment to yourself and to reaching the goals you will set. Answer this question about why you are even setting goals.
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Five easy steps to perfection. if I could really do that and teach you how to do that, then we would live in a perfect world wouldn’t we? If perfection is rarely if ever attainable, why do we berate ourselves so much when we make a “mistake” in our healthy lifestyle journey?
As we rush toward the end of the year and start thinking about our goals for 2012, I’d like to talk to you about reframing your expectations so that you are liberated to make it the best year ever. Let’s consider some of the world’s top athletes for a moment, and how they think in order to be successful. Read More ›
I Can’t is a cloak that failure wears. It’s actually one of failure's favorite outfits, as a matter of fact. It’s the first thing failure pulls out in the morning when the alarm goes off. It starts something like this:
"I can’t get up! I’m too tired, it’s too cold, too dark, too early! I’m too sore, too old for this! I don’t have energy. I didn’t sleep enough. The blankets are so warm, the pillow so soft. I Can’t do this!" So you hit the snooze button and skip another workout. Failure wins that battle.
Once you do get up, the war begins anew with reminders of how you messed up on things already. Failure whispers, “You didn’t eat well yesterday – what’s one more day? You can always start over tomorrow, or next week. You don’t have time to fix a healthy breakfast. You can drive thru XYZ and pick up that cinnamon roll you love.”
Failure lies and tells you this will make you feel better. Read More ›
I’ve never been someone who likes a lot of “stuff”. If you look in my closet, you’ll see most of the same clothes and shoes year after year. If I have things I don’t need or don’t use, I try to give them away. I don’t keep two of something just in case I might need it someday. But I still have a lot of work to do. If you look around my house, you’ll see that it’s not as simple and clutter-free as it could be. This is something I plan to focus on over the next year. Read More ›
I was one of those people who spent over half my life dieting. Depending on what was going on in my life I was either 'on' a diet or 'off' a diet. Sadly dieting was a way of life for me. But that all changed on February 9, 2005, the day I began my final journey to a healthier me. I was determined to make this a lifestyle and not just a quick means to get the weight off only to find myself back to square one in just a few short months.
I often said that losing weight was the easy part for me as I had done so a number of times in the past and had become quite the expert of famine, soon followed by feasting once I reached my weight loss destination. However when it came to keeping the weight off, that was the bigger of the two challenges and one that I failed at for well over 30 years. I used to tell my girlfriends that when it came to losing weight I was the Queen of Weight Loss, but the Joker in Weight Maintenance.
In the past once I reached my goal weight it did not take me long to return to my old ways. It was amazing how quickly I fell back so easily to my old ways. In my frustration I would throw in the towel only to vow to do it the 'right' way the next time. I may be a slow learner, but one thing I can say, I vowed to never give up my quest to conquer the diet beast. For me taking the focus off my weight and placing it on my health was the catalyst that changed my whole perspective. I had to realize that my weight alone did not determine my health or fitness, nor did it measure my self-worth. So by giving up the power the scale held over me for more than half my life I was finally able to break away from the constraints of living by a number. Read More ›
It’s been almost a month now since I started back to exercising (and blogging about it) after having my third child. As you’d expect (and I’m sure you can relate to if you’ve ever struggled to maintain a fitness routine), I’ve had good days and bad days. Some workouts have gone very smoothly and given me the confidence to feel like I can get back to the fitness level I once had. Other workouts have been a little more difficult- either because I’m tired, I get interrupted or for whatever reason they just don’t work out like I’d planned. I’m trying to learn to “go with the flow” a little better (which is TOUGH for a personality like mine) and look at the bigger picture, that I’m living a physically active life, even if I’m not ready to run my next marathon tomorrow. That will come in time. Read More ›
So last week when I bought my 2012 planner for work, I suddenly realized that counting this week, we have just eight weeks left in 2011. I can hardly believe it myself!
This is the slow time of year for health clubs, where the parking lots are suddenly empty and you can practically see tumbleweeds blowing across the fitness floor. I know from experience that many people feel like it's just too hard to stick to a fitness or weight-loss plan over the holidays. It's not just the delicious food that's a challenge—it's the overall hustle and bustle that often gets in the way of your good intentions, as do the shorter, darker, colder days of winter.
But just as people are giving up on their goals or planning to re-start in January, many are staying committed. It's certainly not impossible to lose weight over the holidays! I have known and met several people who stay committed to their programs year-round and continue to see fitness gains and pounds lost in November and December.
The worst thing you can do right now is tell yourself that that last two months won't matter, or that you'll wait until next year to get back on track with your healthy lifestyle. So how about you pledge right here, right now to stick with your plan or—even better—reach a new goal! Read More ›
Recently, I started this series after having my third child and struggling to return to the land of the physically active. The first few weeks back, I focused on getting into a consistent routine and finding activities that I enjoy. Since my free time is limited more now than ever, it’s important that I like what I’m doing. But just as importantly, I need to make the most of the time I have available. I had a lot of motivation the first few weeks, but now I’ve hit a few roadblocks. Just three weeks in, how do I find the drive to stay on the right track? Read More ›
Last week I started a new series about my Journey Back to a Fitter Me. I’m trying to get back on track after having my third child, and I’m hoping that anyone who’s struggling to start and maintain a regular fitness routine will join me. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who said they were ready to begin again right along with me. Some said that lack of motivation had derailed their fitness efforts, while others had injuries or life circumstances that got in the way. Regardless of the reasons, we’re all in this together. I’m focusing on things one step at a time, and thought a weekly discussion of those steps as well as a recap of my progress will help me- and might help you too. Read More ›
The funny thing about improving your fitness level is that it doesn't easily get better, but it does easily get worse. It can take months, sometimes longer, to see real progress. Feeling like you're lifting heavier weights at the gym or lasting longer on the elliptical without gasping for air doesn't usually come without effort. But take a few weeks or a month off, and you can feel like you're starting again from ground zero. That's something I'm personally struggling with right now. How do you find the motivation to start over? Does the thought of a challenge fuel your motivation, or discourage you from beginning? Read More ›
I don't know about you, but for me, this year has not gone according to plan, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I've had a lot of great things happen this year, but I've also had what I think is more than my fair share of injuries, which most have been pretty random. As I reflect on the year so far and my current situation, I am reminded of something that John Lennon once said: “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” The more I reflect on this year, the more I find this to be such a true statement. Although, I know I’m not the only one that has found themself with an injury this year, as I have seen numerous Message Board posts on SparkPeople about members having various injuries and wondering how they can continue their healthy lifestyle plan with the injury.
My latest injury is a torn ligament and broken bone in one of my fingers, which makes everything harder to do one handed, including typing. I also had to have surgery to repair the damage, and that definitely was not in any of my plans for this year. Because of how bad the injury was, I did have to skip out on some workouts, along with alter my original workout schedule, but I didn’t let it get me down or distract me from keeping my healthy habits and reaching my other goals. When injuries happen, it can be really easy to fall in the trap of the “all-or-nothing approach,” but it doesn’t have to be that way.
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I’ve often watched the young female gymnasts in competition in a state of awe and wonder. How do they do all those jumps and twirls on the balance beam without falling off and make it look so easy in the process? The precision, the focus, the leap in the face of fear mentality – how do I get some of that?
Maybe that routine on the balance beam is like the healthy lifestyle to you. Some days there seems to be no balance and you can’t get all the things in order to make it work. You’re juggling the job, the family, the pets, the bills, the laundry, the housework, the yard work, or some combination of all those things and more. How are you supposed to fit in exercise, healthy grocery shopping, time to prep and cook meals, plan meals for the next day or week? It’s daunting, frustrating, and frankly you might just want to give up. Well don’t.
The thing about those gymnasts on TV is they didn’t show up at the training facility yesterday and jump into competition today. They started their journey at the beginning and worked a very long time to get where they are. I appreciate this more now that I’ve been on the healthy lifestyle journey for three years (2 on SparkPeople). I had to start at the beginning, work it out, and keep figuring out how to make it work for me through life while it changed from day to day, month to month, and year to year.
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The mind is a powerful thing. Not only does it control all of your body's functions, movements and reactions to stimuli, but it allows you to emote, remember and think. Our thoughts are equally as powerful. Plenty of research shows that positive thinking can help people recover from illness, beat disease, live longer, stay healthier, and be happier. It's amazing what your own thoughts can do for you.
On the flipside, negative thinking can make you feel bad, reduce your self-worth, and diminish your chances of reaching your goals. After all, if you don't really believe you're capable of something, you're less likely to try; you create your own self-fulfilling prophecy. It reminds me of the Henry Ford quote:
"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right."
I recently read a New York Times story about an intriguing study from Northumbrian University in England. Researchers told elite cyclists that the computer avatar they were racing against was mimicking their own personal best time. The cyclists didn't know it, but the avatar was actually racing 1% faster than they ever had. But because they believed it was "their" speed, they either kept up—or won. However, when cyclists were told that the avatar was going 2%-5% faster than their best time, it was as if they gave up from the beginning—they lost the race even though they performed better when they were deceived about their virtual competitor's speed.
Wow! I guess it's not that surprising. We have all experienced something when we either psyched ourselves out by doubting our ability to succeed (a public presentation, a job interview…perhaps even a fitness program or weight loss goal?). But I hope we have all had an experience where we believed in ourselves and succeeded (completing that first 5K, getting a promotion at work, negotiating a deal, sticking with your meal plan). Read More ›
I have a secret…and a small dilemma. Next week, I turn 29. OK, that part isn't really a secret, but it's relevant. After I turn 29, I'll be "almost 30." That doesn't bother me, but I've always had an image in my mind about what it might be like to ring in my third decade on this planet. My secret is a goal that I've never shared with anyone: to be in best shape of my life when I turn 30.
Now comes the problem: What exactly does it mean to be in the best shape of one's life? How does that look or feel? And what will it take to get there? Read More ›