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Amethyst Week 3 Challenge - goal setting.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Make a list of goals:

- Prioritize your list
- Add only 3 to 5 items
- Include realistic and attainable goals
- Goals that are short term
- Think about what worked in 2012
- Think about what didn't work in 2012
- How can you make 2013 more successful?

My Inter-team challenge this week is to make a list of goals for the New Year. These goals need to be realistic and attainable. I am not sure if all of them are to be short term, but some are. I do know what I need to do to succeed in a healthier lifestyle. And these are very simple steps.

1/ I will lose at least 8 lbs in January. I will achieve this goal in the following ways.

2/ I will track my meals and snacks. I will be focus on just being honest and tracking everything in January. I will deal with whatever pattern emerges later, but my primary goal is to just get back to tracking. As I have joined TOPS, I may track there and Sparks to see what works best for me, but I must consistently track.

3/ I will plan my meals weekly and stick to them. I may switch around days, but I will stick to my plan. This will take time, but I will do it.

4/ Although I have talked a lot about exercise, I am finding it very difficult because of my weight. My short term goal is to do at least 15 min of cardio five out of seven days. This does not include my aquafit classes when they start up again.

Thinking about what worked in 2012, I would have to say that swimming in the summer and the aquafit classes were the most successful thing I did. Since I am so heavy (I am at the top weight of my life) the water has been kinder to my joints and therefore I have been more consistent about doing water exercise. As soon as my aquafit classes restart in January, I'll be in the pool!

What didn't work in 2012 was my eating. I didn't plan meals and didn't track. When I first started living alone, I didn't cook healthy meals for myself and just snacked randomly. I don't really know what I was thinking. Part of it was that our family is in 2 different cities and they needed the food budget, I didn't deserve it. That is just silly. I don't have to eat expensive food. I can plan a healthy menu around lean ground beef, carrots, cabbage, and whatever fruit or veggie is on sale. It will be cheaper for me to plan my meals while looking at the sale flyers. Also while I initially found it hard to cook for myself, things went much better when I followed a recipe for 2 or 4 and either used the leftovers the following days or froze them. So I will continue to "batch" cook regular recipes. This will help keep down my food costs and make sure I eat properly.

Right now I am so heavy that I need to focus on the food rather than the exercise. The water exercise classes are good, but for now I am probably better to just keep mobile until I lose some weight (or build muscle through aquafit). My knees constantly hurt - this is new. I have osteoporosis in my ankles and there are times they don't support me going down the stairs (I have already broken the same bone in my left ankle twice). Being honest with myself, I need to go to aquafit faithfully. Otherwise, I just need to step away from the computer and putter around the house doing small chores, but just staying as mobile as I can. I need to try to go upstairs and back down as many times as I am able and keep increasing that number. I have to acknowledge the state I am in and proceed gently, but firmly. No delusions of massive exercise marathons for me yet!

What is new about 2013 is that I have joined a TOPS group. I only managed to go to one meeting in December because of the weather, but I really liked the group. I don't know anything about TOPS, but will plunge myself whole-heartedly into the program. I am enthusiastic about this group as all of the members except myself and another new member have visibly lost a lot of weight. They are very serious about losing weight and invite a guest motivational speaker to address the group each month. I was disappointed to miss the December speaker who was a fellow who had lost half his body weight. I had gone to another TOPS meeting in November in a different town, but they seemed more social than serious about losing weight. This new TOPS group really followed an agenda and was directed to weight loss. I am excited to find out about the program and be motivated by this group who have clearly lost weight. Even their 50/50 is goes to the highest weekly loser(s). I am going to make my TOPS membership a successful part of 2013.

I will make 2013 a successful year in food by planning and tracking it. I will keep up my aquafit classes and add cardio as I get fitter starting with 15 minutes 5x week in January. I will be accountable both to my Spark friends who mean so much to me and my new TOPS group. 2013 will be a successful year as I have a specific and attainable plan.
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