Have you ever heard the phrase, “Aim for the moon and if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”? Well, that’s a pretty stupid phrase, especially if you’re an astronaut. I don’t agree with setting goals, only reaching them.
The fitness realm is rife with bullshit goal setting. I am sure anybody can name at least a hand full of people (themselves included) who has done the whole “I need to lose 5-10 pounds” thing yet failed over and over again to reach that goal. You know what you learn about yourself when you fail to reach a goal? That you are weak and that in the event that something gets tough enough, you will crumble and make excuses. Instead, before making goal statements, you need to first consider the actions needed to reach the goal.
If your goal is to climb a twenty foot ladder, then you must address the fact that you will have to climb each rung, one at a time. If the idea of climbing rungs is too much for you, then you need not to set a goal of climbing a ladder. However, if you can accept the idea of climbing rungs then you should set forth with the idea of focusing on each rung and each rung only. The same can be said of fitness goals.
If your goal is to lose 10 pounds in a month, then you must address the requirements for achieving this. If you (or someone else) determine that in order to lose 10 pounds you must train 5 days a week, refrain from eating anything not on your diet, and get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, you will have to decide whether this is a reality you can handle. If you decide you can’t live without your wine or some cookies, don’t set that goal. If you decide that you can’t prepare your meals ahead of time, don’t set that goal. If you know when work gets tough or if your friends ask you to go out for dinner and drinks you’re going to cancel your workout, don’t set that goal. However, if you decide you are up to the task, then you must focus on each moment in and of itself. Focus on eating the right breakfast, then focus on getting your lunch ready, focus on saying no to the birthday cupcakes at work, focus on getting to the gym on time and kicking ass, then focus on eating the dinner you had planned earlier, then focus on getting to sleep at the right time. All together, the tasks can seem overwhelming but individually they are easily accomplished.
There is nothing wrong with not setting goals (I know that is hard for some people to believe I said that). For many people, just trying to eat right and work out from time to time is all they can handle. If you fall into that category, just keep doing what you are doing. It is better to set a 5 pound weight loss goal every three years and actually reach it than to set a 10 pound weight loss goal 5 times in a row and fail every time. When you are batting a thousand in terms of reaching your goals, you will have the confidence necessary to reach levels that others dream of.