Setting Behavioural Goals To Lose Weight & Get Fit in 2013

It’s the start of a new year and many people have new years resolutions or goals they want to achieve in 2013….

Everyone has goals to some degree, some people have a burning desire for a really specific goal and some people just have things they would ideally like or improvements they would like to make on themselves.

It’s all very well and good to have some goals and clarifying your goals is a great first step in getting where you want to go, but it doesn’t guarantee you will achieve them.

Coming from the perspective of a personal trainer, I meet and speak with a lot of people around St Kilda and surrounding areas and their goals are always pretty similar – to lose weight, tone up, get fit, improve strength, and get healthy.

These 5 goals will basically cover 99% of the typical person I meet with at the gym

Now actually having a goal is a great start, you can’t end up at a destination if you don’t know where it is, but the more specific you can get with your goals the better.

Saying ‘I want to lose 7kgs’ is better than saying ‘I want to lose weight’. Saying ‘I want to lose 7kgs by 15th March” is even more specific and better still. The more specific you can get, the more prepared you will be and the more likely you will get there.

I’ve read a few books on goal setting and they say it helps to write down your goal, and stick it somewhere you will see it everyday, so you can ingrain this goal into your subconscious, which will in turn have an affect on your behaviours and habits that will head you in the right direction towards achieving it.

 

 

But rather than set idealistic goals like “ I want to lose weight’ or “I want to be more toned”, even if you do make them more specific and put them in a place you see them everyday, I think many people will be better of setting behavioural goals to get things moving in the right direction.

For example, to lose weight, there are certain tangible things you know you need to do, like stop eating processed crap, eat more vegetables, eat more good quality protein, and regularly exercise with adequate intensity.

So if your goal is to lose weight, you might change your goal to something behavioural like “To eat vegetables with every meal”. This is a tangible goal, which gives you a clear cut plan of action and it’s easy to track.

Here’s how some goals might translate into bite sized, behavioural goals for you to knock off one by one… you could choose 1 or 2 at a time to work on every week or two…

They say it takes 21 days to build or break a habit….

 

Goal – ‘I want to lose 7kg”

Example Behavioural Goals – “This week my goal is to…”

–      ‘eat some protein with every meal’
–      ‘drink 2 litres of water every day’
–      “do 30mins of exercise every day”
–      “stop drinking alcohol during weeknights’
–      “eat some vegetables for lunch and dinner every day’

(Remember you would only choose 1 or 2 at a time to work on)

 

Goal – “I want to get fit”

Example Behavioural goals – “This week my goal is to…”

–       “Do some exercise every day after work, even just 10mins’
–       “Go to the park 2 days per week and run around the oval”
–       “walk to work at least 3 days this week”
–       “Cut my cigarettes consumption in half and stick to it every day for 1 week’

 

Goal – “I want to fix my back pain”

Example Behavioural goals – “This week my goal is to…”

–       “Stretch or foam roll my tight muscles every day before work”
–       “Do glute bridges every day when I wake up”
–       “Get up from my desk, walk around & stretch for a couple of mins every hour”
–       “Do my core stability exercises every day”
–       “Book in a massage to release tight muscles”

 

Goal – “ I want to be able do a real push up”

Example behavioural goal – “This week my goal is to”…

–       “Practice a few push ups every week day”

 

I’m sure you get what I mean by now, whatever your goals are, break it down further into bite sized chunks of action steps or habits that you know you need to complete in order to achieve your end goal, and turn THEM in to your new goals to knock off one at a time.

Don’t feel like you have to do EVERYTHING at once and achieve your goal in record time, as this is often what leads to failure when it all just becomes too much to change a whole bunch of habits all at once. Just start out moving in the right direction towards your goal, and if you keep progressing and making constant improvement you will eventually get there.

It is very rarely a linear path from point A to point B (point B being your goal), you might change paths, make a few mistakes and go off course from time to time, but if you just keep heading in the right direction, with a positive ‘can do’ attitude, you will eventually get there without a doubt. It’s sort of like steering a ship or flying an aeroplane, for most of the journey you’re actually travelling off course, and every now and then the captain or the pilot will tweak the course to get you back in line with the destination.

 

 

 

So don’t wait till everything is perfect before you take action, just start heading in the right direction now and tweak and improve as you go.

So what’s a behavioural goal can you make for yourself over the next week to head YOU in the right direction?…

 


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