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August 3, 2009 10:18 pm

Goals: Why We Need Them

Posted in: Exercise
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goal setting pic mercedes 300x203 Goals:  Why We Need Them.by Tony Cress

Ask yourself this question.  Do you get in your car, and drive, with no specific place (GOAL) to go?  I hope not, but if in fact you do, where do you end up?  It can’t be the place you expected to go, because you didn’t really expect to go anywhere in particular.  You may have ended up at a movie, or at the grocery store, neither of which was ultimately where you wanted to be, but they are also both not bad places.

Now, let’s apply this to your health and fitness.  If you don’t have a specific place to go (GOAL), where are you going to end up?  The short answer to this, is that you won’t really know until you get there.  How do you know exactly what to do, what exercises to do, how to eat, how much cardio, etc. if you have NO idea what you are doing it for?  This is exactly why people need to set realistic, measurable, and attainable goals.

Let’s go back to the car for a second.  Let’s say you live 2 miles from the bookstore.  Your goal, is to get this cook book you’ve been wanting for a while.  Now, based on setting realistic, attainable goals, maybe you decide that you want to get to the bookstore, buy the book, and get back home in 30 minutes.  This is definitely an attainable goal, but you have to focus to get it done.  If it takes 10 minutes to get to the bookstore, and10 minutes to get back, this leaves you with 10 minutes to find the book, and buy it.  This leaves no time for browsing for other books, and other irrelevant activites.  You have to focus, and get the job done.  This is the same concept you have to use for your fitness and health goals.  You have to set them, and have them be attainable.  Going back to the car, you can’t expect to get all that done in 10 minutes.  As far as exercise, you can’t expect to lose 20 pounds in a week.  Goals must be ATTAINABLE.  Also, you don’t want to go the other way and set a goal too general, because it leaves room for distraction.  If you say you want to lose 5 pounds in a year, it leaves plenty of room for other things to get in the way, ie, nights out, pizza, laziness.  This all has to do with focus. If there isn’t a straight line to the goal, you end up taking a lot of wrong turns.

So, let’s say for example, you want to get in better shape.  What does that mean exactly?  That’s not a real goal  Real goals can be MEASURABLE.  Now, If you take your general thought, getting in better shape, and make it measurable, you can figure out if you’ve reached your goal.  Let’s say to get in better shape, you want to lose 10 pounds.  Great!  Now you can look on the scale, and see if you lost your 10 pounds.  It’s measurable. Either you did it, or you didn’t.  And we want to combine this with the other aspects of goal setting.  Is 10 pounds realistic for you to lose?  How long should it take you to lose that ten pounds?  Is it attainable?  How many weeks/months should it take you to lose that 10 pounds?  Did you lose the ten pounds in the desired amount of time?  These questions make a goal much more specific, and gives you the straight line you are looking for, so you don’t stray from it.  It helps with adherence to your fitness direction.

I hope this has helped you today.  Setting measurable, realistic, attainable goals is a HUGE key to your success.  Don’t just go to the gym to go to the gym. Have a plan.  Get in, get out, do your work!  Everything should fall into place after that.  Until then kids.  Don’t Worry.  Be Happy.  Doo Doo Do Doo Doo, Doo Doo Do Doo Doo Do Doo…….  Bobby Mc Ferrin:)

- courtesy of www.tonycress.com

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