Goal Setting: Why intentions are not enough!
When the 1st of January or the day you have set to begin your new resolution hits, simply having the intention to start with the idea that “I want to get fit” or “I will exercise more” is not enough. Research shows that setting action intentions (saying exactly what you are going to do to meet you goals) increases peoples success rate. Because of this, you should break this overall goal down into smaller, more manageable goals and counterparts that are specific to how you are going to get fit.
These counterparts include:
What do I want to accomplish?
Specific reasons, purpose of benefits of accomplishing the goal
What is involved?
Identify requirements and constraints
How will I know when it is accomplished?
If the goal is not measureable, it is not possible to know whether you are making progress towards a successful completion. Measuring aids staying on track, reaching target dates and increases motivation through knowledge of achieving your smaller goals.
Is this goal realistic to what you can actually achieve in the set time frame? Goals that are extreme or out of reach may be considered meaningless as you work towards them. Attainable goals will usually answer the question ‘How can the goal be accomplished?’
Are your smaller more manageable goals going to contribute to your overall goal? Is the training you are doing this week/month setting you up for meeting your goals for next week/month?
What is the exact time frame that you will complete these smaller goals and the exact time that you want to reach your outcome goal?
Tips for a successful change
Social Aids: Exercise with a training partner. Use friend groups to let them know about your success or use them for support when you didn’t meet a goal.
Self-Monitor– Use a training diary to write down your progress, accomplishments and even thoughts and emotions that you can revisit for support, or compare your performances to your past ones.
Write it down! Write down your long term (outcome), mid-term and short term (process) goals. This will make them concrete and less likely to change as times get hard. You may wish to put them on the fridge to make them visible or tick them off as you complete them.
Use reminders– Simple things such as placing your running trainers near the door can act as cues to remind you to exercise.
Use the SMART principle- Remember Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic and Time.
Use effective goal setting- Remember Process, Performance and Outcome goals.
Reward yourself- But remember to be healthy
Prepare for relapses- Think why you didn’t achieve your goal and amend your regime.
Give it time, it’s not going to happen overnight! Most resolution makers give up too early, persistence is crucial – When times get hard, you may wish to refer to emotions or performances recorded in your training diary or talk about it with a training partner or friend for support.
Don’t lose sight of your goals. Good Luck – i hope everyone has a very successful 2016.