Great Expectations. No I am not writing about the Charles Dickens classic. I am commenting on the expectations many participants set for themselves as they start another year. Don’t get me wrong having goals are great and are essential in accomplishing most things in life. The problem comes when we set some immeasurable and unachievable goals. Often we expect when we start or come back to our fitness routine to see immediate change. This is amplified in these days where we are hyper connected and expect immediate gratification; instant response.
Working for a telecom company I can tell you that North Americans are among the highest consumers of mobile data in world, consuming almost twice as much as Europeans. Canadians enjoys the 2nd fastest mobile download speed in the world thanks in part of the continuous high investment in technology. We have become to expect everything instantly. Our insatiable hunger for data has left us impatient in all other aspects of our life.
What we need to be reminded of as we start or resume a fitness program or make a lifestyle change, are that health and fitness are lifetime pursuits, not something that can be achieved instantly. Just because we ‘like’ fitness on Facebook doesn’t make it so. The goals you set should be incremental steps in support of the pursuit of the journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Making smalls incremental changes which are achievable, measureable and time blocked will help manage the great expectations we have of ourselves. When we meet those goals to enjoy a sense of accomplishment that helps drive our desire to make new goals and continue on our journey towards better health.
Tips for setting your goals
- Choose the three most important goals you would like to achieve in the next three months
- Write down how accomplishing these goals will make you feel. This will help to determine whether a goal you have chosen is really a priority for you.
- Write down each of your goals in the following format
- Describe the goal
- How will know you accomplished the goal?
- What actions do you need to take to accomplish the goal?
- What obstacles might come up to prevent you from accomplishing the goal? Acknowledging obstacles will help you prepare to overcome them
- What can you do to overcome the obstacles?
- I will drink more water and record the drinking 8 cups of water each day.
- I have to drink two cups of water when I rise, one cup 30 minutes before and 1 cup after each meal and two cups prior to leaving work.
- I might not have access to water during the day at work.
- I will bring a two litre bottle of water with me from home each day.
Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.
~ Thomas Carlyle