Monday, February 22, 2010

Setting Goals, Bad?

Although I am the first one to profess that setting overall goals is a must, I also believe that setting short term goals can be dangerous. This is not to say that all short term goals are dangerous but we need to recognize whether or not we are setting ourselves up to fail.
Recently, I was asked about how to stay motivated about a diet plan. During the conversation the person mentioned things that they had done in the past to be motivated and I noticed that most were driven by short term goals. Below are a few typical short term goals that people tend to use:

1. Lose weight for the summer to look good at the beach
2. Lose weight for an event (Wedding, Prom, etc..)
3. Family or school reunions (To look good for others)
4. I need to lose ten pounds (fixed weight amount)

The problem with setting these types of goals is that from the day you begin to diet, there is already a finish line set. Once the event occurs, the need disappears and with it, so does the dieting. You are better off setting long term goals with smaller milestones along the way to monitor your efforts. Notice I used the word efforts instead of progress because progress would imply a finishing point. Below are a few long term goals which will help to achieve a permanent change in your outlook and in return your eating habits.

1. I want to improve and maintain my quality of life.
      a. If you want to look young and feel young, you have to have the physical ability to act young.
      b. Educate yourself on the affects of the way you currently eat.

2. I want to set an example for my children that they can follow.
     a. Children learn everything even mannerisms, from their parents. What message are you sending to them about how important it is to take care of yourself?

3. Self control is a sign of strength and I want to prove that under any circumstance, I am strong enough to overcome.
    a. Challenge yourself to prove that you have the same strength you admire so much in others.

Hopefully through the examples above we can see how the short term goals are somewhat self defeating, while the long term strategy , empowers and is long lasting.
Keep in mind that we are not just talking about dieting. This way of thinking is true in all aspects of our lives.
Think about your current goals and then ask yourself if they sound like “Dead Lines” or “Living Choices.”

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