I’ve been thinking about goals a lot lately.
I’ve really turned my health around and am losing weight and getting into better shape. This works for me for two main reasons: one, I finally found desire (which causes motivation), and two, I learned how to set goals that work for me.
I have a big goal: my desired weight (wait for it! I’m a girl and I’m going to give you my numbers.) is 180lbs. I started at 260 (that was a lot, I know). I set a goal I can’t even imagine, though – I haven’t been under 200lbs since before high school, so I have no real concept of that in my head. Also, I’ve never lost weight before, only gained, so I have very little concept of what losing weight feels like or how it works. I’ve become an expert on weight loss, so I feel confident not only talking about it, but also in implementing what I find.
The most effective thing I’ve found is to break that huge goal into smaller chunks that are meaningful, and find an effective method of rewarding myself when I reach those goals.
For example, my first mini-goal is to get to 234lbs. I weighed 235 when I got pregnant with my son over a decade ago, and haven’t weighed less since. Reaching 234 is also around 1/4th of the way toward the bigger goal. I’m a day or two from reaching it, too! (:
My second mini-goal is 212lbs. 212 is Pace’s favorite number, and I needed a goal between my first and third, so that is perfect.
My third mini-goal is 199lbs. I haven’t weighed under 200 in my adult life, so that’s a big one!
My final goal is 180lbs. Once I reach this goal, I’ll stop focusing on weight loss. I won’t stop focusing on my health, but my focus will shift.
Another set of mini-goals involves pants. I have a couple of pairs of pants that I absolutely loved a few years ago, but then gained too much to be comfortable in them. They’re two different sizes, so one mini-goal is one pair and another is the other pair.
The point of mini-goals is to give myself easily trackable progress, to give myself something to celebrate along the journey. Having one distant goal makes it harder to reach and harder to keep in your head, even if you have a lot of desire and motivation. Having smaller goals along the way keeps you motivated and keeps your goals concrete.
- The Fundamental Equations of Motivational Alchemy
- Becoming an Expert (part one)
- Becoming an Expert (part two)
- Balancing Long-Term Goals and Short-Term Wants