Goal Processing: GREAT Goals

What is it about January that makes all of us fitness crazy? Probably the combination of acute fudge and eggnog poisoning during the holidays and the tradition of renewal and self-promise that manifests itself as New Year's Resolutions.

Yet, the stores in the mall are filled with workout clothes (which will be at the Salvation Army in April). The TV commercials have a disproportionate amount of advertising for the Bowflex, the Air Climber, the Gazelle, and the Nautilus (which you can find on E-Bay in four months under either the fitness equipment section or the clothes-hanger section). The rotating white-box in my hometown's downtown switches from a temporary book store to a workout facility every year. The workout place opens in January, when we are all ready to look like Jessica Simpson and P-Diddy, and then closes in May, when we remember it is more important to look good on the inside than on the outside. The book store fills in the remaining months when their best selling books are probably The Biggest Loser Cookbook: More Than 125 Healthy, Delicious Recipes Adapted from NBC's Hit Show, Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss and, It's not Really That Important: Why do Today What You Can Just Put Off Again Tomorrow?

So, I don't think the question is, "what makes us fitness crazy in January?" I think the better question is, "what makes us lazy crazy in May?" (And no, I did not plan on that rhyming...)

Well, our ability to maintain a course of disciplined action is important, obviously. Most people think you get motivated first and then you start or continue doing something second. This can prove rich temporarily, but poor as a long-term strategy. The best strategy is to just start doing something first and then you will feel like doing it second. However, this takes the key ingredient of being a self-starter and a self-starter over the long haul. I think that is officially called a self-continuer, but don't quote me on that.

I believe we need to get better at setting the right type of goals. Consider this goal setting formula we created for our audiences....

GREAT Goals -

G - Genuine
The goal has to be something you have identified as personally important and relevant to your life today!

R - Real Benefit
You not only need to write down your goals, but you also need to write down the benefit of reaching each goal. Keeping your eye on your goal is important. Keeping your eye on the outcome of reaching your goal is more important.

E - Exact
This is the BIGGEST DOWNFALL of most goals that are set - they are too general, too vague, and too broad. Your goals need to be very specific. You need to be able to know exactly when you have reached them. This also allows you to benchmark your progress.

A - Accountability
The strongest motivation to achieve goals is a combination of self-motivation to act and having a support team around you for accountability purposes. Make a list of three trustworthy people and ask them to hold you accountable for achieving your goals.

T - Time Factors
There are three time factors to consider: Timeline - set a timeline to benchmark your progress. The right time - make certain the progression toward this goal fits into your life today. Give it time - great goals take effort, work, dedication, self-motivation and time!

It would be very valuable to our readers to see some comments on the goals you have set and what you are doing to help yourself accomplish them! Good luck!

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