Goal setting: Importance and Strategies
Setting goals is the most important step in establishing an effective strategy to accomplish your plans. If you have decided to start a healthy meal plan, congratulations! Making the decision is the most important step to start a healthier life.
Personal Goal Setting
To achieve changes, it is necessary to modify the lifestyle, this means including new habits and discarding old, unhealthy habits, for this you must prepare a detailed and anticipated plan of what you want to achieve.
There is a simple but effective method of setting goals, it is about setting SMART goals.
What does setting SMART goals mean?
For a goal to be specific it must have a defined objective, for example, it is not just about saying I want to start exercising, that is something very generic. If you put it this way: "Starting tomorrow I will join the gym near my work" is a more specific way of setting your goal.
To achieve goals, it is necessary to establish deadlines, so it is best to establish short-medium, and long-term objectives, in this way small achievements stimulate work for the following, the achievements must be measurable and avoiding falling into stagnation and frustration.
Designing an action plan to achieve your goal is a fundamental part of the process. For example, if it is about losing weight, the plan should establish a change in eating habits, constant exercise, without falling into exaggerated restrictions. The action plans are subject to the periods established in the goals, that is, they would be short, medium, and long-term plans.
One of the main drawbacks to determine or achieve goals is to establish unrealistic objectives, either depending on the time established or the magnitude of the objective to be achieved, so you must be honest, it is unlikely to lose 40lb in a month, however, you can lose 10-13lb if you are constant, and you will still feel good, and it will help you to try harder and lose more weight.
Changes in habits take time, therefore, making big changes in a week is somewhat unrealistic, establishing a reasonable time to meet your goals goes hand in hand with the established deadline and of course your availability, for that you should consider work, home occupations, and other commitments. (1)
Setting strategies for common goals
- Lose weight for a wedding
Weddings are great social events and everyone wants to show their best version, if you want to prepare yourself to lose weight and better your appearance and health, you must set goals.
Following the SMART goals model, these would be the steps:
The specific goal is to lose weight, in a healthy way
The measurement of this goal depends on the period available, however, every 15 days you can evaluate your progress.
To achieve this goal, you must change your eating habits despite the fact that these events increase stress and anxiety levels. To control them and contribute to your goals, you should stay hydrated, consume several servings of vegetables daily, and exercise at least 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes.
To be a realistic goal, you must consider time, the average weekly weight loss is 1% of the total body weight, this is so that it is a healthy weight loss and is maintained over time
Weddings require a lot of planning and organization time; this must be considered when establishing the time available to dedicate to exercise and healthy eating and thus obtain the desired results. (2)
- Change to a healthier lifestyle
Making changes in eating habits and lifestyle is important to improve our health.
Goals can range from changing unhealthy eating habits to making significant changes to improve your health, regardless of the goal, the following steps are a good guide to get started.
In the short term, you can establish a reduction in the consumption of refined and processed foods, such as sweets and soft drinks, while improving your physical performance in the medium term, and finally, in the long term, you can establish improvements in your general physical health.
To change your lifestyle and eating habits, you need to consider all the factors necessary for this, such as specific tastes, food intolerances. Instead of processed foods, you can choose natural foods.
Changing habits and routines are not immediate, therefore, they are goals that require dedication and patience.
The time to achieve these types of objectives will depend on your dedication and effort, which delays the adaptation time and the fulfillment of the new feeding plan, however, following a structured plan, the objectives can be achieved in the estimated time. (3)
- Improve your physical condition for a bodybuilding competition
Sports competitions require a lot of dedication and discipline, the development of goals is ideal to develop an effective plan.
Winning this type of competition is the goal, however, this is not just up to you, and your biggest reward is all the experience learned along the way.
To start a body modification, it is necessary to establish deadlines and stages, in this case, an evaluation of your body composition is necessary to adapt your physical form, and determine if it is necessary to lose or gain weight (changes in body composition)
The action plan is based on a diet specifically adapted to the needs of each stage and your nutritional requirements. Any change in the short term will only be necessary to achieve this goal, therefore all necessary measures can be taken to achieve that specific objective.
This type of training plans and diet in the medium and long term, therefore, the date of the competition must be reasonable.
As it is a project that requires long hours of training and very good food planning, it must be carried out with reasonable time available with professional help, considering that it is a constant activity.