As a personal trainer, I help motivate my clients to achieve their fitness goals. I'd like to share some common traits from clients who succeed by setting realistic goals, then taking steps to reach them.
Start with a Winning Attitude
If you feel trapped in an unbearable situation and want to change, realize you have the power to change. You make choices every day, and you can always make different choices. Believe in yourself and the power you have!
Set Specific Goals
To achieve your goal, first clearly define it. Your goal might be to "lose weight," but this is too general and needs to be refined into specific behavior changes that are necessary to lose weight. Examples of specific goals:
"I will eliminate 150 calories a day from my food intake for the next month."
"I will perform 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week for the next two months."
"I will pack a healthy lunch instead of eating fast food twice a week for the next three weeks."
Record Your Progress
Keeping a record of your eating, exercising, and behavior habits will allow you to periodically evaluate how well you are progressing toward your goals. This way, you can document your rate of change and add a sense of accomplishment.
Be Action Oriented
When you set goals, it's not enough to just think or talk about making changes. Achieving your goals involves action. Focus on specific steps that move you toward your goal. Don't waste energy just thinking about your goals any more!
If your goals aren't realistic, you'll set yourself up for failure. Long-term goals are achieved by reaching numerous short-term goals. You'll gain confidence as you take baby steps. Setting goals which require drastic reductions in food or increases in time exercising will ultimately result in failure.
Set a Time Frame
Setting a specific time frame can help motivate you and sets the stage for readjusting or setting new goals. A series of timed, short-term goals can serve as stepping stones to the long-term goal.