Friday, February 12, 2016

Why are Excuses so easy....

Why is it that when it comes to our own Health & Fitness we are able to find the most excuses to not follow through? 

Your tired... 
You've been running the kids around all day... 
Your husband/wife got home later....
etc... etc... etc...

As a whole we all have goals. We all want to accomplish things, and for those things that are "TRULY" important to us we will find the time.... Life is busy. I know it is. Especially when you have kids and they start to have lives of their own. From sporting events, classes, after school functions, doctors appointments and more I get it. Our lives are busy, busy, busy! 

But what about you? Why is it that your own goals get set to the side to accommodate all of those other things? I have kids of my own, and their needs typically supersede my own. At the drop of a hat I would do whatever it takes to keep them safe, and as happy as possible. Its pretty hard to fulfill the "happy" part all of the time, but within reason I try. But what about your own "happiness"? I don't mean the joy you find in taking care of your family. I'm talking about the "happiness" you find in investing in yourself and doing the things that matter to you outside of the love and time you give wholeheartedly to your family and your children. 

For some that could mean the freedom to sit down and read a good book with a glass of wine. For others that may mean getting caught up with your TV series you've been missing. And for others that could mean working out, and taking care of your body.

I'm a true believer that taking time for yourself, even in the smallest doses..., everyday can make all of the difference in maintaining your sanity and your health. Working out helps to relieve so much stress and anxiety that even your own doctor recommends and sometimes prescribes it. Are you willing though to make the time everyday to exercise? Its not only healthy meals that help to take care of you. Exercise is a VITAL part of maintaining a healthy body & mind. Whether you find that time at home, at a gym or with a group you should make it a priority. 1 hour of exercise is only 4% of your day, and after all, I know that each and every one of us will find the time to do the things that are truly important to us.

So what can we do... How can we set goals, and KEEP them? Here's a few things that I do...

1. Utilize the SMART Goal Approach
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit... Aristotle

SMART goals have been utilized for years, because they work. Make sure your goals are:

* Specific: 
a specific goal will usually answer the 5 W's (what, why, who, where and which). Writing specific objectives helps to pull out your goal(s) so that you can easily identify what you want to accomplish.

* Measurable:
If your goal isn't measurable, there will be no way to know if you're making progress. You need to address the question, "How will I know when this is accomplished?"

* Attainable:
your goal must be something that you can realistically attain. I mean I would love to be able to fly like Superman, or learn to fly like a bird, but if I go and jump off a cliff I know that gravity will tell me otherwise. However, jumping off that same cliff with a hang glider will let me experience that...

* Relevant:
If your goal doesn't mean anything to you, then it isn't worth pursuing. Tie your goals to your deeper values to give them more meaning. Make sure you are behind the goal 100% so that you stay motivated to achieve it.

* Time Bound:
you need to have a Deadline, otherwise its just a dream that never becomes a reality. Putting down a deadline makes you more committed to bringing it to fruition.

2. Write your Goals down and Display them!
"I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I write and I understand." - Chinese proverb

A large portion of your goal is already accomplished when you write it down. A study shows that among people who write down their goals with actionable commitments they put into weekly progress reports and shared with friends, 76% accomplished them. This is in comparison to a control group who were just asked to think about their goals. In this group, only 43% accomplished their objectives. Writing down your goals makes them real, they are tangible words on paper, not an ethereal dream in your mind.

3. Do your goals as early in the day as possible!
"The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years." - Thomas Jefferson

If you study successful people, you will find that most of they time they accomplish even more before the sun rises than most do with their entire day. Get your goals done 1st thing in the morning to feel like you've started your day right. That way, you will ALWAYS find the TIME to do them.

4. Make sure that your goals EXCITE you!!!
"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things..." - Albert Einstein 

Your goals need to be a source of joy in your life. They should be one of the main reasons you get out of bed in the morning. If your goals don't excite you, then you need to re-evaluate them.

5. Break BIG goals into SMALLER ones.
"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

It's the same for big goals! Break them into manageable weekly and daily actionable bites. If you don't, you can sometimes lose motivation if the goal seems far away or to big to accomplish.

Now by no means are these 5 Goal Keeping methods out there, but they are the 5 that I focus on 1st for me. Each of us needs to find those methods that work for us. Your success depends on it....