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Real Life Wellness: Goals you can live with

By Bill Hemmer
This week’s article is near and dear to my heart…GOALS. My wife tells me I am a little obsessed about my goal setting. You see, I don’t have a problem timing myself cutting the grass so I can see if I beat last week’s time. Does anyone see a problem with that? But seriously, I have made goals a big part of my life ever sense I have been a little boy. There is huge power in setting goals but there can also be huge disappointments. This week I’m going to describe how to set up goals to drive you right where you want to go.

The first thing about goals is it’s only a goal if it can be measured. The statement, “I want to feel better” is not a goal. This is a want. There is nothing wrong with making that statement, but there is no way of measuring the effectiveness of your actions toward it. People talk to me about their wants all the time. When I ask them to put their wants into a specific goal, they get this funny look on their face. There is something about making a specific goal that automatically sets into action a process of reaching it. You don’t get the same effect if you just express a want. But as soon as you state your want into specific measurable terms, you set the action wheels into motion.

The second part of goal setting is the difference between a short term goal and a long term goal. You must have both in order to make goal setting work. Long term goals can be goals that are 1 year or longer. A goal like “I will be 20 pounds lighter by July of 2019 by eating less sugar and exercising 5 days a week” is an example of a long-term goal. Short term goals then break up the long term goal into smaller pieces. A short-term goal such as “I will walk 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week for 6 months” is a reasonable goal.

Speaking of reasonable goals, I am the king of biting off more than I can chew, so be sure you make your goals reasonable. Reasonable means you have at least a 50 percent chance of reaching your goal with a good solid effort. On the other hand, if you easily reach 100 percent of your goals while you are sitting on the couch, you are probably not pushing yourself enough. Just like everything else I have talked about, the key is balance. Balance in your life will help you achieve goals you would have never thought possible.

Another thing about goals you might not realize is you don’t really have to know how you will achieve them when you set it. I know this sounds weird, but I have seen it work over and over again. Set your long term goals in such a way it makes the pit of your stomach feel a little weird. If you do that, then you are probably pushing yourself enough. If you set a goal, and then immediately think, “There is no way I can do that” then you probably can’t and you need to reset that goal.

Next week, I will continue to talk about goals, but with a much different twist.  I’m going to talk about how your goals get incorporated into your time log and you begin to use your days more effectively to truly create a lifestyle you really want. Don’t miss it!

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