When it comes to Goal Setting, Seeing is Believing
Have you ever envisioned a goal for yourself and imagined in your mind’s eye the fulfillment of that dream? It is my belief that there is something to this. For the past couple of years, I have thought about the need to lose some weight but have been unsuccessful in accomplishing this goal on my own. Yet, there has been this image in my mind of defeating this weight issue and reaching the goal I have wanted to achieve.
A couple of years ago a friend of mind entered a weight loss program through her doctor’s office and was successful in losing about 40 pounds. I was so impressed with her effort and hard work, and I thought if she can do this, why can’t I? Still, this goal seemed to elude me as I never seemed to make it to, “OK, now I’m finally ready”.
We sometimes reach a point where we may find ourselves saying, “I’m tired of my back hurting” or “I’m tired of being tired all the time.” Maybe it is the aging process or the realization that no one else can do it for us. We must be responsible for our individual health. For myself, that time has come as I have decided I must focus on my well-being, healthier nutrition, and more consistent exercise. It’s time for some goal setting.
One of the most difficult aspects of working towards a goal is getting started. I have found out that goal setting is the key. Once a decision has been made, it’s a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, sometimes literally. For myself, this process, (and I must continuously remind myself it is a process) has involved medical supervision, a detailed plan with clear guidelines and instructions, and follow up with a nutritionist once a week or twice monthly. My goals have been set; the financial investment paid, (which for me, is an even bigger incentive), and the tools have been acquired.
Once I started my new weight loss plan, I had questions that needed answers and the nutritionist, Kristi, was there (through email) to respond to my questions and offer advice or suggestions. Her help was comforting as I have a tendency to do things on my own, and that might sabotage reaching my goals or deviate too far from the plan. I could be hurting rather than helping myself.
Achieving Mini Goals
In working toward my weight loss goals, it has been encouraging to look at mini goals along the way that may pave the way for success. While I had no expectations, I was happily surprised by my first mini goal accomplished – some actual weight taken off. After losing five pounds in the first two weeks, I felt a measure of success, but more important, was the realization that I could develop a new pattern of healthier eating. My success turned out to be less difficult than I had imagined, particularly when it came to eliminating certain foods that I thoroughly enjoy. (These eliminated foods included sweets, popcorn, potatoes, bread, and pasta.)
A weakness I have had for some time has been my consumption of sugar and sweets. I never realized how much healthier I would feel once I eliminated sugar from my diet. The change in how I felt occurred almost immediately when upon awakening after the first three days, I felt energetic, yet calm and healthy, a pureness inside my body. These new sensations were present consistently for the first three days of eliminating sugar from my diet. I was afraid that I would somehow go crazy craving the sweetness I frequently enjoyed, but now, could no longer have. Surprisingly, the elimination of sugar was significantly easier than I had imagined as my body did not seem to crave it.
In addition to changing my eating patterns over the past three weeks, I have also begun to exercise more consistently in ways that I do not dread. Walking has now become my favorite form of exercise, along with swimming and racquetball. I have decided that if I do not want to drive to the gym because of a lack of time, I can step outside my door and walk in my neighborhood. It is interesting that even my 13-year-old son is now on an exercise kick as he strives to strengthen his tactical soccer skills as well as improve his physical strength and stamina through regular jogging on the treadmill and lifting weights. We seem to be supporting each other in our consistent exercise regimens.
Today is the day for change
While your goals may not include weight loss, now may be a good time to consider making some changes of your own that could help you to become more efficient, organized, healthy, or focused in life. Think of some small change you might make today that will help get you a little closer to the ideal person you want to be or to the life you envision for yourself. Get started with some goal setting. Let today be the day!
Linda Mesing Cook, M.S.