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Motivational tip one: Break your goals down

posted on Monday, 7th February 2011 | find under Fitness
Hey Betties!

Don’t know about you but I can’t believe we’re in February already?! On the plus side, I’ve lost a total of 9lbs since setting my New Year’s resolution so I’m on track with my goal and feeling great (apart from also feeling a bit sore from 30-minutes of foam rolling today plus cardio).

Following on from my last post about setting SMART goals (read here if you missed it), I thought I’d start sharing some of my favourite motivational tips over the next few weeks for keeping the focus and momentum going.

Feel free to share your own tips in the comments section below!

1) Break it down!

‘Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs’,  said Henry Ford of making cars and building up his industrial empire - and this simple saying can be applied to any task, job or goal you have in your life, whether it’s losing weight, training for a race, cleaning the house, getting out of debt or finding a new job. It’s a great little mantra to keep in mind when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the challenges life can throw at you ;)
Anyway, let’s take my goal of losing one stone in 10 weeks as an example of how to break down goals. One stone always sounds like a big amount to lose in a short amount of time, but it is totally achievable - providing you have it to lose in the first place.
Firstly, to make my goal seem more achievable, I broke the 14lbs down into realistic, more manageable chunks. So for January, I aimed to lose 2lbs each week for the first four weeks. I then predicted that my weight-loss could probably slow down after the initial burst, so for February, I’ve planned to lose 1lb of weight each week, and will continue this way until I reach my target (which I should reach in early March).
Each week, I have focused purely on losing the one or two pounds I’ve needed to lose rather than think about the bigger picture…and so far it’s really paying off. This method has also helped me to stay on track, i.e. one week in January, I didn’t lose anything at all, so I knew I had to look at my diet and workouts and make some adjustments to rev things up a bit and get me back on track.
All of the above applies to any other fitness goals (building strength, dropping a dress size, increasing flexibility or lung capacity), as long your goal is measurable, i.e. you can regularly measure your progress to see the improvements. If you’re entering a race, simply look at how long you can run (or walk!) right now, then look to increase this distance by a few minutes each week and calculate how long it will take you to build up to your race distance, or find a running plan to follow which will guide you steadily as you work on your goal.
I absolutely promise that breaking down goals into smaller sections can help you stay on track. Even if you have a bad training week or go on holiday, it won’t take much to get you back to where you need to be, and your goal won’t seem as half as intimidating if you focus on lots of small goals rather than the ultimate prize.

And best of all, when you hit your smaller, weekly target, you get the best natural ‘high’ and the impetus to keep going for the next week!
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