Pursuing Goals Without Barriers

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow podcast we are talking about removing those barriers our minds create for us.  You might be familiar with the situation of really wanting to chase down a goal you’ve been thinking about for some time now, but your mind starts getting in your way.  I hope to offer you encouragement and inspiration to break down these barriers and take action today.

How often do we want to pursue something yet allow our minds to set up barriers or conditions?  And, how often do we use this as an excuse for not moving forward?

If this doesn’t make much sense, stick with me.  I will explain what I am getting at here.

It is quite normal to get hyped up about setting goals at this time of year.  And to be honest, this week’s podcasts have a lot to do with goals.  Episode 39 was all about the first steps in creating your life vision which means gaining clarity about the areas or pillars that make up your foundation.  Under each pillar you will need to establish goals as benchmarks to determine whether you’re on the right track toward your ideal life vision or not.

In episode 40 I talked about the arguments for and against sharing your goals with others.  I think I presented a fairly strong case for one side of the argument.  Be sure to go back and have a listen if you haven’t already. 

So, a bit of theme has been set for this week. Not surprising because most emails, social media posts and short segments of our daily news broadcasts are talking about goals.  You can hear everything from: types of goals to set, how to lay out your goal plan, the concept of SMART goals (in case you haven’t heard this acronym before -> S means specific, M means measurable, A means achievable, R stands for relevant and T stands for the time frame or time period in which you will reach this goal).

Truth be told, we are completely inundated by this topic.  So, it’s no wonder this theme is front and center in my mind. 

When I speak to people about their goals, in particular their fitness goals, I often here these phrases:

·         Well, I would like to get fit, but I don’t know where to start.
·         Sure, I want to lose weight, but I haven’t found the right diet for me.
·         I want to begin strength training, but I know nothing about it.

Many people put up barriers in their minds before they even give themselves a chance to take the first initial steps toward their goals. 

They feel defeated before even starting.

In a way, they have validated to themselves that this idea or goal is doomed to fail.

Does this resonate with you?

This is by no means helpful thinking, and if you want to achieve anything in life, you’re going to have to change your outlook now.

I guess, in a sense, by saying things like this, you are waiting for someone to swoop in and solve your problems of ‘not knowing’.

Believe me, I have been there.  Many years ago, you could catch me saying things like this too.  Mine went something like this…

·         I really want to write a book, but I just don’t know where to start.
·         I want to improve my level of fitness, but I don’t have the time.

Have you ever said something along these lines to yourself?

“I want to do X, but I need Y.”

If so, you’re either postponing your goal or trying to find a reason to NOT pursue it or you’re self-sabotaging yourself right from the word go.

Referring back to my original question:

How often do you pursue (or want to pursue) something but there is something ‘standing’ in your way?

·         I want to write a book, but I need a degree in creative writing.
·         I want to learn Spanish, but I need…
·         I want to start working out, but I need…
·         I want to make more money, but I need…
·         I want to teach yoga, but I need to be certified.

These are just some examples that came to mind, but you get the idea.  The goal is the first part of the sentence and the means is the second part.

Can I share a secret with you?  These are merely excuses.  Unless you want to change professions or your desired goal is regulated, YOU REALLY DON’T NEED ANYTHING TO GO AFTER YOUR GOAL.

Too often we have certain conditions in our minds.  We conjure up reasons or obstacles that are holding us back.  We think we need to have certain credentials or things like time or money, otherwise, we simply can’t do the ‘thing’ we want.

When I started my first business in Austria straight out of university, I was 27.  I could tell that people in my environment didn’t take me entirely seriously.  They thought I was too young to open a private language school, I didn’t have enough experience, I didn’t know how to run a business profitably, and so on.

However, 15 years after embarking on that scary, but exhilarating entrepreneurial journey, I had built up a wildly successful private school for both children and adults, local companies and their teams, CEOS, business owners, hotel managers and their staff.

But, here’s the point.

If I had let myself be held back by the thought:

I want to start my own private school, but I need to be certified…

I would NEVER have taken the leap I did to open my school, run it the way I wanted to, scaled it each year and sold it for a fair profit before moving back to Canada.

Did I have training as a business owner?  Did I study marketing?  Did I have a title in front of my name?

No. No. and No.

I simply had a dream which morphed into an audacious goal.  Did I have to conquer fear? Absolutely.  But my resolve to be successful outweighed my fear of failing.

I applied myself.  I focused on what I wanted to accomplish.  I went after my goal so fiercely that failure really wasn’t an option.  I preserved through good and also bad times.  I made mistakes but I learned from them. 

What’s your end goal?

I want you to think about the things YOU want to achieve.  What’s holding you back?  And after today’s talk, I hope you say -> nothing really. 

Get over your excuses.

Get over those lingering thoughts that are holding you back.

Become curious about the HOW.  How can you make it happen? And find a way.

Become extremely focused and unwavering in your will to succeed.

Take the first steps.  Try those on for size.  Then take the next step.  Feel good about yourself for each and every step.

Give yourself permission to succeed.

The key is… you want to make it so easy for yourself to do that ‘thing’ that you will actually do it.

When you think “I need (blank) to do (blank)” you create friction, and your mind sets conditions about what is standing between YOU and YOUR GOAL.

My goal and work revolve around helping people become less rigid in their thinking patterns.  What matters is that you think things through, all the way to the end and reverse engineer how you will get to your end goal.

Remember that we can never get back time spent.  We have to make the days count and ensure every significant endeavor we start is worth it.

You don’t have to feel ‘ready’ or ‘worthy’ to start on a new goal adventure.

You are good enough to start.  You are good enough no matter what.  Never forget that!

We can’t always be sure that the goals we pursue will work out.  I hope most of them do.  But, in reality, I reach about 80% of my goals and I am happy with that.

Just know…you do not need any validation before you start.  Ditch the excuses that are getting in your way.  Take one step at a time toward your goal and be pleased with yourself for doing so.
My only hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be daily journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

So, in case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…
You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that and I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

Thanks for listening and I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Lisa  xoxo

Should You Share Your Goals With Others?

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow podcast we are looking at both sides of the argument whether it is a good idea to share your goals with others or keep them to yourself. I will present points for both sides, however, you’ll soon find out which side I favour.

Since this is the time of the year when most people look forward to a fresh start into the new year, a clean slate to fill with all the goals and things they would like to achieve, I thought it would be helpful to discuss the pros and cons of this hot topic.

I just want to say that the case for one side of the argument is far stronger, in my opinion, than in support of the other and you’re about to hear why.

So, there are two very distinct sides of this argument:  Should you openly share your goals with others?

On the one hand, you have the group that says, “Yes, of course share your goals.”  And, they are of the opinion that by sharing your goals, you hold yourself accountable.

But, on the other hand, you have the opposing group that says, “No, just don’t share them.” They are the ones who prefer to work in silence and let their success make all the noise.

For me, there is only ONE advantage to sharing your goals with anyone, and that is to have accountability.  Some people feel that by sharing your goals, whether big or small ones, your overall involvement in the goal becomes higher and with that, the likelihood of success increases.

Those who argue this accountability point think that friends or family who know about your goals will help to keep you on track by eventually ‘calling you out’ on things if you should get off track. 

But here’s what I struggle with – nobody likes to be publicly shamed for having a donut or a muffin at a family get-together if your goal is to lose weight, for example.  It’s embarrassing to say the least.

Therefore, if you do choose to share your weight lose goal or ANY goal for that matter with someone, make sure it’s the right person.  I would be open with them about how they should hold you to your word.  This person should also be someone you hold in high regard or look up to.  Maybe this person has even gone through what you are trying to achieve, so they could take on a mentoring role for you.

I will give you an example that recently happened to me. 

My husband and I met with another couple who we knew from our local gym.  We were laughing and talking about our efforts to keep fit and I mentioned that I would be doing a triathlon next summer.  I declared it as a goal which I had set for myself.  Normally, I only discuss my wild and crazy goals with my husband, so this kind of surprised me once I had said it.

Instantly, my new friend, Victoria, said she wanted to get involved and do it with me.  But, she said that swimming just wasn’t her thing.  I was excited that she had shown so much enthusiasm and I thought it would be so much fun to do it together with a like-minded person.  We decided to make it a water, road, trail triathlon meaning the first stretch would be done in a kayak, then we would bike a certain distance and the last leg would be on a hiking path.

At the gym the other week, Victoria mentioned that she had been thinking about our plan and she wanted to know when we would start training for it.  I was delighted to think she was as keen on completing this as I was.  So, this goes to show that by sharing your goals with the right people, you will gain the proper support and accountability.

For many of us, a spouse or significant other are the most obvious choices.  But that’s not to say that other people can’t work well as accountability partners too.
Find the right person.  Set up parameters around how they can/should help to keep you on track. And, go after that goal.

But, here’s the flip side of the questions, “Should we share our goals with others?” and the arguments against doing this.

First of all, people can be very judgemental when it comes to your goals. They may not react the way you expect them to and your self-esteem may take a hit.
In the past, I’ve even had people try to talk me out of going after what I wanted to achieve.  That’s probably the point at which I stopped sharing my goals.

And, I have to make it clear that when people judge you, it has more to do with how they feel about themselves than how they feel about you.
When people judge others, they are defining themselves; they are not defining you.

Goal setting is best done in solitude, at least at the beginning.  Actualizing your goal and the things you want to achieve will be easier if you go it alone but after you gain some momentum and confidence in what you are going after, then it is ‘safer’ to talk about your goals with others.  There is less likelihood of you getting off track or throwing in the towel.

And, there’s another really compelling reason NOT to tell others what you want to achieve…

By communicating your goal to others, this tricks your brain into thinking you’ve already achieved it.  You are less likely then to put in the necessary work.  By telling others, it creates a premature sense of completion because you experience a sense of pride in sharing, however that pride will not motivate you at all or create any sort of forward momentum.

Instead, my tip would be to strive to impress YOURSELF first and your results will improve by leaps and bounds.  It’s not important what other people think of you, but it is very important what you think about yourself and how you are showing up for yourself.

Try to impress yourself first and foremost to gain confidence and momentum in moving forward toward your goals.

The other thing that can happen when we openly declare our goals to others is that the admiration we get from them gives us a dopamine rush.  Quite often, you get congratulated on your goals without having achieved them yet. This might feel great at the time but the less likely we will be in executing on the necessary actions to reach our future goals. 

Instead, my tip would be to share only the small wins along your path rather than the big picture.  Allow friends and family to celebrate your small successes and who knows, you might find just the right supporter or accountability partner to reach the final destination with.

A further argument for not divulging your goals to others is that situations may change.  Your plans may change.  Resources may change.  So many things could happen.  If you have a big goal ahead of you, you really need to be flexible. By keeping it to yourself, you allow for more flexibility, and you can stay nimble riding the punches along the way.  Big, complex goals are best kept a secret.

Personally, I only tell my husband about my goals.  Depending on the scope of your goals, sometimes it is necessary to.

As always with things of this nature, there’s a caveat.  We are all individuals; we are all different in so many ways.  If you already have a good system in place that is working for you, great, stick with it.  But, otherwise, I hope some of the points and tips presented today were helpful.

One thing is perfectly clear, and we can definitely agree on this 100% – goals are achieved by sticking to a process consistently.  The biggest and juiciest tip would be to work out your process first, then tell your friends about it.  That will set you up for the most success and best chances of reaching your desired outcome or goal.

A few closing thoughts on goals…

You know, setting goals allows you to paint a vision of what you want your future to be.  And, here’s a different way to look at goals – consider your goals to be visions and dreams with work clothes on (quote by Dave Ramsey).  It makes so much sense because you will have to put in the work to achieve your goals which stem from the dreams you have for your life and the vision you have created (yesterday’s episode on Creating Your Life Vision Episode 39).

And, do you remember the Episode 34 featured Robin Arzon – she said her goals and dreams for her life are so exciting and invigorating that they help her to hit the ground running early each morning providing her with energy, enthusiasm and purpose for the day ahead. 

I want that for you too!

“If you don’t get chills when you set your goals, you’re not setting big enough goals.” ~Bob Proctor

Set goals that are exciting and send chills up and down your spine, ones that energize you and fill you with anticipation as well as purpose each and every day.

My only hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

That’s my message for today, friends.

I would like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be daily journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that and I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,

Lisa  xoxo

P.S.  If you are interested in hearing more about going after your goals, becoming more consistent and confident in your efforts, here are 3 past episodes you might like to read here on the blog:

Episode #4 – “10 Ways to Stay Committed and Consistent”
Episode #9 – The Domino Effect
Episode #22 – 1% Improvement Mindset

How Strength Training Changed My Life

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2Grow I want to light a fire under you to begin an exercise routine that could possibly change your life completely – like it has for me.  It’s a bit of my personal story and a sprinkle of well-intended advice for women, like you and me, who want to be strong from the inside out.

Let me just start by saying, I am not a newbie to exercise and sports.  Luckily, in Canada, you are subjected to many different types of sports during your time at school.  My favourites were volleyball, badminton, track & field, sprinting the 100-m-race and soccer.  When I moved to Austria at the ripe young age of 19, I tried out for the United Nations Ladies Soccer team.  Skiing and hiking quickly became new favourites of mine because I fell in love with the picturesque, mountainous terrain. 

After studying at the University of Innsbruck, I met my husband, who was a veterinarian and enjoyed riding horses in his free time.  So, we took up competitive riding – Dieter was into jumping and eventing, my discipline was dressage. 

One thing that really influenced me and my fitness journey in Austria was when my husband explained to me the impact I was having on my horse’s back.  He said with every extra pound I was carrying, this weighed down tenfold on Tamburin’s back.  It wasn’t meant to be any kind of criticism about my weight at all, but he really made me think long and hard about it. 

There was no way I wanted to hurt Tambo’s back with all the intense training we had to do, so I signed up as a member at a local gym.  Not only did I start working out, but I also re-evaluated my eating habits.  Something had to change and so it did.  I began a gym strength training routine 5 – 6 days a week.  The joke at the gym was, “Send Lisa home if she shows up on the 7th day in a row.”  I was fanatic about my training, but the owners tried to convince me taking at least one day off was necessary. 

I can’t even tell you how much I loved it.  It made me come alive even on days when I had to drag my body into the facility and just didn’t feel like it.  Within minutes your body comes alive, and the adrenaline starts pumping more and more, pushing you harder and harder.  It took some weeks, but I began to feel and notice how toned I felt.  People started noticing and commenting too on the progress I was making.

I felt strong.  I felt capable.  I felt like an athlete.  I felt better on my horse too.

Over the course of about 4 – 5 years I trained consistently at the gym and rode my horse 5 – 6 times a week as well.  I lost a total of 18 kilos and I was easily able to keep them off with this type of exercise routine.  People don’t even realize how toning and physically demanding dressage riding is.  To make it look easy and effortless, you, as the rider, are flexing a lot of muscles just the right way sending the most subtle signals to your horse about which way to move, whether to speed up or slow down, whether to switch gears from walk to trot to canter, whether to ‘dance’ on the spot. 

In 2009, my husband accompanied Tamburin on a flight from Germany to Toronto and I travelled with our Jack Russel Terrier, Franzi, to our new home in Ontario, Canada.  I rode competitively for another 2 years and continued my workouts at a gym near his stable.

However, things started to quickly fall apart after I had a rather serious car accident on my way to the stable.  It took me out of commission for some time.  But while I was recovering, my business was taking off.  Unfortunately, through all of this exercise took a back seat in my life, it just wasn’t a priority as it should have been. 

Sure, I did a bit of yoga here and there, went on walks with my dog, took longer hikes at the cottage only on weekends, but nothing consistently.

The odd time I would become motivated by something I saw on social media or by someone and sign up for an event I had to train for.  I participated in a female-only triathlon and a relay triathlon with my husband.  Sprinkle in a few bike races, but that was the extent of it.

Over the span of 10 years – between the ages of 47 – 57, I let my level of fitness slide into a deep abyss.  I was sitting for long hours in my office. Like the vicious cycle we tend to fall into – emotional eating packed on the kilos.  Overindulgence in snack foods while recuperating after a long day at work in front of the TV was happening far too often.  I say vicious cycle, because once you find yourself in it, it is sometimes very difficult to help yourself out of it. Of course, small attempts were made but not much headway was made.

At the age of 50, I received shocking news.  My pain and lack of stability in my left leg meant I needed a hip replacement.  This news hit me over the head like a brick.  At first, I thought my doctor wasn’t really listening to my symptoms.  I didn’t believe him.  I told him that I would explain how I was feeling again so he could get a better picture of the situation.  He just smiled and told me I had to accept it.  But he also added that they would not consider operating on my hip until I had reached the age of 60.

I like to think I did a lot of help myself from that point on.  After some research, I changed all the footwear to comfy, supportive sports shoes.  No more flats, high heels or loafers for me.  I changed my diet and started to explore recipes of a vegetarian nature.  I was trying to cut back on processed and junk food while introducing anti-inflammatory foods into my diet.  Basically, I tried a lot of different things to reduce the pain and reduce my weight.  Because there is something doctors will not tell you in situations like this – one of the best things you can do for your limbs is to lose excess weight! 

But there was one thing I wasn’t doing that, in hindsight, would have helped immensely.  I should have been strengthening the muscles surrounding my hip to provide more stability.  I completely dropped the ball on this. 

At this point in today’s show, you’re probably saying – where is this going, why are you telling us all about your bad hip? 
Because this brings me to a very important message that I want all women to know…

Don’t be afraid of strength training.  It is the single most important activity you can do for your body and mind apart from eating healthy and drinking lots of water.
I can’t emphasize how important it is, especially for women, to lift some weights and pump some iron.

Strength training helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.  There are tons of research online about losing bone density as we age – in particular in women. 
Strength training is the key to a strong body inside and out.  It increases your self-esteem and confidence.
Strength training will change your life for good.  Not only from a physical point of view but also in creating healthy habits and routines in your daily life.
Strength training will reduce your risk of injuries.
Strength training will help build lean muscle, so you looked toned from head to toe.
Strength training will help relieve stress and give your mood a real boost.

I could go on and on about the benefits, but I will only add in a few more that I have personally experienced:

-> My sleep has greatly improved.
-> I have strengthened muscles surrounding my problem areas, so I don’t need all the prescribed pain meds my doctors seem to think I should take.
-> My body has tightened and toned up so much.  My clothes fit so much better.  A huge win – win.  In fact, I can fit back into clothes that I wore in my thirties and forties.  I know many fitness experts advise NOT to keep clothing items in your closet that no longer fit you, but for me, it is a true sign of progress.  The number of the scale is one marker, but being able to rock the outfits from two decades ago – that’s a feeling of awesomeness I can’t even describe.
-> My joints feel great.
-> I have postponed surgery indefinitely because I am feeling so awesome.
-> Most importantly, I feel like I am taking charge of my situation and showing up for myself with every workout I do.
-> The mirror is my friend now because it shows me the progress I am making.
-> During a recent vacation, I allowed myself to indulge a bit more than usual.  So, upon returning I was pleasantly surprised that I hadn’t gained much, and it took 1 – 2 days to be back to my weight number again.  Why?  Because muscle burns more calories than fat.  So, while I wasn’t following my normal exercise routine, my muscles were still working very much in my favour by burning those extra calories I was consuming.

Have I convinced you yet that strength training has to become a priority in your life?  Dieting will not get you a toned body nor will it reduce the risk of injury.
Cardio training is great and better than nothing of course, but the real gold is in strength training.

If you don’t believe me, there is more than enough information on the internet to support my claim here.  Look into it yourself.

Your body will transform, not overnight, but if you are committed to a regular routine and stick with it, changes will gradually appear – both to you and to others.

You will notice huge increases in strength as well as endurance and you can expect to have more energy.  Who doesn’t want more energy, right?

If there was ever a time to start, it’s now.

You are never too old. 
You can do it from the comfort of your own home. 
There is only minimal equipment required.
You can begin with short sessions and work up to longer ones.

Many women don’t know exactly where to start and don’t feel comfortable going to the gym.  So, I am going to make it super simple for all of you.  All I want is for you to take charge of your health and make it a priority as of today.  You owe it to yourself!

One thing I will say here, if you have any medical conditions or issues, you might want the green light from your doctor first.  Everyone has different needs, so it is best to check with a physio therapist or medical professional before jumping headfirst into a strength training routine.

I truly hope this is you when I quote Michael Jordan, who said…

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen.  Others make it happen.” ~Michael Jordan

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are beautiful and amazing.  Your potential is limitless, really.  Now, go out and show the world what you are made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time.
Xoxo Lisa

Start Experiencing the Domino Effect in Your Life

LISTEN TO PODCAST EPISODE HERE -> https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/ETejvfVWtwb

A new month has just started, and we are approx. 50 some odd days away from a brand new year.  Now, most people wait for the dawn of a new year to set resolutions and goals which they would like to achieve. People tend to get caught up in the hype around “New Year, New You” pledging to replace old habits with better ones.
And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. 

However, I would like to encourage you to start now, start messy and get the ball rolling toward positive change that you’d like to see in your life.  There’s nothing like having momentum on your side before heading into the holiday season.

There will never be the “right” time when all the stars align for you and your dreams.  You really have to put one foot in front of other, take one day at a time, keep one small promise you make to yourself each day in order to feel the momentum building, and with that comes self-esteem and confidence as an added bonus.

Today, I want to talk about how chasing down one goal will result in a ripple effect or ‘domino effect’ affecting other areas of your life and I will tell you about a real-life example which has had an immense impact on my life.

From our childhood, you might remember those small, rectangular black tiles divided in the middle with white dots in each half. Most of the time, we played a game in which we laid them on the floor and had to match them up end to end forming a long line of tiles.

Sometimes we set them up on their ends spaced a certain distance apart. If done right, once the first one was pushed the rest of the tiles would fall down activating the next one in a kind of chain reaction.  This was called the ‘domino effect’.

Can you picture how activating one tile would cause the others to fall one after the other?

Now, imagine how pursuing one goal of yours could have spin-off effects in other areas of your life? 

Before I jump straight into the example, I feel that setting the stage for goal setting is necessary. While this episode is not about how to set goals, it is closely related to the process of going after a goal.

So, let me start with an analogy that most of us can relate to.

When we first start out with goal setting

I like to tell my clients that setting their goal is the very first step, then mapping out the plan on how to achieve it with specific markers or points along the way indicating they are still on track.  So, essentially, we reverse engineer the road to achievement.  Isn’t this a lot like using your car’s GPS to reach your destination?

Prior to embarking on a road trip, we are all familiar with getting out our smart phones and typing in the name of the end destination.  Now, we also know there may be some detours along the way due to roadblocks, traffic issues, some side trips will come up and we may even get lost, which can be aggravating but not the end of the world.

It’s all in the planning

Taking a road trip will involve some planning in terms of how far your destination is, how fast you’ll drive, where and when you’ll need to make a pit stop, what you’ll need to pack, your car may need to be checked out to ensure everything is in good working order, and you’ll also need important things like snacks and money for the trip.  Your plan is the map of how to reach your end destination and each way point or marker you hit, gets you one step closer to your goal.

Goal setting 101

The first rule in setting goals of any kind is they should be small and specific, bite-sized and doable.  Next, your goals should be measurable and achievable, something small you can do every day for a week or a month.  This allows you to establish consistency and builds a habit which turns into momentum.
Having momentum on your side, you feel accomplished and are more motivated to keep going. You might even accelerate as you come closer to your destination.  It’s like a set of dominoes.

If you intentionally set the path you want to follow each step of the way, it only takes ONE SMALL PUSH to create a chain reaction. 

Goal achievement is not one dimensional

Just like your path to success will not be linear, goal setting is not one dimensional.  That chain reaction is a ripple effect with positive side effects as well as numerous benefits. 

What do I mean by this?

A few months ago, I started swimming for fitness and health reasons.  There is no doubt that swimming offers immense benefits when it comes to fitness: it has increased my heart rate making my heart and lungs stronger, toned muscles, built strength and endurance, etc.  And the biggest advantage of swimming is you get a lot of ‘bang for your buck’ in terms of burned calories.  This activity torches as many as when running.  As a certified personal trainer and sports enthusiast, I was fully aware of all these perks.  What I didn’t know was that swimming would have so many spin-off benefits as well.

When I started visiting the local pool on a regular basis, I could barely swim the front crawl for a distance of 25 meters.  I could move about in the water doing my own version of three different strokes, none of which looked very elegant for onlookers.  But I was determined to learn and perfect the front crawl, the stroke all distance swimmers use to glide through the water making it look effortless.

I also kept telling myself if the other ladies, some of whom were 15 to 20 years my senior, were able to cut through the water with finesse, I could do it too.

I set the bar low to begin with and tried to improve by 1% each time I was in the water moving my arms and legs over the stretch of 25 meters in my lane. I knew that if I could improve a little bit each time, I would reach my goal of being able to swim 1000 meters doing the front crawl with a certain elan and athletic smoothness that I see other swimmers have.

Four months later, I have achieved my goal of being able to swim the 1000 meter distance in one go.

And, the positive side effects have been so amazing – both for my mind and body.  This is what I call the chain reaction or domino effect:

My original goal was to improve my overall fitness and be able to swim the distance of 1000 meters, but I reaped so many additional benefits on this journey, for example:

1. My overall mobility has improved, which means less pain in my hips and back when walking and sleeping.
2.My entire body feels more toned and stronger.
3.I have been able to significantly reduce the pain medication.
4. My sleep has radically improved each night. 
5.  My mood has improved, and I look forward to each swim session with excited anticipation about how I will challenge myself each new swim.
6. I feel extremely proud of my consistency and continuity in chasing this goal. 
7.I am very proud of my body for responding well to the new training it has to undergo. 

And, the list goes on. 

Of course, this is my story and my fitness journey.  But this is a real example of how starting where you are with a goal in mind, staying consistent, taking joy in the small wins along the way, attempting to improve by 1 % each time, following a plan all contribute to the success and ultimate achievement of the goal.  And, once this goal of mine has been achieved, I already know what my next one will be. 

The key is to start small and be consistent. Whether you are crushing small goals every day or chasing much bigger ones, the power is in the planning.  Be sure to take one little action every day to keep your momentum going and GO AFTER THE GOAL!

So, whenever you feel stuck or frustrated, remember that when it comes to achieving your goals, whether fitness-related or not, the benefits are never singular. Think of – the ripple or domino effect. Whatever you are doing will reap surprise and unexpected rewards.  So go for your goals, and when you do, remember there are a whole slew of new ones lining up right behind them.

Just in case you haven’t heard this yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You’ve got this and I believe in you. You have the ability to uplevel your life.   Now, go out and show the world what you are made of, goal getters.

That’s all for today’s dose of motivation.  I hope to have inspired you to grow.

With love,