Setting goals for success

Preparation for new health challenges begins with a positive mindset and setting goals for success. Here’s how to get motivated and achieve the results you want

Setting goals for success

Source: Web exclusive: July 2010

Whenever you take on a new challenge or set a new goal for yourself, there are several factors that can help determine your success. Many of us believe it’s based on the degree of our willpower, yet anyone who has tried to stay on a diet for any length of time knows that willpower can fade.

Creating lasting and permanent change requires a deeper commitment and perseverance. Inspiration and motivation, rather than willpower, are the best way to ensure success. How do you ensure you stay inspired and motivated? First and foremost, choose the right goal, and second, begin with the right mindset.

Pick a target

When choosing your goal, focus on something you truly want rather than something you think you ‘should’ achieve. Whenever we lead with a ‘should’ mentality, it often represents things that others want for us, rather than what we want for ourselves. For example, we all now we ‘should’ be healthier, but for most people, being healthy is a concept that is too general to be truly motivating.

Instead, think about what being healthy means to you. Your goal should be specific to you, for instance, ‘I want to look great at my sister’s wedding’ or ‘I want to go hiking with my children.’ Setting a goal like this gives you something specific to look forward to that is personal, meaningful and motivating.

Evaluate what you need

Your goal should also reflect your priorities in the current moment. Use the ‘Life Wheel’ exercise to determine what to focus on, particularly when you are looking at your whole life. Draw a wheel and divide it into six sections ‘ Career, Relationships, Health/Body, Physical Environment, Money, Personal Growth/Fulfillment. For each area, rate your level of satisfaction on a scale of one to ten. Mark it with a dot and connect the dots. Your wheel should look a little lopsided. That’s normal; we are never in perfect balance at all times in our life.

Pick the area that you would most like to work on for the Challenge ‘ either the lowest score, the one that most surprised you, or the one you know you’ve been avoiding the most, which you know will lead to improvements in other areas of your life. Remember to create a goal in this area that is specific and motivating. Rather than saying, ‘I want to be happier or more fulfilled,’ look at what specifically in your life you would like to change.

Change your mind

Now for part two, your mindset. We’ve all heard that how we think has an impact on our results. While thinking alone won’t get you to success, it can set you up for success. You do this by paying attention to the dialogue in your head. Notice how you are approaching your goal and what you say to yourself. Have you tried to do this before and therefore are skeptical you will succeed this time? Are you truly invested in the results? Can you picture how you will feel when you’ve accomplished it? Take a moment to be conscious of your intention and attitude around your goal.

Create an intention for the next seven months to be committed to this process and to yourself. You must believe it is possible to achieve your goals and know that you deserve it.

Take the time to begin the Challenge from a positive mindset, commit to yourself and select a goal that inspires you. This will allow you to make the most of the next seven months and set you up for creating your best healthy life.

Victoria Joanna Bailey is a life coach and nutritionist, committed to helping people make lasting changes that lead them on the path to health, happiness and a fulfilling life.

Ready to reach your fitness goals? Dare yourself to make a change today by registering for the Vichy Best Health Challenge.