Something that I've learned over the past few days is that it's important to set goals. I know. I probably should have figured this out a long time ago. I guess I'm slow! :) I've never been one to set goals...properly. I'm pretty good at setting unrealistic, unattainable, unspecific goals. Most of them were long-term goals without short-term ones to help me reach them.
As I continue on my journey to be healthier and shed some pounds, I really need goals, short-term and long-term. These goals will give me something to work toward instead of just a distant goal weight in the future. Still not sure what that is yet. Some of my goals will be tailored to do just that, help me reach a goal weight. Others will be to help me continue on in my healthy lifestyle. Others won't pertain to this journey in particular, but other areas of my life.
So, I've been mulling over what it is that I want to accomplish in all areas of my life. I'm not done. And I'm sure I won't ever be. Things in our lives are constantly changing and evolving. We have to adapt.
It's important to not just set goals but to also give yourself a realistic time limit in which to reach that goal. And if you don't meet the goal at the appointed time, don't give up, don't be discouraged. Re-evaluate. Figure out why it didn't happen. What changes should you make?
It's the same way with cooking and recipes. Sometimes, you can follow a recipe exactly but not get the same result as someone else did. Or, your tastes may be different, just like our bodies and lives are different, so you tweak or adjust the recipe to your liking, to make it work for you. As you get more comfortable with cooking and learn new techniques, expand your palate, get more creative and adventurous, what you're able to accomplish in the kitchen grows. You're repertoire of dishes grows. You're food tastes better. You become more confident. You are more willing to try new things. The same is true with goal setting. Once you get comfortable with setting goals and doing whatever it takes to reach that goal, the more you can work on yourself. And if you've ever tried to lose weight in any capacity, you know that you can't do it the same way all the time, because eventually you'll plateau, get discouraged, and head in the opposite direction. So, you have to change it up. Be flexible. Instead of being discouraged, take it as a challenge. And if you're like me, you like a good challenge. I'm very competitive!
So now that I've waxed philosophical about goals and doing whatever it takes, I sound like I have it figured out...I DON'T! I've just begun to set goals for myself. But for the first time, I feel like I understand better what it's going to take to be healthier and lose weight. In the past, I've struggled with the instant gratification problem. If I didn't see results immediately, it wasn't working, so why give up fast food, chicken fingers, and chimichangas. But just because you can't see something changing immediately, doesn't mean it isn't changing. I had to get my head around my problem and what was going on in my life that caused me to gain all the weight, to be complacent, defeated. In short (maybe a longer post later), I'm a food ADDICT! I didn't figure this out until recently. I don't just love food, I'm addicted to it. I crave it. If I kept an account of everywhere I spent my money over the last year, you would find that most of it was for food. Five dollars in my pocket meant I could have a double cheeseburger, large fry, and diet coke from McDonald's. More about this later...back to the original post...GOALS.
Here are a few of my immediate goals to begin working towards:
1. Drink more water, at least 64 oz a day.
2. Exercise 3-5 times a week.
3. Complete C25K training in the next 8 weeks (week 1 will be finished tomorrow. It's a 9 week program).
4. Go to bed earlier and get more sleep.
5. Eat more fruits and veggies.
These are my top five for now. I've heard it takes 28 days to create a habit. So, that's my time frame for all but the C25K since it already has it's own time frame.
I joined SparkPeople yesterday. I learned about it from Clara's blog. It's a free weight loss website that allows you to track your goals, nutrition, fitness, etc. You can also connect with others who are on the same journey as you, get recipes, and tips, and so forth. You can either put in a weight you want to be or a specific date and it calculates what date is realistic to reach your goal or what weight is realistic to reach by the specific date. I chose the date and let them choose the weight. So my first long-term goal is:
To lose 30 pounds by September 01, 2011. That will make a total of 40 pounds since March.
No matter what sort of journey you are on, set some goals, give yourself a time frame in which to reach the goal, make a plan, and get started!