This month's article will focus on goal setting, and developing a specific daily plan of action to achieve your goal.
The first thing you need to do is determine your goal. Examples: "I want to lose 40 lbs." "I want to gain 25 lbs. and increase my muscularity." "I want to decrease my body fat percentage from 32% to 9%."
Create a deadline. This makes your goal more specific. Examples: "I want to lose 40 lbs. in 4 months." I want to decrease my body fat percentage from 32% to 9% in 6 months.
Make sure your goal is attainable and be realistic when defining your goal. For example, don't make your goal to lose 60 lbs in one month. Don't attempt the impossible.
Write down your goals. To accomplish any feat, you must have clear and concise written goals. Remember, the faintest ink is better than the best memory! Writing down your goals allow you to refer to them often, and serve as constant reminder of your top priorities. Keep your goals and written plan of action in a place you will see them several times, every day. This is a great tool to keep you focused and on track.
Make sure your goals are specific and measurable. In other words, don't make a general goal. Example: "I want to lose weight." You need to define how much weight, and in what timeframe. If you want to lose 40 lbs. in 4 months, a good goal would to be to lose 10 lbs. a month. Measuring your goals is extremely important because it let's you know if you are on track, or if you need to modify your plan of action. (diet and/or exercise program) You can measure weight loss or weight gain with a scale, and body fat percentage can be measured several different ways. This service is inexpensive and available at most health clubs.
Create a daily written plan of action. This is a breakdown, day-by-day, of everything you are going to do to lose 40 lbs., in 4 months. For every single day, plan and record in writing your exact diet and exercise program. The following is an example of the first 12 days of a 4 month program.
Goals: Lose 40 lbs. in 4 months/10 lbs. per month/9% bfp
Plan Of Action
Body Parts Trained
|Day 1||Chest, Shoulders, Triceps||C||D|
|Day 2||Back, Biceps, Forearms||C||D|
|Day 5||Chest, Shoulders, Triceps||C||D|
|Day 6||Back, Biceps, Forearms||C||D|
|Day 9||Chest, Shoulders, Triceps||C||D|
|Day 10||Back, Biceps, Forearms||C||D|
Key: C - Cardiovascular Exercise  D - Followed Diet
This is an example of an advanced program that consists of cardiovascular exercise everyday, and training abdominal muscles every other day. For weight training, it's a schedule of 3 days on/1 day off. The diet section is there to remind you to stick to your diet. If you like, you can also layout a day-by- day menu to keep you on track with your diet. During my transformation, I didn't map out a daily plan of action for my diet because I ate the same things everyday. (Boring, I know. You know what they say, "Simple minds . . . )
By laying out your plan of action in writing, it let's you know exactly what you need to do today to move one step closer to your goal. At the end of the day when you have stuck to your diet and done all of the exercise on your plan of action, take a pen or pencil and draw a line through that day and congratulate yourself for a job well done.
A good example of a goal followed by a precise written plan of action is buying a new home. Your goal is to purchase and own a home. Your plan of action is developed for you absolutely free of charge by the bank who is holding your mortgage. Every month, you make a mortgage payment which brings you one step closer to your ultimate goal, owning a home. Here's some good news, unless you are really out of shape, it won't take you 30 years to achieve your goal.
It is a rare occasion that someone achieves a goal without a written plan of action, and it is seldom that someone fails to achieve a goal if they have a written plan. Write down your personal goals and develop a plan of action to achieve them today. By the way, these techniques can be utilized to achieve any goal, not just weight loss or getting in shape.
Dr. Osgoodby was a finalist in the "EAS Body for Life" Contest.
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