#mamavation monday…err Tuesday – Setting Goals

Ok, so I played this weekend and now I’m a bit behind.  That’s not altogether fair – I feel like I lost an entire day last week and am still playing catch up.  Regardless, I felt compelled to write a post – even if it’s not Monday because lately, goals and setting goals are on my mind.  It’s true in weight loss of course, but it’s also true in life and it’s time for me to re-evaluate my goals and to figure out what exactly I want out of this life I’ve been given.

I’m not necessarily talking about a bucket list… although that is important too… I’m talking about not only what I want to achieve but how I’m going to get there.

That also got me thinking about effective goals vs ineffective goals… because yes, there is a difference…and while there are hundreds of sources for this information, I’m going to share it here with you as well… you know, just in case you haven’t heard this a million times.

So, how do you take a dream and turn it into a goal?  What steps do YOU take?

I’ve often heard that the difference between a goal and a dream is a plan… but I think it goes deeper than that…because you have to start with S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

Specific Goals

I often see people say things like I want to lose weight.  It’s a great goal but not very specific.  Other versions might include – “I want to workout more” and “I want to eat healthier” and … well, you get the idea.  By setting a specific goal – you already are 3 steps ahead on creating a plan.

Measurable Goals

Again, back to the “I want to lose weight” goal.  If you don’t have a way to measure your goals, how do you know when you have succeeded?  How can you quantify your progress?  If you don’t have a measurable goal in mind, you can quickly find yourself feeling as though you are failing – even when you are not.

Attainable Goals

We have to also make sure that we are being realistic.  It would be nice to say “I want to be a size 6 by Christmas” and I could set that as a goal…but it is completely unrealistic, so when I don’t hit the target, I set myself up for failure.  and then the cycle of giving up and giving in repeats itself.

Relevant Goals

In short – ask yourself “Is this worthwhile?”  If you are part of the Mamavation community, you may have heard a time or two that nothing easy is worth having (and if you haven’t heard that yet, wait around – it will come up again).  If you have a goal in mind, chances are you will have to work for it.  It won’t be fun all the time.  There will be days when you want to throw in the towel.  Again, “is this worthwhile?”  Is it worth your energy?  Do you have a compelling enough reason to keep pushing when you just want to give up?  Is your goal relevant?

Timing of Goals

Have a deadline.  I can’t speak for you, but I do some of my best work under pressure.  I’ve been known to knock out stellar term papers the night before they are due.  I’ve been know to clean my house 10X faster when I know company is coming over…20X faster if that “company” is my mother.  I thrive on a deadline because then I can’t procrastinate.  There is no more time to put things off.  I know I have to take action now.  So set a deadline on your goals (but again – refer to the Attainable goals section and make them realistic)

So now, let’s revisit the earlier goals I mentioned.

Instead of “I want to Lose weight”, perhaps a more effective goal is “I want to lose 15 lbs by Christmas by including 30 minutes of cardio activity 3x a week, strength circuits 3 times a week, and incorporating fresh veggies at every meal”  The goal is measurable, has a time constraint, is relevant, specific and attainable.  You may find that after time, your “plan” within your goal needs tweaking.  Maybe 30 minutes isn’t enough.  Maybe you are eating too many calories (although I’m not a calorie counter) and you have the freedom to re-adjust your goals.

So that’s where I am.  Re-evaluating my weight loss goals to kick my own butt back into gear as I allowed myself enough slack time and also re-evaluating some life goals.  I’m not sharing specifics here just yet but that may come in a future post.  Really, I just wanted to share where my head is.

I’m curious – are your goals already this specific in nature and I’m WAAAAYYYYY behind or is this an area you struggle with?  Do you have a process for setting goals or are your list of goals more like a wish list?

Also – if you aren’t aware what this whole “Mamavation” thing is… Mamavation is a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women.  If you are looking to live a healthier life, you owe it to yourself and your family to check the group out.




  1. I have a bad habit of setting generic goals – usually goals that just list what I want with a little “more” thrown in. IE- I want to drink “more” water. It’s what got me so far down at first – I didn’t have attainable goals to reach. Heck, I honestly can’t even call what I was attempting a goal.
    I’m working on it though, and somehow, I’m making progress!

  2. We are so on the same page right now. I did some re-evaluating yesterday and was actually asked (seriously, you have no idea how weird it is that people ask me to write about topics!) to write about goal setting. No matter your goals, I know you’ll be smart about them and I have every faith that you’ll reach them.

  3. Ah, very true …oh wise one! 😉

    That is why I enjoy the challenges on Mamavation … good, clear deadline, public forum so I can’t hide away and lots of support. What you left out was, what is YOUR goal dear?

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