The Andy Files – Getting Started/Goals

I recently (a while ago now) shared my blog with my brother and he set me the challenge of how I can to help him with simple fitness and eating habits with the aim of losing one stone.

If you have missed the previous post of The Andy Files you can find it here.

Andy was a very good athlete in his younger years and now has 2 children, works long hours and a long commute. He leaves the house at 5.30am and is not home till 7.00pm. He sees the kids, has some food and then has to go to bed. Finding time is a big issue.

I could jump in and say do this, eat this. But we need to step back, think and plan.

Setting Goals

Goal Setting

It’s all a little corporate, but setting goals is important. You need to know where you are going. If you don’t know where you are going, you will get lost. You don’t get into a car without a destination in mind, and you also don’t try and get to that destination without the help of a map.

When setting a goal you also need a “Why”. I have asked Andy why he wants to do this and he said it is to lose weight and generally healthier and the kids are getting older and he wants to keep up. The “Why” is a reminder of why you are doing this.

The goal also needs to be SMART. I know that a lot of people’s minds are flash to thoughts of their work development review, but when you really want to do something, SMART goals work.

Specific

Vague and general goals are no good. I want to lose weight is not a good goal. It does not tell you your destination.

Andy Stevenson will lose one stone (6.4kg) in weight by improving his diet and taking more exercise. He will start on Monday 10th October and finish 3 months later.

Measurable

This part of the goal is needed to measure progress. If the goal is not measurable you do not know if you are moving towards successful completion. It also allows the goal to be reviewed.

Andy Stevenson will lose 2 kg (4.4 pounds) in weight a month that will be measured by monthly weight ins on the 1st of the month.

Attainable

The goals you set need to be possible. It is good to stretch yourself, but a goal that is too extreme will only lead to demotivation. I think Andy’s goal is attainable. When I lost weight I did it at a similarly slow rate and accomplished it by eating healthier food, exercising and making small changes. Andy has time constraints, but I think it is still realistic.

Relevant

The goal must be important and relevant to you. If I had a goal of eating at all the local takeaways within a 3-mile radius of my house by the end of the month, that goal would be specific, measurable, attainable (maybe) and time bound. But it is not relevant to a healthy lifestyle.

Andy’s goal is worthwhile and it is a good time to do it. He is over 40 and overweight. He has 2 active kids and he needs to keep up with them.

Time bound

Goals without a time frame or target date are of little worth. A deadline focuses efforts on the goal.

Andy Stevenson will lose one stone (6.4kg) in weight in 3 months. The finish date is 18/12/16.

Getting Started

I wrote a post called “How do I start”. This included making the decision to start and then to write it down. This helps you commit. When you do write a goal down use the term “will”. Do not use “try” or “may”. Be decisive. Use a strong word!

Written Goal

You should also selectively share your goal and what you are doing with others. The selective bit means people who are going to support you.

My post also included that there is no magic formula! You just have to start! If there is something you really want to do, you have to just go and do it! Not starting leads to you doing nothing. You will be a year older and you will weigh the same (or more). By starting, you never know what will happen, what doors will open, what paths you might find.

Andy response to my intention to document his weight loss was “It will inspire me……you know I like a challenge. I guess there is no good time to start so I suggest we just get on with it!”

I think Wayne Gretzky, legendary ice hockey player put it well:

“You miss a 100% of the shots you don’t take”

If you don’t try, you will never get anywhere.

Yes, you are going to have to find the time to do it and you are going to have to make some changes. You can start small. You don’t have to do them all at once. There are a few things that will help you get to your goal, such as apps, trackers and family, but there are going to have to be sacrifices.

It is going to be hard at the start and there will be the odd twinge and injury, but if you take it slow and do it right you will reap the rewards.

The next edition of “The Andy Files” will focus on food and drink.

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