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The power and importance of goal setting

    Hey everybody.  I've been looking forward to finishing the following blog and making it available for everyone to read.  For anyone who's had the chance to work with me you know that one of the things I am most passionate about when it comes to improving a clients health and wellness is helping them establish and ultimately accomplish their goals. I believe so strongly in the power of goal setting and its direct correlation to furthering one's mental, physical and emotional well-being.  I try to establish early on that identifying something you want to accomplish is as important as anything else we'll do going forward.  The empowerment one realizes from accomplishing a goal set can be immeasurable.  The focus of this blog is to help highlight some of my best ideas for helping you set goals and even more importantly, accomplish them.  Enjoy!

The Goal Is Yours – You Own the Goal
Whether the goal is completing an exercise program, losing weight or eating healthier, the goal must be your goal. You are unlikely to achieve your spouse’s goal, your trainer's goal or the goal you think you “ought” to work on this year. Your goals must generate excitement when you ponder their accomplishment. You must believe there is something in it for you to accomplish them.
Believe You Can Accomplish the Goal 
Each of us has a little voice in our head. It is the voice of our sub-conscious, judging self. On a daily basis, we engage in self-talk; we comment on each situation we encounter. We discuss events and plans in our minds. Our commentary is both positive and negative. Positive thoughts and planning support the accomplishment of our goals. Negative thoughts and comments undermine our self-esteem and self-confidence, and negatively impact our ability to accomplish our goals. Listen to your voice. You can change its tone by believing in yourself and in your ability to accomplish your goals and resolutions. Use this unconscious critic to positively support your goal setting success.
Take Action to Identify and Eliminate Obstacles to Goal Setting Success 
Simply tracking your goals daily is not enough. If you’re unhappy with your progress, you need to assess what is keeping you from accomplishing the goals. Ask yourself questions such as, “Is this goal really important?” (If not, why did you pledge to accomplish it; maybe it’s not important, or less important than other goals.) ”Are there specific obstacles you are experiencing which are interfering with your ability to accomplish the goal?” (In this case, make action plans to remove the obstacles or seek help from a friend or family member, or even your trainer!) If you are not making progress on a particular goal, attempt to do a root cause analysis to determine why. Only by honestly analyzing your lack of progress can you determine steps to take to change this picture. 
Reward Yourself and Celebrate Goal Accomplishment 
Even the accomplishment of a minor goal is cause for celebration. Don’t depress yourself with thoughts about all you still have to do. Celebrate what you have done. Then move on to the next milestone.

   Having been in the Marine Corps, I've developed a fondness for acronym's.  The following is one acronym I'd like for all of you to remember when it comes to goal setting:

S.M.A.R.T  

Specific: Identify why and what you are passionate about.  Get emotionally involved, these are your dreams, make them perfect. 

Measurable: How you will know you are moving in the right direction. Pick an exact time frame in which to attain your goal, even down to the exact minute if you wish. 
 
Attainable: Believe that you are able to achieve your goals. Write it as if you are owed it, and it is coming, no matter what. 

Relevant: Make sure your goal is something you are passionate about. 

Timetable: What small steps will you accomplish along the way, how long will it take, layout an expected road map for your goal.

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