Thoughts on Goal Setting

Happy Friday! Anyone doing anything exciting this weekend?

So i have been thinking a lot recently about goal setting. Being a psychology major and working in a few health behavior labs throughout my undergrad career, I have learned a lot about how to make goals effective. Some of my favorite concepts that I have learned and try to keep in mind when setting goals or trying something new are:

Make the goal realistic/tangible 

  • for example, instead of, “I will not eat sugar,” it is more tangible/realistic to say, “I will not have dessert after dinner this week”

Tell others about your goal (and include others if possible!)

  • I have learned that this makes the goal more “real” and tends to make you more accountable for your actions…. If you want to get in shape, its harder to skip a  workout when you have a date with a friend to run 3 miles
  • I do this all the time… it really works!

Give yourself rewards

  •  I am not saying it is ok to eat an entire cake or drink an entire bottle of wine if you were healthy all week, but if you worked hard, you deserve to treat yourself to something! Ill admit that I am pretty bad at this one… I’m working on it…

I have realized that I am pretty good at this when it comes to health/fitness. For example, I want to start doing more strength training so I make a tangible/realistic goal to go to BodyPump once a week (my current gym has 3 classes that fit in my schedule), I told my sister about it and asked if she would commit to doing the class with me (she agreed!) and I while I didn’t really set up a reward system, maybe my newly defined muscles will be enough?? I can kind of be a little intense and tell myself I don’t need rewards (this is crazy, I realize… but thats why I have it on the list of concepts to remember… I need to do it!)

However, despite my ability to stick and follow health/fitness goals quite well, I am terrible when it comes to goal setting in other areas. For example, I want to be more confident about my career path, but instead of setting goals of how to accomplish this, I somehow seem to prefer stressing myself out and getting overwhelmed instead? So after having yet another discussion with my sister last night about how I am overwhelmed/scared about my future, etc., I have decided that I am sick this endless cycle. I have decided to set a new goal to overcome this: to learn more about career options available to me as a RD/Health Psychologist (the 2 careers I am currently exploring). To accomplish this I will:

  • Email a RD/Psychologist once a week to set up a meeting/shadowing opportunity OR actually shadow (tanglible/realistic goal)
  • Tell someone about it (I am telling whoever is reading this!)
  • Reward myself by either: giving myself an hour to read a magazine while drinking tea (I love reading magazines!), going for a run with no time/speed requirements (I told you I can be intense…), having a glass of wine/chatting with my sister (its one of my favorite things to do and when we’re both busy this can get difficult), or planning a movie date with my boyfriend, Jon (I am a big fan of cuddling on the couch when its cold out)

Ill keep you updated with how this goes…

Anyone have any new goals they want to accomplish? What tactics do you use to stick to your goals?

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6 responses

  1. My goal is to start training for a half marathon coming up (!!!!) and a full marathon not too long after that. My reward is the accomplishment I feel after completing a workout I know I need to get in… and then a few Blue Moons, I meannnnn.

  2. Also my goal is to stay organized this semester in grad school since I struggled with this last semester. So…I bought a new planner/ school supplies and after one week I’m already feeling better!

  3. Since I will not be in Pittsburgh next year due to my career path, my goal is to take in as much of this city as I can before I leave. Last semester I feel I got very comfortable with my life, not doing as much as I could have, seeing as many friends, or taken advantage of Pittsburgh activities and all its wonders (thanks to Pitt, most of which are free!) I need to make a bucket list of Pittsburgh before I leave and my goal is complete most, if not all, of the activites!

  4. Pingback: A new lunch packing adventure « Apples and Optimism

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