I’m reading this book by Robert Cheeke, Shred It! where he asks six very pointed questions to help articulate goals. to only what the goals are, but why they are important to you and what you are going to do to achieve them in a measurable way. I started to write my answers in January, still recovering from my accident. It’s April now, so here are not just the questions and my answers, but how it’s going almost 4 months in:
#1. What goal do you want to achieve? Be as specific as possible and find a deep meaning behind it. I want to follow a vegan diet and lose most of my body fat – meaning I want to be around 10-12% body fat. I have been trying to lose the same layer of body fat for the past 30 years. I have run, cycled, life, and swam, eaten MOSTLY a good diet, but always add what I want to eat and never followed any diet strictly. I make excuses for myself because compared to most people, I don’t really NEED to lose weight. I have been under 110 lbs. all of my adult life and am tiny by most people’s standards. But I’m still uncomfortable in my own skin most of the time. I truly believe that a whole food plant based diet is the best for you, and will help you live the longest disease free, and I want to live that. I also want to become a Hallelujah Health Minister, yoga instructor and aqua instructor and be a good “leader by example.” UPDATE: I’m not doing so well with this one. I’m on my way to becoming a Les Mills Sprint (HIIT training) instructor, but the aqua class I though was starting in January has not happened yet. I had totally forgotten that I said I wanted to be a HA Health Minister and yoga instructor. I’m taking those off my list, for right now, anyway, because I must not have wanted them all that bad.
#2. Why does it matter to you? You can’t just say something like, “to look better.”You have to address the root cause underlying your desires to “look better.” So, why does it really matter to you?
My overarching goal is to live as healthy as possible for as long as possible and to be able to be as active as I age as I am now; to continue to be able to wake up every morning and run 5-8 miles, or swim for 90 minutes, or ride for a few hours, or lift for 90 minutes. I also just FEEL BETTER thinner and have a back problem that I believe can be alleviated and even eliminated by a cleaner/vegan whole food plant based diet. This year has been a discouraging one for me so far. I feel healthy most of the time but some changes in my energy this latter half of my 52nd year have made me feel – dare it say it? – my age.
#3. What timeline are you setting for your goal? How did you determine this timeline? How does your reasoning match up with reality, science, and your actual daily schedule?
I am setting a goal of 14 weeks. I don’t need to lose that much weight – I need to stick to a nutritional program and continue the lifting and cycling that I’ve been doing and increase the running a bit. It is completely realistic to lose 8 lbs. in 14 weeks, but my goal is not just weight loss – it includes muscle gain and body fat loss. The research I’ve done says that I can lose 8 lbs. in 14 weeks in a sustainable way. I’ve lost no weight. My scale tells me the same numbers it did in January. This is another reason I’m discouraged – I feel like I’m getting nowhere.
I already take the time to work out – I just need to keep it up – after my injury is better (I just crashed on my bike and broke my thumb, a rib, and have a bunch of road rash), and refine my diet. My diet still needs refining. I started recording on MyFitnessPal, but am not very consistent. Man, do I want this badly enough?
#4. What three actions will you take each day to get you closer to achieving your goal? Be specific and select actions that are truly related to helping you get closer to your dream.
a. Use Shred It! Eat This Much meal plans, the Hallelujah Diet, and FitLauraXO’s videos to keep me on track so that I know what to eat, when to eat, and to NOT eat what I don’t need. I didn’t like/take advantage of EatThis Much or FitLauraXO.
b. I will have a meal plan and grocery list to make sure I have what I need to eat from the plan. Maybe I just don’t LIKE sticking to a plan. I think that’s it, actually. I am also thinking it’s more that I don’t like sticking to what other people are eating or telling me to eat.
c. I will get up at 4:30 every morning to be at the gym at 5am to complete my body weight exercises, running, weight training, and yoga. I will continue my cycling plan with my coach to get faster on the bike: LEGS & LUNGS! Again, not so consistent. I started out at 3-4 days a week and have seen definite gains in strength and muscle (despite my stupid scale’s assessment) but the bike and running have not been there, which is totally not like me. I need to increase my cycling and running mileage.
#5. How are you going to measure your accountability?
I will record my progress and journey in my blog. I will be public about my goals. I will tell people what I will achieve and I will be transparent with my progress through all the ups and downs. They will see my commitment to my goals in my body change from one week to the next. I will follow the Shred It! and Eat This Much programs, drink 3 liters of water a day, eat quality protein, carbs, and fats in each meal. I will weigh myself daily and record my progress in my journal. I will record the amount of reps I am able to complete in each workout. So after 4 months, this is the first progress report – not so good. I only told Michael – not so good. Upper body change – okay. . . . . Here we go, sliding on the following someone else’s program, and weighing myself daily, and recording progress. I feel like an old dog that can’t learn new tricks. I can change, really I can!! Do I WANT to, that is the question.
#6. How will your life change as a result of attaining your goal?
My life will be better because I will feel better, be more healthy, stronger, and more confident. I will prove to myself that I can achieve my goals. So far I haven’t proven to myself anything except that I feel stuck in a rut.
I’m trying to make changes. Intellectually I agree that these changes are good for me, but I am inconsistent with keeping to them, when I am able to successfully pull any changes off. My current ways are grounded in habit and culture. AH ha! Habit – I can change habits. There is hope!