Today I want to talk a little bit about goal dates and why I think being a little bit flexible with them is the right way to go as your embark on your health and fitness journey.
We talk a bit about SMART goals and one of the features of SMART goals is that the goal is TIMELY or TIME-BOUND. This essentially means that you have a point in time in your mind for achieving the goal you are setting. Now, there’s certainly nothing wrong with working toward achieving a particular goal by a certain date – it helps to keep us on track and motivated to continue working on our health and fitness.
However, unless you are living in a bubble, where you have control over all aspects of your life all of the time, things will happen. Some of those things will distract you from the task at hand, they may slow you down and/or throw you right off course in the short term.
While goals need a time frame of some sort, you have to leave some room for flexibility. Putting too much pressure on yourself to complete something on time (especially if you have encountered a few setbacks along the way) can most certainly have a detrimental psychological impact (not to mention the physical effect if you begin working yourself into the ground in order to attempt to meet an arbitrary deadline).
Never give up, for this is just the place and time that the tide will turn – Harriet Beecher Stowe
Everything is not lost if you don’t achieve something by the exact date you had originally thought you might. It’s most certainly a process and you have made some real progress, you may just need to move the goal posts a little bit. Always focus on the progress you have made so far rather than letting yourself get bogged down in thoughts about having “failed”.
You haven’t failed. I promise, you haven’t failed. Things happen. We can’t always stop them or control the ultimate outcomes, we just need to adapt as best we can in the current circumstances. All you can do, and all you need to do, is get up each day and do the best you can to be as healthy, happy and fit as possible. You’ll be winning just by doing that.
We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated – Maya Angelou
Not all days (or weeks or months for that matter) are perfect. Most are far from it if we’re honest. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Setbacks are just part of life – it’s how we decide to respond to them that makes all the difference.
Feel free to drop by our Facebook page to chat if you’re having trouble with your goal setting and adjusting your goal dates when required. We’d love to hear from you!