Friday, July 21, 2017

Is there value in making "insurmountable" goals?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a quick post on SMART goals. The SMART goal outline is a great guide when setting goals, but perhaps there are times we should break those suggestions.

The "A" in SMART stands for achievable.

Do we make too many of our goals too easily achievable, though?

We live in a culture that does not like losers. Naturally, we don't want to be that loser (even if we are the only one who knows about our failure(s)).

Although 9 out of 10 goals that we set should be achievable within a reasonable amount of time with a reasonable amount of effort, I believe there is some value in making that 10th goal feel a bit insurmountable.

Having what feels like an unconquerable goal can either motivate you or depress you, depending on how you view it.

For example, I would like to lose 100 pounds and maintain that weight loss.

Wow, that sounds like a lot of weight. And in the past, I have been able to lose as much as about 70 pounds so... not too far off. But getting all the way to my goal and actually keeping the weight off is what has been my unassailable challenge.

But should that mean I give up on this goal? Should I just decide that being overweight is my fate and I should resign myself to sitting on the couch and eating Little Debbie's?

Absolutely not! And I don't think anyone would recommend that unless they just like to see people sit in their misery.

However, losing 100 pounds is not something I can do overnight. Not to mention, I'm pregnant, so now is obviously not the time to "diet" and try to lose massive amounts of weight. So what can I do to move closer to this goal?

I have to break that gigantic, scary, "insurmountable" goal into smaller deliverables. These smaller goals can even be SMART goals.

I can start exercising once a week, then build up to twice a week, three times, etc. I can start with 10 or 15 minutes and build that up to half an hour or more.

I can slowly cut out the foods that keep me fat and start replacing them with the foods that make me healthy.

I can cut out the fast food and replace it with healthy, home-cooked meals.

I can eat a healthy amount of calories during my pregnancy without going overboard and using pregnancy as an excuse to eat brownies and drink milkshakes on the daily.

Will these efforts get me to my 100 pound weight loss goal? Maybe, maybe not. But they will get me closer. And moving the needle is what matters when facing those "insurmountable" goals.

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