Monday, March 18, 2013

Setting Goals for Yourself

"To build a house, you need a plan.  To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or a goal." - Zig Ziglar
Question:  Do you feel that you do a lot of things, but they aren't what you want?

Question:  Do you feel that you are running around and not getting anywhere?

Here are five reasons for having goals:

  1. Goals give you clarity on your vision for yourself.
  2. Goals help drive you forward.
  3. Goals are specific, giving you great focus.
  4. Goals make you accountable.
  5. Goals help you achieve your highest potential.
Here are four tips for setting goals:
  1. Set short term goals.  i.e. 3 month, 6 month, 12 month
  2. Set long term goals.  i.e. 3 years, 5 years, 10 years
  3. Set intrinsic goals.  i.e. something internal that you can control
  4. Set SMART goals.
    • S - Specific
    • M - Measurable
    • A - Attainable
    • R - Realistic
    • T - Timely

Everyone who sets goals is familiar with the SMART acronym.  Here's an example of good and bad goals:

Bad Goal:  I want to ride my bike more this summer. (too vague, not measurable)
Good Goal:  I want to ride my bike twice a week, a minimum of 60 minutes, between May 1 and September 1.

Bad Goal:  I want to lose weight. (too vague, not measurable, not timely)
Good Goal:  I want to lose 5 pounds by the end of next month (5 weeks).

Bad Goal:  I want to be more healthy and feel better. (too vague, not measurable, not timely)
Good Goal:  I want to lower my blood pressure to 120/80, lower my cholesterol to under 200, and walk one mile in 15 minutes.

Bad Goal:  I want to run a sub 4 minute mile by September 1. (Not attainable - assuming that you are not genetically gifted)
Good Goal:  I want to run a personal best in the mile, lowering my best time by 5 seconds by the end of August.


Intrinsic goals are favored over extrinsic goals because they are driven towards rewards of self esteem and self worth and are driven by an interest or an enjoyment of a task, whereas extrinsic goals are driven by the performance of an activity to achieve a certain outcome.  Outside rewards such as looks (outwardly appearance), grades or financial success are examples of extrinsic motivation.  They are not necessarily mutually exclusive.   Below are examples of intrinsic goals versus extrinsic goals:

Extrinsic goal:  I want to get an A in biology.
Intrinsic goal:  I really want to master this subject matter (biology).

Extrinsic goal:  My partner wants me to lose weight.  (fear might be the motivating factor)
Intrinsic goal:  I would like to lose weight (be specific) so that I can have better health and move more easily.

Extrinsic goal:  I want to look good for my 20th reunion. (wanting to make an impression on others)
Intrinsic goal:  I want to be in the best shape and health of my life (be specific).

 Plan for Setting Goals

  1. Set aside some quality time to rough out some 2-3 short and long term goals.
  2. Write each down and be specific.  Set a date to accomplish each goal.
  3. With each goal, write down exactly how you will accomplish that goal.  Break it down into steps, baby steps if you have to, and gradually progress.  If you're not sure how to accomplish your goal - this is the time to seek professional guidance, or do your own research.
  4. Review your goals regularly for progress and adjust them accordingly.  
  5. Consider carefully eliminating a goal, if it was not accomplished on time.  This does not mean that it is not feasible.  It simply means that something went wrong with the plan and/or the execution.
 The following is an example of a solid plan for someone who wants to run a marathon, going from 0 to 26.2 miles:

1 year goal
I want to be able to run a spring marathon, 1 year from now.
I need to start running 2-3x/week for 10-30 minutes each
I need to increase one of my runs to 45 minutes
I need to increase one of my runs to 60 minutes, while increasing the intensity of one of my 30 minute runs.
July – Aug – Sept – Oct
I need to increase my long run to 75, 90, 105, 120 minutes each month, while increasing the duration of my intense run to 45 min
Nov – Dec
I need to maintain my long run of 120 min and add 1 more day of running.  This new run will be a short interval run.
I need to increase my long run to 135, 150, 165 and 180 minutes, also maintaining a 45 minute intensity run, a 30 minute interval run, and a 30 minute easy run.
Taper and enjoy the starting line of a marathon.

If you need some additional tools, download this FREE Goals Worksheet at  Remember, too, that consulting a qualified professional can help you establish goals and help you create a plan that works for you so you can work the plan!


365fitt is about training for the event called LIFE, focusing on physical, nutritional and emotional wellness through lifestyle adaptations.  Kathy is available for personal training and wellness consultations and corporate wellness.  365fitt invites you to participate in a Healthy Active Living trip to incredible destinations.  Please visit 365fitt for more information.  Live 365fitt!

1 comment:

  1. If you'd like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.