How to turn the "I want to feel better" goals into measurable success!

Having goals is a great motivator to take action! But are your goals specific enough for you to actually take action? Do you have an action plan that will help you achieve that goal?

Before I work with a new client, I ask what her or his goal is and common answers are "I want to build muscle tone", "I want my back pain gone" or "I want a flatter belly".

These goals need some unpacking and fine tuning to turn them into meaningful actions. 

"I will buy pull up bars, install them in my house AND hang from it every time I walk by for the next 4 weeks in order to build more muscle tone in my arms and shoulders" is a very specific goal for which success can easily be measured: When you can do a pull up after those 4 weeks, you know you got more muscle. You achieved your goal. 

"I will be mindful of doing my stretches and/or meditation and/or new postural habits because I know this reduces or alleviates my back pain" or "I will take a daily evening walk because I know my back feels good after walking" is a better action plan than just "I want my pain gone". You decided that doing these things work for you. Now you have to do it. Put it into your calendar, find a walking buddy or leave the car at home and walk to the bus stop. This will help you make this action a lasting habit. 

The "I want a flatter belly" goal needs some unpacking. I know we all want flatter bellies but do you really want a flat belly or do you want to have a strong and healthy core? How would you feel about back tracking a bit and turning it into "I want my core and pelvic floor muscles to function well (hoping that this will somewhat flatten my belly at the same time)"?

Maybe your first goal should be to make an appointment with a Restorative Exercise Specialist where you live or a pelvic floor physio? After that, the initial goal might turn into "I need to make good use of my core and pelvic floor muscles by taking them out more often". And you take action by making time for your stretches and/or walks. Or you upgrade your walks to hikes over natural terrain. And you finally apply for a standing desk at work. Or you join a climbing gym.
PS: You want to make it a goal to literally take your belly out more often. By allowing it to release. No more sucking in and hiding it!

Whatever you may want to do to be stronger, fitter, leaner, healthier and more vital, turn it into a specific goal, decide that this is a priority for you, that it matters to you and then figure out a specific action that you can take to get going. 

Here are my 3 goals:

# 1 is to be able to do at least 2 pull ups again. Somehow, I stopped practicing and I can no longer do it. I want to do be able to do a pull up because being able to do it means I have decent upper body strength. And I want to be good at rock climbing next time I do it and get across the more difficult sections.  

Action Plan: I will work on this everytime I'm at the play ground and our own indoor monkey bars, with different hand position, at least once a day, starting today. And don't finish until I can do it. However long it takes. I have to be able to do it by the end of the summer!

# 2 is to get up that rope outside our house again. I haven't tried it yet so maybe I can still do it and I can take this off the list. 
Action Plan: Get on that rope this afternoon! If I can't get up, try every day. It only takes half a minute to try. 

#3 is the hardest: I want to do a weekly 1 hour long, 6am morning walk to have some time just for me, because I know that walking is what my body needs and because I find the mornings with the kids difficult. My hope is that I come home in a glorious mood to send my kids off to school instead of whining that the kids didn't let me sleep well. 
Action Plan: To find a walking buddy to do this with me and then do it. Every week until it gets too cold again in a few months. 

What is your goal and action plan? I hold you accountable if you like. You can use the Kangaroo Fitness facebook page to make your goal and action plan public and I will check in with you in two weeks!

And if you stumble and fall, smile and get up again. You're certainly not alone!



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