Goal-set­ting back­wards.

Good - - CONTENTS - with Rachel Grun­well in­spired­health.co. nz @in­spired­healthand­fit­ness In­spiredHealthNZ

Start goal-set­ting the right way

T ak­ing small steps, and cel­e­brat­ing those wins as you go, is the se­cret to achiev­ing your goals.

I love set­ting big goals be­cause they al­low me to fo­cus on where I want to head. If I set tar­gets that are within arm’s reach, then they won’t mean as much to me as bold and mean­ing­ful goals that re­quire grit.

Peo­ple of­ten feel over­whelmed by goal-set­ting. I get that. But that’s a good thing: goals can scare you into ac­tion.

The trick is to break goals down into bite-sized pieces. Goal-set­ting works back­wards.

First, vi­su­alise what you want to achieve and then work out steps to get there. Re­mem­ber to en­joy the jour­ney and re­ward your­self with each milestone. It’s the lit­tle changes along the way that even­tu­ally add up.

For ex­am­ple, I dreamed of run­ning a half-marathon and so I started with a walk/run rou­tine for three months. Back then, I was so un­fit that I’d puff push­ing my tod­dler in a pram on the school run. Months later, I joined a run club for more mo­ti­va­tion and ran my first 5km. I slowly built up the kilo­me­tres over 12 months, and then I con­quered my first half-marathon. I was ec­static be­cause I achieved a dream – and I even man­aged an­other goal of do­ing it in un­der two hours. Af­ter that race, I planned my next goal: a marathon.

So, my run­ning dream started small and ended up grow­ing, bit by bit. Fast for­ward to today and I’m a multi-marathoner.

Choose goals that mo­ti­vate and inspire you. Think of things that give you a fire in your belly. If you work hard at them, then you’ll feel em­pow­ered. Set short-term goals, but long-term ones too. Con­sider what you want in five or even 10 years.

Con­sider goals around ar­eas such as your health, ed­u­ca­tion, fit­ness, work or some­thing per­sonal. Just choose some­thing that res­onates with you and makes you ex­cited. Then be­lieve that you can achieve and work hard to­wards what you want.

Con­sider us­ing the SMART method. This means set­ting goals that are Spe­cific, Mea­sur­able, Achiev­able, Re­al­is­tic and Time-spe­cific.

I have lots of goals at any one time in var­i­ous ar­eas of my life, in­clud­ing two fit­ness-re­lated am­bi­tions for 2017.

A scary per­sonal goal is par­tic­i­pat­ing in Le Race, an 100km cy­cle race from Christchurch to Akaroa in March. TV3 pre­sen­ter Mike McRoberts is also tack­ling this chal­lenge.

Yes, cy­cling 100km scares me. I’ve never done a cy­cling event. Yes, I’m fear­ful I might not fin­ish. How­ever, this will “scare” me into ac­tion with train­ing. Of course, the mo­ment I was in­vited to do this event, I said “yes, please sign me up!” I thrive on crazy ad­ven­tures.

Thank­fully I’ve solved the small is­sue of find­ing a bike – Mt Eden Cy­cles has loaned me some wheels. Mean­while, I’ve got the ly­cra, which makes me feel like Olivia New­ton-John in Grease – kind of.

An­other fit­ness goal is for me and my fam­ily. We are all do­ing Cigna Welling­ton Round the Bays in Fe­bru­ary. My son Zach, 11, is par­tic­u­larly ex­cited as he will be run­ning his first 10km and I’ll join him run­ning this dis­tance. I think his young, speedy legs may just leave me in his dust. My hus­band Damien will do the 6.5km fun run with Lachie, 9, and Finn, 5. Damien will likely be pig­gy­back­ing lit­tle Finn near the end.

To help the kids get race-ready, our fam­ily will do more bike and scooter rides over sum­mer, walk to school more of­ten and ven­ture out on walks. These ac­tiv­i­ties will build the kids’ base fit­ness while Zach and I are do­ing run train­ing.

I know there will be days when the kids feel like giv­ing up. Who doesn’t? But I’ll re­mind them that re­wards go to the dogged. My ul­ti­mate goal is to inspire my kids to be fit and healthy, which can help with hap­pi­ness lev­els. So I’ll try and be a healthy role model as much as I can and hope they’ll fol­low in my foot­steps. Rachel is a mum, marathoner, writer and yoga teacher.

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