As you all know, sustaining motivation for managing your health can sometimes be challenging. This can be especially so when you don’t have a clear goal in mind. But, following a Health At Every Size (HAES) informed perspective, which tells us that for most people, setting weight goals can be highly problematic, how does one set a goal to improve their health, wellbeing, and success? After grappling with this connundrum for quite a while (read 10 years), by Joves, I think we at Weight Management Psychology have got it!
Please click here for the new WMP OUTCOME GOAL SETTING sheet…after setting these goals myself and finding the process brilliant, I’ve done it with no less than 8 CLIENTS in the past week, and the results have been FANTASTIC. For current or potential clients, feel free to come in and do with me (it’s a very fun session), or print out and do yourself (it’s actually really simple).
So, a brief overview of why setting goals in this way helps you get all the motivational benefits, and avoid the common pitfalls.
(1) There are 4 goals on the list. This encourages you to set broader goals and avoid the singular focus on weight that is so problematic. The guideline is to have one body-composition goal, but the other three goals have to be other important measures of health (e.g., in mine, you will see I have shoulder range of motion, shoulder strength, and leg flexibility as my other goals) or success (e.g., clients have also been setting study, mental health, and financial goals, which are great to focus on a more holistic success)!
(2) There are incremental measures of success. You will see 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% markers of your success. This helps you acknowledge the important steps and feel positive about being on the way, removing the disempowering feeling of “not being there” which is a common downfall of setting goals. Each goal can be on the same or a different time frame (for example, my leg flexibility goal will take 3 months, but my shoulder strength is set for 6) helping you stay realistic!
(3) The body composition goal is smart. As I am now “letting” my clients set a body composition goal, there are serious conditions (ignore at your peril): (a) It should be small – take what seems realistic, then halve it…then halve it again…I’d rather you knock a smaller goal out of the park than fail at trying to hit a home run! (b) Choose accurate measures of body composition, as WEIGHT IS A BAD MEASURE (more on this later, but we prefer to use Physique Science to do top-notch DEXA scanning – it’s hard to assess your results if the measures are rubbish). For example, having gained some percentage body-fat with my injury and surgery, my goal is to ever-so-slightly reduce to my normal body-fat percentage – about 1% over the 3 months rehab period.
I’m excited about my Project Pheonix, and excited to help my clients with their important goals…it’s only 3 months until 2015…who’s with me?