Stepping Stones to a Fit Body & Why Not to Curse at Closets

Recently I shared my personal fitness goal and explained why I encourage clients to set goals. Blaargh... I know no one likes being asked to set goals but the truth is, you've already got goals. You might just not realize it. Your goals are those nagging thoughts that tell you, "Maybe I should look for a new job", "Dammit I hate how messy this closet is" or "Ack! None of my clothes fit anymore"... you just have to take the nagging thought and turn it into action. Let's take the messy closet as an example because disorganization is surely one of the things most of us struggle with in these hectic, modern days. Right? It's not just me? Right?

Nagging thought: "Dammit I hate how messy this closet is!"

Goal: Create and maintain an organized closet by next weekend. Stop cursing at closet. (The latter part is optional.)

Now how to achieve that goal? Sitting around cursing at your closet won't do much good. It might freak your husband enough that he'll step in and do a little cleaning himself, but chances are he's not going to do it to your satisfaction, ladies, so best to remain calm and just do it yourself when it comes to most aspects of household maintenance. In my experience, anyway...

Take that big goal and chew on it. Too big. Spit it out. That's what my toddler does. Now, cut it up into smaller pieces and try again. That's gross. But toddlers don't know any better.

Step 1: Today I will research closet organizing strategies and decide which hooks, bins, etc. will work for my space. I will create a list of what I need to begin organizing.

Step 2: Saturday I will sort my closet and put anything I haven't used in 1 year into a black garbage bag to donate to charity, and drive it there on my way to work on Monday.

Step 3: Tuesday after work I will drop by [insert big box store that carries shelving, plastic bins, baskets, hooks, etc. here] and shop for the items on my list.

Step 4: Next Saturday I will install my shelving and organize my items into bins. I will label everything.

Step 5: I will drink a bottle of wine in my luxurious, organized new closet. What? No, I don't hear the baby crying...

I have been using and reviewing the Heart & Stroke Foundation's Healthy Weight Action Plan for a month now, and I have set a small weight loss goal to help me blast off these last few pounds from 5 years of childbearing and nursing and drinking wine in closets. Yes, even personal trainers have fitness goals.

I was really impressed when I entered my weight goal into the HWAP and it prompted me to set mini-goals to achieve my overall goal. This is exactly the way I tackle a fitness goal with a client. There has to be a strategy to reach that goal or it will revert into just nagging thoughts again, seeming to fade from your reach. When you set a goal you make it possible. If you only wish it and never put a plan into action, you risk having that goal drift into the realm of "impossible" as far as your brain is concerned. It keeps telling you it wants something and you keep acknowledging it and doing nothing about it. Eventually you'll imprint in your psyche that you just can't do it, after all. And that's not true, is it?

When you set your goals on the Healthy Weight Action Plan (HWAP), it will prompt you to set mini-goals and plan your strategy. You can even name a person in your life who will help you with that particular mini-goal AND email them directly from the HWAP site to ask them to support you in your efforts. That is some serious accountability, as we all know that saying your goals out loud to other people really does put you on the hook to save face follow through.

Confession time. So here are the mini-goals that I set for myself in my Healthy Weight Action Plan:

1. Run 2 evenings per week. This gets me out of the house and cures my evening boredom, plus a little extra jogging can't hurt when I'm in leaning down mode, even though I get plenty of exercise during the days.

2. Cut down on the wine. *sob* I don't have a lot of sugar and/or junk food in my diet so there were not many places to cut. I love me some evening cocktails but it'll have to be a strict 2 days per week only. I suppose not drinking at all could be an option but let's remember a goal must be realistic...

3. Eat vegetables or fruit at every meal. I generally achieve this most days but when I'm on the run, it's easy to grab starchy carbohydrates or just eat a half-meal. If I eat a veggie or fruit at every meal I will not only be full and satisfied, but I will get more fruit into my diet, something the HWAP assessed was missing from my diet when I first recorded my eating habits for a week.

So I'll get a report to you soon on how well I'm sticking to my mini-goals. Do you have a goal you're reaching for right now? Comment below! In the meantime, why not join the Healthy Weight Action Plan yourself?

And clean that closet, for the love of God.