Some Thoughts About Setting Goals – PABL Episode 413

by Cliff Ravenscraft on June 29, 2009

in Blog, The Old Pursing A Balanced Life Podcast


Happy Monday to you all. As most of you know by now, Monday is my weigh-in day. I'm very excited to announce that I have lost an additional 3 pounds this past week.

That means that I've lost a total of 24 pounds in the past two months! Not only that, but my waist size as gone from 46 inches down to 41.25 inches since May 1st, 2009. I can't begin to tell you how great I feel compared to how I felt daily before.

In this podcast episode, I share some feedback that I had received in the community forum regarding podcast episode 412. In it, Mary M. wrote…

Hey yall! I don't want to be rude but please hear me out and realize that I have good intentions.

Ok, so I am listening to PABL episode #412. Throughout the episode Cliff is talking about his “official” goal is to do physical activity 5 days per week.

Really Cliff??

I think you have set your “official” goal low on purpose. You have stated many times that when you don't get your physical activity all 7 days it is a “failure” of a day, but then justify it because your “official” goal is only 5 days per week.

I believe that your “actual” goal, the one you really want, is to do physical activity all 7 days per week. I think that in the beginning you set your goal to 5 days per week for the “just in case” moments but that as time has gone by, you have proven to yourself that you can do physical activity everyday and still be productive.

I believe that your goal of physical activity 5 days per week isn't your “GOAL”, but your “MINIMUM” that you would be comfortable with if necessary. And if you were really honest with yourself, I bet you would be very “unsatisfied” if you only did physical activity 5 days.

I believe that if you were to really search your heart, you are trying to put in physical activity every day.

Maybe it is time to set a new goal. Not meeting it all the time is fine for special occasions (like a family reunion or meeting with a friend for a movie screening).

If you are going to bed every night with the intentions of getting up the next morning and doing physical activity then THAT IS TRULY YOUR GOAL!!!!!

Please don't take this the wrong way, cause I love ya!!

She also followed that up with this…

Ok, so I finished the episode and had some more thoughts. According to the definition for GOAL is:

1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

I guess that my problem with the episode is your use of the word. A goal should be something that you strive to achieve, not just the minimum you would be happy with. You are already past the physical activity of 5 days a week, so anyway…sorry for the rant.

A majority of this episode is my response to this this feedback. I want to post some highlights from what I shared here for the blog.

First of all, here is what I think about when I talk about setting goals:

Goal setting is the process of deciding what you want to accomplish and devising a plan to achieve the result you desire.

Goal setting is a two part process. Step one is deciding What You Want To Do. Step two is working toward the accomplishment of that Goal. Many people know what they want to do but have trouble creating a plan to get there. Goals without action plans are just words. Another way of saying that is that a goal without action plans are nothing more than desires.

When creating a plan to achieve your goals, I think it is important to evaluate your goal to make sure that it has all of the following characteristics. Your goals should be Realistic / Attainable. Your goals should be specific and detailed. You goals should be measurable. And finally, I think it is important to evaluate your goal in light of whether or not it adds to or or distracts you from your pursuit of a balanced life.

Regarding the thought of me setting my “official” goal low on purpose, I'd have to disagree. When I first set this goal, back in May, it actually seemed to be an very lofty at the time. Time came to reveal that I actually had it within me to achieve this goal on a very consistent basis which came as a great shock to me and inspired many others to set similar types of goals for themselves.

While I've been averaging between 6 to 7 days a week on a regular basis. The question then becomes… Should I “adjust my goal?” I've given this a lot of thought and the answer is no.

I feel that it would be more closely aligned with the Pursuit of a “Balanced Life” to achieve a healthier outlook on the concept of giving my body rest two days a week and not”not overdoing it.” I especially want to avoid “burn-out” which I will blog about in the future.

The truth is that there are still other areas of a Balanced Life that I'm not giving enough attention right now. I believe that as I get closer to the desired balance in each area, there will be more and more occasions where the 5 days per week goal will seem more aligned with where I should be.

I've been consuming a large amount of Health and Wellness content lately. Everything that I read suggests intentional physical activity at a minimum of thiry minutes per day, three to five days per week. My “official” physical activity goal is already double the amount of time and on the upper head of what is suggested for a healthy lifestyle.

I have noticed that I seem to try to justify the days that I don't work out. However, I believe that this is more about my attempt to convince myself that this is not a failure, but it is all a part of adjusting to a more balanced approach and mindset to physical activity.

With that said, I really appreciate the feedback that has been provided on this topic. I'm even more thankful that it came in the context of a genuine relationship with someone I would call friend.

I hope that you might find this topic helpful when you are setting your own goals.

Special thanks to Maggie who called in some audio feedback for this episode. Also, here is the list of #PABL updates that I shared in this episode.

Seaturtle89 Goal: wake at 4:45 a.m. Gym 5:00 a.m. Night all must get some sleep so I can acomplish this Goal #PABL

MrsLTJ Having a good day! Didnt realize starting it off with a ride would make me feel this good! #pabl

aaronmb Rivky has learned how to ride her two wheeler! Film at 11. #pabl

panache113 (aka Jessie) Starting to day #PABL.

melindayork slept in this morning then did 10 Minute Trainer x 3. Now cooling down with a walk on the treadmill. #PABL

EvePhoenix Took a walk yesterday at the mall – and didn't buy anything! Just took the Nano, and went for the exercise. #pabl

Lindaharderwijk (Linda From The Netherlands) And I finally got my new cross bike today :-) yeah it's so great :-) used 999 kcal #pabl yeah!!! Feeling good

CaptainsCast Week4/Day3 Couch to 5K run completed. 2.29 miles, 31:01, 13:32/mile, 441 calories. I've now completed 12 workouts totaling 23.84 miles #pabl

GalenaG The maid of honor said it was difficult to lace the dress due to weight loss. Size 20 to 14 in a year. #pabl

ffluvssg1 Today's healthy activities: Walking on the treadmill, health/fitness podcasts, and brought a salad for lunch. Working on time mgmt. #pabl

After you get a chance to listen, feel free to leave a comment on the blog! You can help motivate me and inspire others by providing your audio feedback for the podcast. Call the voice mail feedback line directly at 859-795-4067 or toll-free at 800-757-1158. You can also email an audio file to [email protected].

Don't forget to tweet about your pursuit of a balanced life, joining us in the #PABL campaign.

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