I actually don’t like the word ‘goal’. For me, it conjures up an image of a penalty kick where I have one opportunity to score and if I miss then I’ve failed. Game over.
Of course that’s just the meaning I’ve attributed to it. For many, goal setting can be a motivational exercise.
I prefer to think of a ‘destination’. It conjures up a journey and that gives me more flexibility. I can deviate a little and still arrive where I want to go.
The first thing to do when you are considering nutritional change is to choose a way of thinking about it that really works for you. After all, you’re going to be in your change process for a while so it’s important to settle in mentally. Will power only gets you a short distance. I think we all know that by now.
Then decide what kind of goal (I use the term loosely) you want. Usually they fall into 3 kinds of categories:
Performance – you want an observable change, maybe you want to change the way you look, increase your energy, figure out options for your work day, fuel your athletic performance, be more proactive in planning and preparing meals, etc
Learning – you want to build your knowledge and understanding. Nutrition is an area with numerous conflicting opinions leaving many folks confused. The quote “we’re drowning in information while starving for knowledge’ feels apt.
Fulfilment – you want to feel different about yourself, your nutrition. This goal is more about an inner state, maybe you want to feel more confident in your food choices, more content in yourself or less anxious.
Now get really specific about what you want. Paint the picture. Fill in the blanks. Imagine yourself already there and bring as much detail as possible.
You can of course have elements of all 3 kinds of goals and each will positively impact the other. It’s just helpful to start to organise and prioritize so we are sure to build a plan that gets you where you want to go, in your time frame.
The next step is equally important, identify where you are starting from. Once again go through the process of painting the picture and filling in the blanks. Be honest.
The point is to highlight the gap between where you are today and where you want to go.
You may find the following worksheet useful to capture what you’ve just done.
When we work with your nutritional change process we are really working with two of you – your current self and your future self.
Your current self is stronger because it’s fuelled by the ‘now’, all your habits and beliefs are designed to keep you there, to maintain the status quo.
Your future self isn’t even around yet so it’s kind of easy for your current self to step all over it, particularly if you’re tired and at the end of a busy day.
The trick is to start to engage in some mental time travel. Keep envisioning and feeling where you want to go. Print out your worksheet and look at it every day. This is fuel that will start to propel you forwards with purpose.
The last and crucial step, of course, is to have a nutritional and life plan that is designed to build your future self. Your need the right tools in your toolkit to get you where you want to go. This is only one of the reasons why prescriptive diet plans don’t work very well. They are not built specifically for you.
When it comes to your nutrition ‘goals’ no matter how many times you’ve started and stopped, know that crossing the gap between where you are today and where you want to go can be challenging. Change takes time and effort and sometimes you need some specialised nutritional coaching along the way. After all, you’re worth it.
To schedule a FREE 20 min conversation to see if my services are right for you or to book one of my 3 nutritional packages please visit me at yournutritiontoolkit.com