I’ve been coaching healthy lifestyles for a long time and far too often I see people setting a goal that is too vague.
The most common goals in health are:
1. Lose weight
2. Tone muscles
3. Gain/Build muscle
Maybe you’re looking at these as saying “ya, so”?
But that’s because you’ve probably had one if not all of these yourself.
These are the MOST COMMON goals and look how vague they are!
What do those actually mean?!?
It’s like going to a doctor and saying “I hurt”.
It’s like going to the grocery store and asking for food.
Or telling Google maps you want to go West.
All of these things won’t help you get anywhere because they are too vague to even get you in the right direction.
The doctor will need to ask questions, the grocer will just shake his head, and Google will give you a bunch of businesses with “west” in their name.
These goals are too simple and because of that they have no power to move you.
How much weight? What exactly does “toned” mean? How much muscle?
These are minimums to being able to get you in the right direction and have an idea of what type of work you’ll need to do.
It’s better to set clear and precise goals with as much detail as possible. I’d even suggest going as far as to setting a date for when you want to achieve them.
However, after that you still need to make a plan of what you’ll actually do to attain your more specific goals.
For example, let’s say you had the “lose weight”:
I will to lose 25 lbs of body fat, while increasing muscle mass at the same time, by (some specific date in the future). I will do this by being physically active every day for at least 30 minutes as well as lifting weights 3 days per week for at least 30 minutes. Also, I will eliminate all processed sugars in the form of snack foods and increase my vegetable and protein intake every day.
I have no doubt that you can see how much clearer those goals are. Along with the plan, can you see how much more practical it would be to achieve this goal vs the vagueness of “lose weight”.
When your goal is too vague it doesn’t create any urgency.
When your goal is this specific, you know exactly what to do and where to start. By adding the date, you also get more specific with the plan.
If you have a date that’s not too far away, you’ll have to make your plan a little more aggressive and really commit. If your date is further out, you can be more strategic and pace yourself a little better.
I recommend the second option FYI.
I hope this helps clarify the error of vague goals.
If you’ve been struggling to attain your goal, check in with its details.
Is it too vague? Can you get more specific?
I’m gonna guess yes, yes you can.