National Nutrition Month is a great time to start fresh and focus on making healthier food choices for yourself and your family. The way to stick with these healthy changes is to find some intrinsic motivation. What is driving you, what will keep you accountable, what is the goal or result you are looking for?
When I am working with clients, the first thing I ask them is what their goals are. We need to be on the same page so I can help coach them to the best of my ability. The program needs to fit their individual needs and needs to help them reach the goals they have set for themselves regardless of what goals I may have in mind.
I hear the typical answers: I want to lose weight. I want to be thin for my cousins wedding. I need to tone up.
While this can be a great start, it is only a start. Statements like this are only the beginning stages of goal setting. This is where we start to play 20 questions and figure out what is the TRUE goal here.
Take the weight loss goal. I want to lose weight. Great. Why? Do you simply like seeing a certain number on the scale, do you feel better at a certain weight, do you associate weight loss with other side effects like increased energy, improved mood, feeling better about yourself?
Sometimes a client will take a step back and realize, yes I actually just want to have more energy during day and not fall asleep at my desk by 2pm. They’re thinking weight loss will solve this problem, but now we actually have a plan. How can we increase energy? Perhaps it is the food choices and timing of meals that we can adjust. Guess what? By following a healthier nutrition plan full of nutrients, energy boosting foods, and keeping your meals small enough to fuel but not send you into a food coma you will see your energy increased as well as some weight loss if your new plan is an improvement from an old unhealthy plan.
Had we simply left “weight loss” as the goal, we could have done that by skipping meals, falling into fad diet gimmicks but the energy problem would not have been solved. See why it is important to figure out the actual goal and then the steps that will lead to the goal?
I ask clients this question all the time- Would you be happier if the number on the scale showed you had lost 10 pounds but your clothes were still the same size, or would you be happier if the scale showed you only lost 2 pounds but you were able to fit into a smaller clothing size? Meaning, is it the scale that defines your success or is it actually another goal you have in mind?
Step one is being able to articulate the actual goal and from there finding the steps that will take you in that direction. So step back and ask yourself, what is it you are truly hoping to accomplish? What steps can you take to get there?