Back to the Basics: Goal Setting

Long Term Planning

Last week as part of my physical education curriculum for the grade 8-12 high school girls I had them set goals (one short term, one long term) to inspire themselves to become more active.  I have read my articles recently about how inactivity is to be considered a 'disease' on it's own, and more of a risk than smoking for premature death (links on my facebook page to these articles).  Today I will share some of the goal setting strategies I worked with my girls to start using.

Short Term Goals

                  Short term goals can be made weekly, or monthly depending on how long your action plan is going to take you.  Short term goals are some of the most important goals because they provide frequent rewards (if you reach them) that generally keep you the most motivated in the long run.  Examples of short term goals can be buying new work out outfits, taking yourself out for a special meal , enjoying a day vacation.

Medium Term Goals

                  Medium goals can also be described as enabling goals.  These are goals developed based on achieving multiple short term goals.  For example, if your long term goal is to get an Engineering degree, and your short term goals are to go to class each day and do two hours of reading per night, your medium term goal to be to reward yourself once you have stayed on track with your attendance and homework for an entire semester.  These goals will allow you to recognize important milestones in your goal development and each time one is reached will allow you to reflect on the significance of your accomplishments.

Long Term Goals

                  Long term goals are the ultimate goals that you will achieve in a semester, year, maybe even 5 or ten years!  This Is the goal always in the back of your mind, the one you have found pictures to put up around your house to remind yourself, the goal that might seem realistic at the time, but in the end you will reach it!


S= specific

M= measurable

A= attainable

R= realistic

T= time oriented

Tips when Goal Setting:

•       –                  Don’t use words like “some”, “more” or “better”. 

•       –                  Make it challenging!

•       –                  Make them based on YOU

•       –                  Don’t make the goal so far fetched that you will struggle beyond doubt to reach it (or not reach it at all).  This is detrimental psychologically.

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