In the education field, we are taught to "Begin with the end in mind". So, we know that by the end of the year, each one of our students are to have mastered the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) for that particular grade level.
My first year of teaching, I had to complete a project within the first few weeks of the school year using backwards design. I had to take the TEKS and plan out the ENTIRE year. If the students were going to have to be able to do long division by the end of the year, what did I need to teach first, next, and so on. It was an incredible undertaking, but it actually made my life SO much easier. I didn't have to focus on what they had to do in the end, I could focus on this week, this day.
So, last night at my WW meeting, we were talking about goals and my leader used this acronym:
And I started to really relate my personal goals to what I did as a teacher and making goals for my students.
So, goal #1 from my 30-before-30 list is to lose 100 pounds by my 30th birthday. Let's check it out to see if it's a good goal or not:
1. Is it specific? Yes.
2. Is it measurable? Yes.
3. Is it attainable? Well, this is where it starts to kind of get questionable. So, let's break it down. I have 47 weeks (almost 48) until my 30th birthday. If I divide 100 by 47, that's 2.13 pounds per week. Plus, I usually lose over 5 pounds a week for the first month or so that actually brings it down to below 2 pounds a week after that. So, it is attainable- Yes.
4. Is it realistic? Hmmm, I really don't know. Keep reading as I break this question down.
5. Is it timely? Yes.
Now as for realistic... My first gut instinct is to say no, but I think that's because I'm looking at 100 pounds and feeling the stress of such a big goal.
So, that brings me back to the topic of the WW meeting. We used the analogy of taking a trip, and it really hit home for me.
Just this past weekend, I made the long drive from Corpus Christi, TX to the little bitty town of Spur, TX (ESE of Lubbock). It's a 7.5-8 hour drive, but I can't think about it as an 8 hour drive or I just don't want to do it. Instead, I think of it as a series of goals:
First, I just have to make it to San Antonio (Boerne to be exact) and that's only 2.5 hours. We get out and stretch, walk the dogs, and generally take our time before we get back on the road.
Then our next goal is to make it to Eden, TX. It's another 2 hours and they have places to eat lunch, so once again we take our time and take a break before we hop in the car for the next leg of the trip.
Our next stop is in Sweetwater, TX and then the last leg of the trip until we get to Spur. And that last leg of the trip can take the longest just because we know that we're getting close, so eventhough we don't stop again, we have all of these little landmarks that we look for as we got along (call them mini-goals if you'd like). The other thing that I do during the whole trip is think about what's at the end of the trip, which is my family. And isn't that the REAL goal? It's not just to land in Spur, TX. It's to be with the people that I love.
What if I take this big goal, and break it down into pieces that feel manageable to me. Like, can I lose 2 pounds this week? Yes, I feel very confident that I can.
Is it realistic for me to think that I can lose 2 pounds this week? Yes, it is.
So, there you go. And later on, as it gets tougher, I may have to adjust my goal, but that's ok. If I drove all the way to Sweetwater and got a flat, would I turn all the way around and go back home? No. I would have to take some time and deal with the situation and then continue forward. (AND THAT RIGHT THERE FOLKS HAS BEEN MY BIGGEST ISSUE)
Life is going to happen and get in the way and I've got to give myself some slack. This does not have to be a perfect process. Because in the end, is the 100 pounds my REAL goal? No. I want to be healthier and happier, I want to have a family, I want to treat my body as a temple. Those are the real goals and they are so much more important than the number.