If I have two minutes with a mum to support her with exercise, I always encourage her to set a goal. There is plenty of evidence from psychology research that having a clear goal makes a task more enjoyable and keeps us human-beings motivated. And my personal experience of working with mums and other fitness clients is that an inspiring goal can make the difference between success and giving up with an exercise regime.
The more specific the goal the better – for example, doing a 5km on a specific date is far more effective as a goal than wanting to be able to run better. Even more importantly your goal should be positive. Again, extensive research shows that we’re not motivated by avoiding something bad but by something we actively desire. So banish “be less fat” and think “wear a dress I love”. Have fun and love your fitness goal!
Lastly, once you have your goal, share it. Lots of mums find great support from loved ones when they share an inspiring goal and ask for some specific support with it. “Go for a walk with me once a week, buy me a new sports top, congratulate me when I make progress… ” The more people you tell about your goal the more people you have to be your cheerleaders when the going gets tough.
So, tell me, what’s your goal?
We are talking about goals in the Ready Steady Mums Facebook community group this week so come and join in! I’d love to support you.