This is the third year that I’ve set goals during January. In 2014, I set 10 full year goals. I recognized that it wasn’t that it is hard to focus on a long term goal that is far away. So, I also set goals for each month that more attainable and that would build up to my annual goals.
By January of last year, I realized the problem with this plan. A year is a long time. By mid-year, those 2014 goals were in shambles. I had a knee problem and had a trabecular bone injury in my leg that made many of my goals impossible or inadvisable. It didn’t feel good in June to know that I had set a bunch of goals I couldn’t possible meet.
So, for 2015 I decided to set quarterly goals. I also reduced my total number of goals, knowing that 10 in 2014 had been just too many. That worked reasonably well for 2015 goals, but I ended the year a bit dissatisfied. I think even 4 goals was too many for me. I seem to do best if I focus on one or two things at a time.
That leads me to want to do something a little different for 2016.
I am first going to set two annual goals.
- Improve my body composition over the course of the year, while remaining at or below my Weight Watchers goal weight. I am not going to put a specific number on this. I know I need to lose body fat. I would certainly like to go from about 45% body fat down to 35% as a first goal. I don’t know if I can do that in a year so I won’t set that as a specific goal. I am sure that I can reach that goal. But, I can’t totally control when I reach it. I don’t want to feel like a failure if I get to 36% at the end of 2016. What I can control is what I do in working to reach it. Overall weight as long as I am at or below my Weight Watchers goal weight is not that important to me. That said, I think that to significantly improve my body composition I will need to lose at least 10 pounds of fat, while continuing to do strength training.
- Live a healthy lifestyle in terms of food and activity. I think I’ve done a lot on this already. I made a lot of improvement in 2015 on both counts. But, I can still do better.
While those are broad annual goals, I do better have more specific action oriented goals to work on. In 2014, I had monthly goals. In 2015, I chose to have quarterly goals, with no annual goals. This year, I have a different idea. I am going to work on 2 actions right now. I am not putting on here anything I am already consistently doing. For example, eating within my Weight Watchers SmartPoints or within my calorie goal is not something I am going to list here. That is because I am consistently achieving those things. This if for things that I want to work. Once I am doing well on one of these, I will replace it with something else.
The two things I want to focus on right now are:
- Increase the number of calories I burn each day. I am doing fine on my eating. I am happy with that and don’t need to change it. And, I can’t realistically eat any less than I eat now. If I want to lose that 10 pounds of fat more quickly than I lost my weight to get to goal, I need to have a larger calorie deficit than I had before. The only realistic way for me to do that is to burn more calories. There are really two ways for me to do that. First, burn more calories during exercise. I do plan to exercise more consistently. Last year, I did reasonably well overall, but I slacked off a bit later in the year. I want to get back to where I was earlier in 2015. Second, and even more importantly, I very much need to increase my calorie burn during non-exercise activity. This one is a struggle for me. I live in a one story home, I work from home sitting at a desk, and many of my most favorite things to do are things done while sitting. If I don’t go somewhere during the day or exercise, my calorie burn is very low. There is a limit to how much I increase exercise before my knee protests, so I need to increase non-exercise physical activity. Increasing my calorie burn is my first priority of the new year. Historically, I’ve lost about a half pound a week, but even that was difficult to get to as I got closer to a normal BMI. If I ended up at being able to lose 3/4 of a bound to a pound a week, I would be ecstatic.
- Cook more real food at home and eat out less. This is not really a weight loss goal. I do fine eating out and staying within my points. I made a lot of progress last year in eating more real food and limiting processed foods (and being careful which processed foods I ate). But, I want to do more actual cooking for general healthfulness. I just bought an Instant Pot and am eager to start using it.
So, there you have it. Two annual goals and 2 immediate steps to take to help achieve those goals. As I achieve each of the 2 steps, I will replace them (or maybe I will work on them all year). I will report back periodically on how I’m doing.