We all have goals. What are yours? To lose 20 pounds? Get in shape? Buy a
new house? Make more money? Having a goal is the easy part. Reaching it? Well,
that's something else entirely. If you're frustrated because you feel like you
keep coming up short when it comes to realizing your dreams, maybe it's time to
try a different approach.
When setting a goal, ask yourself first of all if your goals are realistic
and if you are really ready to make the changes in your life necessary to reach
By Janice Graham
As you hit one of those big birthdays, you probably worry more about new
wrinkles than about less visible body parts — like your heart. But recent
research has found that each decade of your life is a crossroads, with new
health concerns to worry about. What's more, you need to be aware of these
issues — because your doctor may not be. "Many physicians fail to recognize how
much a woman's risk factors for heart disease evolve over her lifetime," says
"Most people don't take into consideration whether they're ready to do
what it takes to achieve their goals," says Steven Rosenberg, PhD.
Rosenberg is a behavior therapist, the team psychotherapist for the
Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, and author of I Hope the Hell I WIN!
Turning Hope into Reality...How Winners Win! If you're going through a
stressful time at work, for example, this may not be the best time to start a
weight loss program; maybe you'd do better to wait a few months and start on,
say, your birthday.
Be realistic as well, says Rosenberg. You can't lose 40 pounds in two weeks,
or even a month. Set an achievable objective, such as 1 to 2 pounds a week; by
the end of the year, you will have lost the 40 pounds.
"Goals that get reached are those that are firm, well-defined, and to
which the individual is truly and completely committed," says Susan
Schachterle, director of the Denver-based Ahimsa Group, which provides
consulting and coaching services to individuals and organizations worldwide.
"Without that commitment, trying to reach goals is like grabbing Jell-O --
you think maybe you have it, but there's really nothing to hang on to."
Schachterle suggests that you check your commitment. Ask yourself why you
want to achieve that particular goal. What will that do for you? Why is it
important? What will your life be like when you have reached it? How will
achieving your goal change things for you?
"If you're having trouble making a strong commitment," says
Schachterle, "make sure it's the right goal and the right time for