(Thanks to Ankur for sharing this interesting Jedi Mind Trick with me).
Take 2 sheets of paper. Label the first thusly:
My Top 5 Fitness Goals (July 2009)
Proceed to fill in the blanks. Don’t worry if you don’t have 5; it’s okay to leave some blank. What’s important is that you think about what you want to achieve, and that you write it down with as much detail as possible.
(Example: My Top 5 Fitness Goals July 2009
1. Lift something 1.15 times my own bodyweight over my head.
2. Improve work output in 6 minute Jiujitsu matches by 25%.
3. Close that darned #2 - and grind it, for teasing me all these years:(
Repeat the process with the second sheet, labeling it:
My Top 5 Fitness Goals (December 2009)
and filling in the corresponding answers. Remember, you’ve got another 6 months here, so goal-set accordingly.
Here’s the voodoo part: Put them each in an envelope, labeled with their due dates (July 2009 and December 2009, respectively). Then put them somewhere prominent, so that they’re visible, but don’t look at the goal sheets themselves.
So the exercise goes, your unconscious goes to work helping you to achieve your goals (even if you don’t consciously remember them) - conscious implantation of unconscious motivation, as it were.
(Am I skeptical? Of the concept - very. But could it be helpful? Yes. There is research to show the efficacy of goal-setting in helping you achieve your goals and any exercise in goal-setting acts as an opportunity to sit down with yourself, quiet the noise, and uncover what you really want. And it is this thinking about what you really want that acts as the catalyst for other thought to occur - “Now, how would I go about doing that? How many times a week would I need to do that for?” - and so on.)
Open the envelopes when they become due (i.e., open the July 2009 envelope on July 1st). And (huzzah!) behold!
(Incidentally, if you just can’t bring yourself to get started with an exercise program, this is the most pain-free way I know how).