Strategize your Daily Goal
We all know what an AFS Daily Goal is. You and your practitioner have your New Client meeting and you set up a daily reminder through the AFS Connect app. This reminder should help implement habit change over time as it provides accountability to your practitioner. The typical Daily Goal looks like “Did you stay under your *x calorie* goal today? If not, why?” That question is a perfect goal! But let’s explore the creative side of a daily goal a bit pertaining to some wider range goals and how you can make them more effective to establish the desired behavior change.
This is for the people with “Did you avoid snacking after 8pm?” type goals. How many times have you missed that goal simply because you didn’t realize it was past 8? One solution: The default Daily Goal reminder time can be changed! Move your time up to exactly 8, or even 7:45. This time when the ding chimes, it is actually a reminder, not just a question your practitioner wants to know. And on top of that, when you answer, it’s not just answering your practitioner, it is making a promise/contract to yourself, to not eat after 8. The mindset there is much more based on the daily goal helping you directly, than the daily goal question just asking if you did it.
We all lead such busy lives. But that busy life doesn’t always keep you active. You and your practitioner may have a “What did you do for physical activity today” or “How many steps did you get in today” type of goal. Unfortunately I find a lot of people at 10pm at night thinking, “Hmm what did I do for activity today? I got the kids to school, I went to work, brought mom to the doctor, made dinner, and then the new ‘This Is Us’ episode was on. I suppose there just wasn’t time.” And then they answer the goal “I didn’t have time. Busy day.” That day can be exceptionally valid as too busy. But I also challenge the helpfulness of the goal placement. We, as humans, are over 4 times more likely to do something when we plan to do it and write it down. Now, here is the same day, but the Daily Goal asks you in the morning at 7am “Did you follow your activity goal yesterday? What will your planned Physical Activity be today?” Now you have the proactive chance to think ahead at your crazy day and brainstorm. Perhaps you can walk the stairs at the medical clinic as your mom is in with the doctor, or do stretches at work between projects, or make walking tacos for dinner (okay the walking tacos was actually a pun, but you get the point). For some people, a strategic goal, is a morning plan.
This last one is a little different. And based off of a very recent client interaction that really got me thinking about all of this. She has a goal based off of limiting sweets to at least 2 servings if not one per day (with the term ‘sweets’ defined prior). She brought to my attention a very real issue. After a long day of stressful work, while she was settling down into her introvert/recovery time, the daily goal would chime. And she would find herself resenting the goal, resenting needing to check in with someone about it, and just being overall annoyed with it. This would happen whether or not she followed her goal! Yep, she would be right on track only having sugar in coffee that morning, but would still find herself agitated. The two of us had an open and honest conversation about this and during it we stumbled upon the answer. She needed the reminder the come in the morning, when she is energetic looking forward to the day. A question pertaining to the day prior (Did you follow your sweets goal yesterday?) isn’t necessarily an easy or possibly very accurate one. But it in this instance, the goal needed to be seen as a positive reinforcement of support in the morning, not as a nagging trainer at night. In this way, she can start off her day with support, as opposed to ending it with perceived judgement.
Not all of these methods will work for everyone. And that's not the point anyway. I’m simply hoping this post gets you brainstorming on how your daily goal can truly be used as a tool to influence a daily goal to become a daily habit.
Does anyone have any input on what they can do to make their personal daily goal more strategic?