Put Your Fitness Goals In Writing

by Susan Critelli

fitness goals in writing

I am the worst when it comes to writing things down. My office at Fit After Fifty is awash in papers, from receipts to unread magazines to paper scraps with phone numbers and no name. It is a wonder I get anything done.

Unsurprisingly, I have not committed to any of my fitness goals in writing.

I have been following the motivational tips in this blog and others for years, and they all tell me to write down my goals. So why haven’t I done that?

I think that in my mind, not writing it down means that I don’t “really” have to do it. Couple that with a flurry of activities in my business and personal life that I have chosen to make a priority, and there is just no time for exercise.

I know, I know. The dictionary is the only place where “success” comes before “work.”

I am still experiencing changes in my body and in my energy levels. I have not been on the scale since I declared that I would not be obsessing over those numbers, so I don’t know whether I have lost any more weight. For that matter, I don’t know how many calories I am taking in, or how many days a week I am exercising, or for how long. You can’t track what you don’t measure.

It seems like now would be a good time to revisit what I hoped to accomplish in January and find a better way to hold myself accountable. Would you be willing to join me?

I would like to get about 10 other people who are serious about losing weight and getting fit to join me over at StickK.com, a website developed to help you actually set and achieve your goals by creating “Commitment Contracts.” Behavioral research shows that people who stake money or reputation when they make a commitment to accomplish something are far more likely to actually achieve the goals they set for themselves.

One would have thought that baring my soul on the Internet would have been accountability enough! But evidently I need something more.

I am selecting two goals:  the first is to be on the treadmill five times a week, building up from 1 to 3 miles over a 16 week period that ends October 19. The second is to lose 20 pounds in that same time period, just over a pound per week. I have to select a referee who can verify whether I actually succeed each week. I will probably make that my husband, who will badger me if necessary. I also have the opportunity to select a “stake,” which in my case will be an amount of money per week that I do not want to have to shell out. I will also designate a recipient for this money. Every week, the folks at StickK.com will charge my credit card, and at the end of the challenge will send the money to the designated recipient.

So will you join me? I have to have some StickK.com members to be my cheering section, and I sure would love it if we could figure out how to achieve our fitness goals together. What goals could you achieve if you had a way to be accountable and measure your goals with friends? Staking money is optional, so please don’t hesitate because of that. Please comment below and let me know if you would be willing to participate. You can also email me at [email protected]  Next month we will report back with our progress!

 Susan Critelli
Susan Critelli
Social Media Strategist
“Internet junkie, social media maven and Mom to two amazing young adults.”


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bill starkey June 20, 2013 - 9:59 am

treat it like your work and soon the your plans become routine

Susan Critelli June 21, 2013 - 4:09 am

Routine. Now there’s a good word, Bill. I would love for working out to become part of my routine!

Laurinda June 20, 2013 - 9:03 pm

This sounds all so interesting. I am looking at the sticK sight now – may give it a shot myself.

Susan Critelli June 21, 2013 - 4:08 am

Thanks, Laurinda. I have to admit it is a little scary to actually make a public commitment and have to stick to it. Pardon the pun.

geoffrey tegjeu June 20, 2013 - 9:08 pm

Susan, you are doing a wonderful thing here by sharing. It does make things easier but you must be aware not to be reliant on it. What you can and will rely on , with no quarters given, is yourself. YOU decide your course of action and go through it, if need be, do some adjustments, than head on towards your goal. Clear the clutter and noise in the head and just focus. Have a Fantastic Friday and Wonderful Weekend.. Regards Geoff

Susan Critelli June 21, 2013 - 4:11 am

Geoff, you are so right. I had been relying on the fact that I was posting this story publicly, but that wasn’t enough. It is so easy to get lazy and fall back into old patterns.

cjnewsome June 20, 2013 - 9:13 pm

I’m a personal trainer by trade, and it seems you’ve incorporated a great system for achieving you fitness goals, Great job Susan, and keep up the good work.

Susan Critelli June 21, 2013 - 4:13 am

Thanks for your comment! Exercise is key, and I just haven’t been able to find a way NOT to find a reason not to exercise. So I am very hopeful this time.

Mary-Margaret Walker June 20, 2013 - 9:24 pm

This sounds like a very interesting plan. I’m interested in tracking the site to see how successful it is!! I’m impressed with your goal to set your goals!!!

Susan Critelli June 21, 2013 - 4:14 am

Thanks, Mary-Margaret! I hope the site does well, it is a great idea, and a tool that ought to motivate a lot of people.

Casey Fahey (@CaseyFahey) June 20, 2013 - 9:28 pm

Great stuff, my dad always told me that if you want to make something real, then you write it down!

Susan Critelli June 21, 2013 - 4:17 am

Thanks, Casey. It seems really lame not to be able to write down a goal, so there has to be something else going on here. Appreciate the support, I will be keeping everyone posted!

Terrys Empire (@ciscoglenn) June 20, 2013 - 9:50 pm

Complete support for your efforts and sharing. Have a great weekend!

Matthew Callahan (@_ThinkerTinker) June 20, 2013 - 9:53 pm

What a wonderful idea. The best of luck to you!!!

Joseph Solares June 20, 2013 - 10:04 pm

I like what Geoffrey said to take into account when coming up with your goals. I am glad that you are tracking your weight this time around, while you do not want to get stuck in the numbers weighing yourself weekly makes sense. For me the hardest part of losing weight is making sure that I stay busy and am not bored and finding myself eating as a result. Also the link you forgot the colon so http//www.stickk.com/ should be http://www.stickk.com/ I am going to check out Stickk now.

Oliver Nguyen June 20, 2013 - 10:05 pm

I’m glad you included a mechanism be accountable to others for your commitments. I do believe it will help motivate you to keep your written goals!

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