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What Have Diamante Embellished Bikinis Got to Do With Setting a Goal That Sticks?

21/01/2016 10:36 GMT | Updated 20/01/2017 10:12 GMT

Why I have swapped my running shoes for a bikini, bucket loads of fake tan and clear plastic kitten heels?

Apparently, bikini bodies start in winter, although I have always tended to not really pay much attention to this revelation. Instead, once summer whirled round, I chose to opt for a sensible one piece with panelled support. Last year, I lost 20lbs in weight. Despite this, whilst on holiday, I didn't wear a bikini.

I was really in two minds about putting my latest goal out there like this. I am feeling slightly anxious about it. It is like no other challenge I have set myself before. BUT, as a Life Coach, you have to walk your talk and I often encourage people to share their goals so that it gives them the feeling of accountability. So here goes, this year I am going to enter a fitness bikini competition. This New Year's project is making last year's half marathon pale into insignificance and is literally and metaphorically, lifting the bar much higher than I have ever done before. I am not a natural performer, beach body ready I would not consider myself and I comfortably rate myself as more of a looks good in a winter knit kinda girl.

Also, at the age of 36, having had two babies and with an appendectomy scar that looks like the results of a surgical procedure completed on a pirate ship - why did I set myself this challenge?

In many ways, as goals go this one is text book. It is time specific and has is broken down into, smaller steps that I must work towards each day. In its most basic form it goes: train, rest, eat, repeat, with the odd freak out moment thrown if for good measure, particularly revolving around diamante clad bikinis and transparent kitten heels!!! Who knew?!

Friends normally respond to my latest project with 'Are you mad?' 'YOU, are you sure, YOU', followed by WHY?

So yes, why this challenge and not say a marathon, which would be a logical next step after completing the half. Bottom line, no pun intended, I wanted to see if I could. For many years as a kid, I watched Gladiators and wanted to look good in lycra. I wanted to see if I could transform myself, train in a different way, test my discipline and most of all if I'm honest well - look good in a bikini.

This is followed up by - how's it going?

Well after the first week of training, I very much asked myself, why I had set this challenge. I had been up at 5.30am and driven to the gym in the cold and dark. I thought lifting weights would be a breeze for me (always fancied myself as quite strong) but by the end of the week was feeling so so sore, run down and like I had the flu. I needed to eat more (yippee) didn't need telling twice, clean stuff though, but more of it).

It is different, harder work and more commitment than I've ever done before, so having set this goal I got to thinking about developing a formula for creating a goal that sticks.

This is it:

Have you set the right goal? - Yawn I know, we've heard it all before, set a goal, but this time I'm setting a goal that feels really good and exciting. It will take a lot of commitment, it will be hard work, but it is also going to be fun. My goal is six months into the future, but I've actually broken it down into weekly and then daily activities that I need to achieve so I don't get too overwhelmed.

Chart your progress - For me, I have taken photos of me before I begin (January in a bikini selfies - yuck) and done my initial measurements. Every month to 6 weeks, I will redo this whole process and I will have proof of the changes. Depending on your goal keeping track of your progress can involve a measuring tape or you can be really aware of giving yourself time to reflect as you move forward and celebrate milestones.

Build a Vision - What do you want your goal to look like? How do you imagine that your life will be different once you are on the way to achieving your goal or once you have achieved it? I have an idea of how I want to look at the end of all this training. I want to have had this completely transformative experience, to have been pushed out of my comfort zone and I am using my vision to keep me motivated.

Build Structure and Routine - At the moment its early days and I feel raring to go. A big part for me was realising that I could not achieve this goal by myself. I needed to have a trainer and I will need massages, fake tan and protein shakes to help me get to where I want to be. I had to give myself permission to get the help I need to achieve my goal. I had to consider the practical stuff. So for instance, what time do I need to get up? Who can I get to help me train? How much time per week can I realistically devote to this?

Remove Negativity - It is amazing the influence that we let other people have over our lives. I have deliberately chose to ignore any negativity. Being with people who have already done what I am trying to do, makes me feel as if it's completely within my reach.

Believe You Can!! You can do anything you put your mind too, believe in yourself, believe it will be straightforward and ultimately you have everything you need.