By Roy Mercer, VFIS of Texas Director of Safety, Training & Education
The last article I wrote was the beginning stages of my Biggest Loser experience. “Three very important rules, even I have a problem maintaining are; stretching your body before you take on the activity, drinking 100 ounces of water a day or ½ your body weight in ounces of water a day, and taking small steps toward your goals.” In this article I will be focusing on setting those small goals. Setting goals are easy, staying on track is the hard part because life gets in the way. As many of you have already experienced through your emergency responses or even your classes, very similar to your ICS 300, setting goals need to be SMART.
What are SMART goals? Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Specific goals are those that guide the user and/or the participant to desirable results. Remember, when developing the SMART goals, it is for you and the life you are living, keep focusing on yourself, what are the desired results of your goals. An example, I will drink at least half my weight in ounces of water per day within three months, this is the desired result. Measurable, half my weight per day of water. Attainable, don’t make it hard to reach because when we accomplish something we feel good about ourselves. Keep in mind that experts state it takes 66 days to form a habit, according to a new recent study, “founded by the 2010 UK study, led by University College London research psychologist Pippa Lally”. Meaning, if your desire is to keep this goal ongoing, then set it up for 66 days to be attainable. You may want to start drinking 16 ounces a day at the beginning and by the end of the 66th day you have met your goal of half your weight in ounces of water per day. If you forget and don’t achieve a certain day, the 66 days start over. Remember, it is your life so make it attainable to your life style. If the goal was to create a habit of drinking half your weight of water a day, after you reach half your weight of water from that day forward you start counting the 66 days. Realistic, can it be accomplished? You need to stop and ask yourself, if I drink this much water when can I drink and please don’t forget, the water goes somewhere, so can I also get rid of the water. These are two important rules for me, I travel and when I am on the road I need to take the opportunity to stop. Planning is very important, I have been held up in traffic before and the pain was so bad that I was willing to relieve myself right there, haven’t done this yet but I am sure it will happen if I do not plan correctly. Lastly, Timely, we mentioned this already, the 66 days, but a time frame is very important, it sets the bench marks of the goal. During this 66 days’ experience of creating a habit, set up achievable bench marks along the way to keep yourself on task for the overall goal timeline.
Stretching your muscles today is being questioned by some officials. Evidence has not proven that stretching helps reduce injuries during exercise. Additionally, there’s no evidence that stretching will harm you before and even after you exercise. The Biggest Loser’s group supports the idea of stretching the body before working out. By far I am not an expert in the subject but personally I like the idea of stretching. We were asked in the at the Biggest Loser campus to join the group at 6 am. I always enjoyed this hour of stretching, preparing you mentally and physically each day before your exercising experience. This year at the State Firefighters and Fire Marshals’ Association convention, a stretching class has scheduled each morning at 6 am. I will be facilitating the event with SWorkit App. This program will help you get started in your regular day. Through my travels across the state I have seen and heard new approaches to stretch your body before starting work. One department, don’t remember the name, has implemented stretching before the trucks get checked at the start of each shift, a pat-on-the-back for those departments for implementing these processes. The SWorkit App will guide you through the process. In closing, come out June 25 – 28, 2016 in McAllen, Texas to start your days right.
ESO WC GROUP
VFIS of Texas