“Setting a goal is not the main thing, it is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan” Setting goals is very different to achieving goals, unfortunately the path to success is littered with people who have failed to reach the goals they originally set out to achieve.
So you have finally come to the conclusion that it is time to take control of your health and fitness. Awesome, that is the hardest part done! Now what??
It is vitally important that when setting goals that they are going to not only excite you but feel like achieving it is something you can do. The aim should be to enable yourself to embrace this new lifestyle, but it is equally important that you map out the process from beginning to end.
There is a reason that so many New Years resolutions fail each year…because the desire to achieve the result has not been correctly put down to paper and mapped out to become an achievable target. Just because you have gone out and purchased some active wear, does not mean that you are automatically guaranteed the result that you are after…
It is all well and good to say that you want to lose 30kgs in the next 12 months, or that you will run a half marathon, but unless you can accurately map that out and break it down, unfortunately it is a lot harder to achieve.
So how do we go about turning our goal into an achieveable target??
Really define what it is that you want to achieve
This might sound a bit strange, but you really need to quantify what it is that you are looking to achieve with your health and fitness. You want to lose 20kgs? FANTASTIC!!! How do you want that to feel? How do you feel now? What size clothes do you want to fit into? What changes are required in your everyday life to make this happen? All of this needs to be written down, and you really need to connect with your goal on an emotional level. This will not only excite and motivate you, but enable you to have a really clear representation of what you want to achieve.
Breaking it down
The best way to take control of your goal is to break it down into smaller, more achievable chunks. If you want to achieve your overall goal in 12 months, where would you like to be in 3,6 & 9 months? What do you need to do in the first 3 months to hit your target? If you are able to break it down as much as possible, it makes the overall goal seem much more achievable, and allows you to not get overwhelmed with the whole process.
Break it down further
You want to lose 20kgs in 12 months, and have broken it down into achievable chunks. You now have a goal to lose 5kgs in the first 3 months. Well done! We now need to break it down further…Let’s get thinking about what you need to achieve each week in order to hit that goal. Sit down and have a think about what your normal week looks like. When can you commit to regular exercise? What type of exercise is it going to be? How many times p/week can you realistically exercise? Finally, can you make a week in, week out commitment to this training plan?
Make it SMART
This is a pretty important concept and if utilized correctly will help you in setting and achieving some really motivating and exciting goals. What does SMART mean?
SPECIFIC – Who, What, Where, When, Which and Why all need to be answered. Detail!!
MEASURABLE – Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. Numbers, sizes, distance etc…
ACHIEVEABLE – Is this something I can see myself achieving? Unless you really believe that you can do it, it will be a constant struggle
REALISTIC – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are bothwilling and able to work. You are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be
TIME-BOUND – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. Give yourself deadlines!
You have defined what it is that you want to achieve, you have found some incredibly motivating targets to hit, and you have mapped it all out. There is just one thing left to do. EXECUTE. There is never a perfect time to start, so just get into it straight away. Stay committed because very rarely does anything that is truly worth it come easy in life. There will be hurdles, there will be road blocks, but if you stay committed to what it is that you want to achieve, you will get there.
3 more tips just for reading this through…
Make it visual.
Write it down and print it out, stick your goals on the fridge, in the shower, on the roof above your bed. If you surround yourself with the goals that you want to achieve, you will have a much higher chance of achieving it
Public accountability is equal parts empowering and scary. Letting the people around you know what you are doing means that you have another layer of accountability built in. There is a reason it is called ‘home field advantage’, it is because everyone is cheering for the home team! It is much easier to achieve something when you have people cheering for you and helping you.
Constantly check on progress.
Is my body responding well to this? Have I done everything that I said I would this week? Is there something else I could incorporate into my training to get a better result? Is there someone I can ask for advice? There is no point setting a goal for 3 months and then not checking it until the 3 months is up. Weigh yourself weekly, measure yourself, write down what you eat for future reference. It is much better to get your car serviced regularly than to wait for it to break down completely.
Setting and achieving a goal is incredibly motivating. Really think about what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, why it is important to you and how you will feel when you get there. Map it out and hold yourself accountable. It is amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to something.
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