Last week we discussed why it is important to set goals, what types you might want to explore and how to get focus and direction.
So now it’s time to stop dreaming and start planning!
Using a system will help you set goals effectively, and here is one that does just that:
Specific: Do you want to be in a specific situation in 5 years – how are you planning to get there?
Do you want to achieve a certain amount of fat loss this year? How are you going do it?
Do you want to be fitter this year? What are you prepared to do to achieve that?
Measurable: Recording, Tracking etc is how you will really see progress. Stepping on the scales actually won’t really tell you very much in the battle against the bulge because you could gain muscle, lose fat and still weight the same. But the non-scale victories are where it’s at. Taking a photo at the start of your journey, and then again in the same clothes (or lack of!) will give you a much better idea of how things are looking. How your clothes FEEL, how much energy you have, these are all positive ways to measure your progress.
Keeping a little note book beside your meditation cushion just to log down the date, how long you meditated and how you are feeling is also a great way to measure your progress.
How many push ups did you do yesterday? How many today? How many will tomorrow bring? Keep track of all your successes.
Achievable: Are your goals actually something you can reasonably hope to achieve or are they just lofty dreams? Making sure that you are setting
Relevant: Is your goal relevant to this point in your life? Steering yourself in a direction that is actually in opposition of where you are in life will just waste your time and prove unsuccessful.
Time Frame: Setting a deadline means that you can set smaller systems in place to take the steps necessary to get you where you want to be.
Accountability: Whether this is being accountable to yourself in the form of writing it down and placing it somewhere visible that you can see it every day, or whether you tell someone else, or post it on social media, accountability helps to keep it real and active and moving forward. This is also a great way to get support from others for what you are trying to achieve.
Once your goal is set, the most important thing to focus on is HOW you are going to achieve it – your system for getting there.
CREATING AN ACTION PLAN:
- Write down the initial steps you need to take to start your journey towards your goal. When you have achieved these, update them with new steps.
- Work out who you need on your team. We all need support in life, and having some cheerleaders can make all the difference to your success. But it is important to be just as specific with these supporters; let them know exactly what you need from them, how you want them to support you, what the boundaries are and what they can actively do (or not do) to make things easier for you. Oftentimes our support team are eager to help but don’t actually know WHAT to do, so let them know what you need.
- Anticipate that there may be roadblocks along the way, and prepare yourself for them. Have a strategy that you can implement if you feel that you are being thrown off course. Sometimes there will be unexpected bumps along the way, but if you can anticipate most things then you won’t come too unstuck when things go awry unexpectedly.
- Keep things simple – don’t overcomplicate your routine to accomplish your daily task towards your goal. Keep things manageable so you don’t feel overwhelmed
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew in the beginning – jumping from no workouts into 5 a week is asking for trouble – from an injury standpoint and also from a sustainability one. Take it one step at a time but stay consistent.
- Opting out vs opting in – buying a class pass for the month at your local gym or exercise class, for example, gives you a reason to “justify” going each week – you have paid for the session already so if you don’t feel very motivated you would have to opt out. This is a better option than “opting in” – ie “making yourself go to the class when you don’t feel motivated, because if you haven’t paid in advance then you have nothing to lose (except a step further towards your goal of course) and it is easy to convince yourself of a hundred reasons not to go.
- Schedule regular appointments for yourself in your diary – eg your workouts if you are trying to get fitter or stronger, a couple of hours to write if you are writing a book, time to plan your nutrition for the day/week if you are wanting to lose weight.
- Write positive affirmations daily in relation to your goal – to help keep you motivated: “When I wake up I will do 10 push ups before anything else”; “After my morning coffee I will write at least 5 paragraphs”; Before I go to bed I will meditate for 2 minutes each night”
- Set up your environment to help you be successful: Place your gym kit at the front door so that you won’t forget to take it with you for your session after work
- Have a dedicated special cushion for your evening meditation in a cosy corner of the bedroom
- Don’t keep any temptation such as cake or biscuits in the house – that way you can’t “accidently” eat any!
- Create a spreadsheet or buy a journal or use a tracking app to help you to measure your progress.
Are you willing to do anything (within reason!!) to achieve your goal? Are you willing to make sacrifices necessary for success? How badly do you want it? You want the rewards but are you willing to put in the hard effort? Focusing on a specific goal means taking your attention away from other pursuits if you are serious about achieving it, which means that prioritising will be essential.
Making an action plan is essential to achieving success, and being consistent with those plans is how you will win.
Goals have the potential to transform your life. They can be incredibly inspiring and can lead you to achieve some amazing things. And what happens when you reach your goal? Set a new one! Now you know you can achieve something you set your heart on, who knows what else you can accomplish?!
To take the stress out of your goal setting I have created a FREE plan for you to download and complete to discover Your Best Self.
To download simply click here.