Have you ever set a health or fitness goal before?
Have you ever set more than 1 goal?
Have you ever set the SAME goal many different times?
Goals are a funny thing. We all know about them, we all set them, but how often to we reach them? Many people set the same (or very similar) goals over and over again.
Even if you do reach the goal, hopefully you’d set a NEW goal to achieve even more.
Goals are a big part of my coaching program. On the most basic level, I work with people to help them achieve their goals. We set the goal, making a plan to reach the goal, measure our progress towards the goal and then adjust the plan as needed.
Do you go through that process with your goals?
Here are 4 tips to help you get better at setting AND REACHING your goals:
#1 – Set clear and specific goals.
I see so many goals written as “get fit”, “eat better”, “get healthier”, “be more active”, “feel better”, “have more energy”, etc.
The trouble is that these are unclear and not measurable. Setting a clear and specific goal helps you measure your progress and adapt your plan if need be. Something like: “I want to lose 2 inches around my waist in 90 days” is a lot more specific.
#2 – Be realistic.
Do you know how much weight you can lose or gain in 4 weeks? You may have heard numbers thrown out there of what other people have achieved, but do you know how much YOU can achieve? How about how long it takes to increase you run speed, strengthen your core or add 10 more pounds to a lift?
I see many goals set that are only attainable in extreme cases and don’t really apply to the average person. To be realistic with your goals you need to know what YOU can do. If you don’t know what you can do, that’s okay, that’s why we have the next step or you can consult with a professional 😉
#3 – Make a plan
Now that you have the goal. You need to make a plan. Again, I see a lot of failures at this stage because I set a clear goal but don’t make a clear plan to get there.
“I want to lose/gain weight so I’ll go to the gym.”
Yes, the gym is where the progress CAN happen, but if you don’t know what you’re doing while you’re there, how will you reach your goal. The goal is your destination, the plan is your map.
#4 – Measure and adjust.
We set clear goals, we try and be realistic, but now it’s time to measure. The idea of a goal is that we HOPE to achieve it. Really, we’re taking a GUESS at what we can do and then we’re testing it. Whether or not we actually CAN is yet to be determined.
Many people fail to reach their goals in a speedy fashion and then feel defeated and quit. However, NOT reaching your goal actually gives you more information than reaching it. You now know what NOT to do, so it’s time to adjust.
If you don’t reach your goal, make a change to your plan and keep pushing on.
One of my favourite quotes in this area is actually in the signature of all of my emails:
“Never give up on a dream just because of the length of time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
~ H. Jackson Brown
Setting goals isn’t about hitting them 100% of the time. It’s about setting a marker you hope to achieve and then doing everything in your power to get yourself there.
Have you been successful with your goals? What are your tips for success?