How is it June already? I went for a walk last night with a pal and we were speaking about how quickly the last 6 months had gone, and how we both were questioning ‘what’ we had achieved in those 6 months. Are you finding yourself in the same situation?
Anyone who has been following me for a while will know that I am all about Goal Setting and Planning. I try sit down for an hour every weekend to write out my week, what I want to achieve, my plans, my workouts split, a rough food plan outline among other things. I wasn’t always like this – and I lately I’ve had a few people say to me ‘I need to find my motivation’.
This often is said by friends or followers when they are feeling a little ‘off track’, out of balance, no game plan, or just a bit… bleugh. It’s true that there are many factors that sway and influence our motivation, but let me tell you this – that’s not what you need to make your goals and intentions stick for good.
Below I’ve listed goal setting strategies you too can implement to help you find your steady baseline balance and make the next 6 months of 2017 count.
First things first: Attain goals, don’t just make them..
Identify your support systems, talk to those closest to you and tell them youre on a mission to make some lifestyle changes and ask them to keep you accountable.
Identify the ‘Why’ and your intentions. Make a vision board, write your goals down in easy to see places, every day be reminded of them and this will keep you on track. Ask yourself – ‘why is this goal so important to me?’ – ‘what will you gain out of the achievement?’.
Focus on the day – to –day rather than the deadline. This will ensure your mind is kept on progress and you won’t fell yourself getting ‘lost’ at how far off the goal is. Perform daily acts that will bring you a step closer to your goal, eg. Walk more to increase exercise.
Measure and log your outcomes and plans in logs, journals, pictures, diaries etc. Have a journal where you can refer to what changes you’ve made. This will provide you with a nice ‘snapshot’ of how far you’ve come, and how far you have yet to go – and where you might need to refocus.
Lastly, FOCUS ON PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION.
Personally, I think that not all goals are physical goals which is why I split mine into quantitative goals and qualitative goals.
Quantitive Goals focus on the quantity or number-driven outcomes. For example: inches gained/lost, lean muscle mass gain/lost, fat mass gained/lost, time spent in the gym, etc. Qualitative Goals focus on the quality outcomes. For example, more intellectual, emotional, characteristic based outcomes such as how you feel, successes you’ve reached along the way, daily habits integrated into your lifestyle, behavioural changes, mental thought regarding your goals, social aspects, etc.
Let’s discuss how to set goals.
Step 1: See and feel the vision.
Step 2: Write, write, write or draw J
Step 3: Prioritize your goals.
Step 4: Plan. Focus on the daily schedule and lifestyle choices you need to make. Plan your day to day schedule, then week by week. Like a road map.
Step 5: Jump In – Just do what you planned to do and take action.
Step 6: Measure your outcomes.
Step 7: Tweak each week.
Step 8: Stay positive. Remember – Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Secondly: Find the intention.
So remember I mentioned above that making goals stick had less to do with motivation? It has more to do with Intention. Intention requires a strategic plan or a formula. It requires a desire to change (so some form of motivation I guess). Behaviour trends and challenges actually actually affect the outcome of goal achievement more than you’d thing.
Have high motivation but no plan wont get you very far, where as having moderate to high motivation with a solid plan of action will. This of course doesn’t just link into nutrition and diet though – be mindful that this intention setting strategy can be applied to all areas of your life including professional goals, personal behaviours, relationships, and those pillars of optimal health like stress management, sleep and exercise.
Try treating achieving goals like a professional job – see wellness as your job. Clock in and clock out” the tasks, goals, actionable steps, and plan to reach those goals every single day. Follow these daily steps to reach your next milestone. Raise your motivation, intention and forming habits all at the same time.
Why no use this goal setting model, which I discovered online a few months back and religiously make work for any goal I want to achieve.
1. What is my vision/goal(s)?
2. How/when/what steps I need to take to get there?
3. What will be potential challenges?
4. How will I feel and be supported in this plan?
5. What is my plan B if this goal doesn’t jive? (hint: you assess and meet yourself where you ARE in the present moment, move forward)
6. What will it feel like when I succeed?
7. What’s my maintenance step?
8. What does a maintenance plan look like?
9. From that, I’ll think about scaling that up for years to come about 1-3
In short, to make sure you make those goals stick, you need a strategy plan with details of the when, what, why and how you’re going to achieve them.