We’re almost half way through December, which means the new year is just around the corner. With the new year comes the thought of new goals and an exciting time to think about everything you want to achieve in the coming year. I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, but I am a big fan of taking time to set goals. Arguably, this should be done more often than once per year, but changing from 2018 to 2019 is a great time to reflect on all that you have accomplished in the last year and setting out a game plan for the next few months at least.
A strategy I’ve been using for myself and helping others achieve their health and fitness goals is to break things down from goals into skills. Goals are great, I don’t think there’s a bad goal out there. But, they can be lacking in direction and without a game plan to take action, it’s just a hope. Here’s how I break things down to make achieving any goal into something achievable:
Set your goal and make it as clear as possible. I’m sure we’ve all heard about SMART goals; specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound. This is a good start, and your goal should have all of these components, but it leaves something to be desired.
I like to ask these questions; What are your goals? Awesome, why is that important to you? Fill in the blank: You want to achieve X so that____?”
I think it’s important to take some time to think about what it will actually be like to achieve your goal. Why are they important to you? How is your life going to be different/better once you’ve achieved this goal? This gives you a much more powerful picture of how your goal will impact you and why it is that you want to achieve it.
Break your goal into skills that you practice everyday. Your goal isn’t just going to achieve itself since you wrote it down. You have to take action on it every day. Another question to ask yourself when writing out your goals is, “What skills do I need to make this happen?”
When thinking about a health and fitness goal, there are certain skills that you need to have. If your goal is to get stronger, do you have the skills to go to the gym consistently? Do you know how to do the exercises proficiently? Do you have a plan to follow that challenges you at an appropriate level for where you currently are? If your goal is to lose weight, do you have the skills to make a meal plan that will help you eat enough of the right kind of foods? Do you know how to cook food that you like and build your plate with the right amounts? Do you have a workout plan that you will be able to follow?
Understand that it is not going to be a linear progression. I have been living by two phrases recently which have helped me a lot.
“Perfect = Failure” We all have this desire and idea that things need to be perfect. We want to do things as well as possible, and then better! The truth is, nothing will ever be perfect. An imperfect plan acted on is way better than the perfect plan you are searching for but never find. Start with your imperfect plan and take action! You can always make course corrections along the way.
“Thinking is a movement pattern” Any goal that we go after that is worth it will be challenging and will require us to think a little bit different about it. I guarantee there will be moments you struggle and want to give up. Take what happens as information and make your adjustments. You did not fail because you ate pizza. You are not a bad person because you slept in and missed your workout. Take the information about what happened and try to learn from it. Get back to your plan after you struggle as soon as you can. Creating the right thinking is necessary to accomplish your goals, but it will take energy and effort to change the way you think. The good news is by catching yourself and adjusting your thinking to this way will create a new normal for you. It will be hard at first, but with practice it will become second nature.
Having a goal to work towards is awesome, achieving goals is even more awesome. Take some time to think about your “So that…” You want to achieve your goal SO THAT… Once you envision how it will feel to accomplish your goal you will be even more motivated to make it happen. Break your goal down into skills that, when practiced, will lead you toward your goals. Things like learning how to squat or deadlift if your goal is to get stronger are great options here. Know that your goal will be challenging, that’s part of why it’s worth going after! Practice your plan, adjust when needed, and get back on track when you struggle!
PS: Get a kickstart on your goals for 2019! If you sign up for a plan for 2019, we’ll give you the rest of 2018 for FREE! Don’t wait to set your goals and attack them! Click HERE to sign up for a FREE strategy session to get started. You can also simply respond to this email and we'll get you scheduled!