Friday, January 14, 2011

Goal Setting Made Easy

Goal Setting Made Easy

Now I don’t specialize in motivational speaking or the psychology of achievement but I do have a few years of experience and have watched people successfully accomplish goals. What follows are elements of a goal and the five steps I use in setting a goal. So let’s get started.

The goal must be specific. For example, I want to lose 15 pounds of fat is specific. It is also a measurable goal.

The goal must be realistic. If you have never performed a single pull-up then performing 50 pull-ups in 30 days is not realistic. Having a goal that is challenging but realistic is important.

The goal must have a deadline. Can you imagine anything being accomplished without a deadline? Deadlines are a fact of life and they need to be part of your goal setting.

This final part I believe is the difference maker for most. You need to make your goals public. As intimidating as this sounds at first it’s a critical step. This holds you accountable for your goals. The community you share your goals with will ask so you are now on the hook to perform!

Now that we have elements of a goal we need a process of setting a goal.

STEP 1: State the goal. We can assume the following is specific, measurable and realistic. “ I want to lose 15 pounds.”

STEP 2: State the trade-offs. I look at trade as the uncomfortable part. This is getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Trading old bad habits for newer better habits.

Here are a few examples.

Can’t go out every Tuesday evening to the bar.
I will not be able to go to eat 4 pints of frozen custard during the week.
I will need to skip late night television so I can get up in the morning.
STEP3: State the Benefits. These are the good habits you are getting in return.

I will be able to wear my old jeans.
I will look not grow weary in the afternoons. I will finally perform 10 perfect push-ups.
I will sign up for that mountain bike race my friends having been asking me about. ~I will be healthier for the long term.
STEP4: List the tasks required. This would include all the execution steps. For example.

Make a specific shopping list.
Prepare lunches and dinners in advance.
Have water with me at all times.
Have workout clothes ready.
STEP 5: Deadline. I will lose the 15 pounds in 12 weeks or on the weigh-in date ____? You can also set interval deadlines.

STEP 6: Occasionally it is appropriate to set a reward for an accomplished goal. A movie, afternoon off, a new book. The reward carries a contingency. Any reversal of accomplished goal within a 12 month period carries a penalty.

Now that you have set your goal and made it public, place the written goal in locations where you will see it frequently. Some obvious locations include but not restricted to your journal, paper planner, nightstand, refrigerator gym bulletin board.

If you come to our gym the whiteboard is ready for your posting!

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