By Paul Beach
You found yourself brimming with confidence and excited to tackle your new challenge head on. You dive right in and then poof, six months later your vision is dead. It’s amazing, how quickly that “superhuman, I can take on the world, this idea is flawless” feeling can disintegrate. It usually doesn’t happen over night, but over the course of several weeks or several months. Looking back, you question where you went wrong, you question your commitment and you then you begin to list the reasons why your vision was destined to fail.
The idea, or vision I’m talking about is universal, it’s really anything we set out to do. It can be starting a new business, learning to play guitar, eating healthier and of course, the one I see on a weekly basis - getting fit. In my practice I’ve seen goal setting to be a powerful tool for change.
Along our journey we begin to encounter roadblocks - let me give you an example. When I first started personal training a client of mine, lets call her Carey, had decided that she wanted to get into shape. She wanted to lose weight and build lean muscle. So, depending on the level of fitness we would do a variety of exercises, which I would record and build a workout plan from. As the sessions wore on, I would always see considerable improvement - it’s amazing what 3-4 weeks of personal training can do for someone.
Back then, I worked for a larger gym and my clients were typically members which meant I would see them in the following months. What I routinely found was once the sessions ended the individual would carry on for 2-3 weeks continuing to make huge strides. However, almost without fail, shortly after that my clients would struggle to see gains and eventually start receding, they would hit a roadblock.
Carey was no exception she followed this path to a T. About a year down the road after our her first training session was when I really started to notice this pattern. I think subconsciously I knew it was happening, but I had never verbalized it. One evening, after a long day of work, I had decided that I wanted branch out on my own. While, thinking about this I realized, the best way to get clients is through your former clients. And when do your former clients recommend you? If they’re feeling amazing about how they look and feel. I realized I was failing my clients by not using regular goal setting as a solution to overcome roadblocks.
A Practical Guide for Goal Setting
Grab a piece of paper and draw a line straight down the middle of it. On the top of one column write “wanting” and on the top of the other column write “doing”. I’ve found this to be such a powerful tool I’ve turned away clients who refuse to take part.
The wanting portion of the list are the goals you intend to achieve in three months, the doing portion is the foundation. In order for this to be effective, I’ve routinely found we need to aim our sights high and be incredibly precise
To lose weight (Not specific enough)
To lose 5 Lbs (Not high enough goals)
To lose 10Lbs would be an example of an acceptable goal. (The goal and number will vary from person to person.)
Across from lose 10 lbs you write how you’re going to accomplish this.
Run 5km twice a week and lift weights once a week for 45 minutes.
I make my client fill out the wanting portion and I help them with the doing. The doing section is very detailed, it will include the exercise routine from week to week, their weight lifting program and their diet. It will also describe the gains they should be seeing on a week to week basis (e.g.: add 5Lbs to your squat). I call these intermediate goals, they’re every bit as essential as the final goal to reaching it. It’s important to note you can do this for EVERY aspect of your life.
Once they’ve picked a target that would require insane dedication for 3 months, I ask them what percentage they could be feeling positive about. Positive enough that they would want to tell their friends I just lost “X” lbs, or I just accomplished “X”. It could be 4Lbs, 8lbs or it could be 5Lbs, this is the catch number. If you aren’t excited enough to talk about it with other people you are going to lose dedication after 3 or 4 months, that’s almost a guarantee. I have an offer to each one of my clients, if you stick to your program and you don’t hit your catch number I will provide free training until you do hit that number. I’ve had one person fail to meet their catch point and that was because the program I gave them was inadequate.
- 1. Write down your “Wanting Goals” - Aim High!
- 2. From your wanting goals, write down the “Doing” portion - be VERY specific.
- 3. Write down intermediate “wanting” goals - these goals are intended to achieve your final goal! They’ll help you stay motivated.
- 4. Pick your catch point - What do I need to accomplish that’ll get me excited, so much so that I’ll blab about it to my friends.
- 5. Share your goal - Once you write down your goals and say your goal out loud it will feel very real. My recommendation, is to find one or two people that you know will support you 100% and share your goal with them! It’s very important that whoever you share your goals with will support you, you don’t need naysayers to defeat you before you even start!
Goals are a simple, yet incredibly scary thing, because it confirms not only where we have succeeded but where we have failed. 90% is showing up, and day in and day out,goal setting will help you show up. My current goals consist of learning to cook 60 different meals, limiting my work week to 40 hours and surfing my first barrel. I challenge you to sit down and write out 3 goals tonight, remember they can be anything they just have to be specific!
In the wake of the news about 64-year old swimmer Diana Nyad who successfully swam more than 100 miles from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark tank or flippers, perhaps you have paused to think about your own big goals. Nyad achieved her dream that was 35 years and four previous attempts in the making. When she reached land in Florida, she said, “Never, ever give up…You’re never too old to chase your dreams.”
Structure your project into steps
Make sure you understand exactly what you need to do and what steps you need to take to finish. Review your assignments and goals. Create a list of everything you need to do. Make sure you have a complete picture of the tasks and create a time frame for each step. Break down the project into natural segments. Prioritize the segments and think about how much time each piece will take to complete.
When you think of your goal as being comprised of many steps instead of one, huge feat, it may be much easier to motivate yourself to get started. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and you won’t accomplish a huge goal in a day, either.
Create a Deadline
Most of us will never finish a project without setting a deadline. However, make sure your deadline is realistic, or you’re only setting yourself up to be disappointed. If you know you’re planning your sister’s baby shower and have a huge project at work coming up in the same month, don’t add another deadline to your “to do” list.
On the other hand, keep in mind another time worn adage, “There’s no time like the present.” Most people have busy lives and there may never be a “perfect” time to get started on a huge task. The difference between accomplishing your goal and not is sometimes that very first step. Don’t fool yourself into believing you can never move ahead, or you will stay in one spot forever.
Tap into Your Natural Habits
If you like to check a lot of things off a list, front load your project with a lot of small steps first. Perhaps it will motivate you to include some fun or simple tasks right away. If you know you’ll feel more accomplished and motivated if you overcome a difficult hurdle early on, go for it and bask in your success once that step is finished. Recognize and allow yourself to go with your own flow and do what’s right for you.
Seek An Accountability Partner
For some, it makes sense to hire a coach to keep focused. (This is why so many people rely on fitness trainers — to keep them motivated and on track.) For others, a good friend or colleague can fill the role of accountability coach. Make sure the partner understands exactly what you are trying to do and is willing to touch base and keep you on track.
Leverage your Network
You don’t have to do this huge task alone. Look around you and see who might be able to provide some support, advice or other assistance. Whether you need information, an introduction, someone to read and critique your writing or just a new set of eyes on your project, you’re bound to have someone in your network who could help. Offer your help in return, and a partnership may be born.
Don’t Give Up
It sounds obvious, but you’ll never accomplish a goal if you give up. Hopefully, your goal won’t take you 35 years to achieve, as was the case for Nyad, but even so, the taste of victory is even sweeter if you’ve trudged through a lot to get there.
What are you Passionate about doing and ‘Why’? What makes you Happy and ‘Why’? These are two vital questions that we all must ask ourselves.
Passion is essential for long-term success and overall happiness. But here’s the other flip of the coin: in order to achieve long-term success, you must not only be passionate but of course dedicated as well. Perseverance and hard work will help you achieve this long-term stability and continuous success over time.
Passionate goal setting is the true fuel for success!
Perseverance without Passion | A goal setter with No Passion
If you want to reach a certain salary or standing in a company, for example, you could dedicate yourself to working hard to achieve this money value or image. But honestly, over time, most people will get burned out. Unless there is a deeper reason than money driving this hard work, they will eventually lose this dedication. As human beings, we are driven by what we feel, and achievement is something that should mean something to us. Passion for your achievement is vital for long-term success.
Have you considered ‘Why’ people reach that ‘mid-life crisis’? It’s often times because they re-question their actions and paths in life, as well as its meaning. Everyone has a passion and purpose, and it’s important to think about what legacy you’d like to leave behind. Passion for your goals will allow you to be more satisfied and happy with your achievements and life as a whole. But no matter how old you are, it’s Never too late to re-evaluate and re-establish your goals. Life is too wonderful to be anything less than our Best by allowing ourselves to truly enjoy our lives.
Passion without Perseverance | Passion with No Goal Setting
There are many people today that get caught up in an idea, with no plan of action to make it happen. It could be a great idea, but if you do not have specific goals set for yourself, this passion will go to waste in the long-term.
Make sure you utilize your passions and skills. Work hard at doing what you love, but also understand how important it is to be dedicated and a goal setter.
Learn the power of goal setting. Learn how to focus step by step on each individual goal that you set for yourself. But most importantly: Write Down Your Goals. When you have your goals written down on paper, they become more achievable; you can visually see what you want. Once you see what you want, you can create steps (small goals) that lead you in the right direction. Small goals are building blocks towards your overall ultimate, or long-term goals.
And who knows, your goals can change and adapt over time. But that is completely ok. As we grow, our ideas and creativity grow stronger. Or maybe your ultimate idea of success was actually as you had pictured it. In either case, keeping a list of written goals, daily/weekly will help you to fully achieve and utilize your potential.
Passion + Perseverance | Passion and Goal Setting
When you are both Passionate and Dedicated to achieving your goals, it’s almost an unstoppable force. Those that understand and utilize the power of goal setting can achieve high set goals. They understand that achievement is a continuous process and long-term success is consistent dedication.
Further, the main reason people are able to consistently dedicate themselves goal after goal, is because they truly ENJOY what they are doing. They know what they are passionate for, and they feel that they have a purpose in life and as a person as a whole.
Another Key Tip to Success | FOCUS and minimize stress
Ever feel overwhelmed by your day ahead? Even when you have your goals and schedule written down, sometimes it may seem that there is so much to be done. BUT, here’s the key: FOCUS on your current activity.
When you’re working on a project, focus on that project. When you’re in a meeting, be in that meeting~don’t let your thoughts wander, stay focused. When you’re working-out, clear your mind and work out! When you’re having dinner with a friend, put away your phone and enjoy quality time with that person.
The list goes on, but the key to minimizing stress, is to focus on each given task. You’ll realize you actually have much more time than you think. Giving your full energy and attention to each goal during the day, will increase your potential and effort. When you finish one task, you can move forward on to the next. Of course, there may always be that exceptional phone call, text, or email you need to respond to, etc. And yes, there is always a time and place for multitasking; some jobs may require multitasking. But in general, plan ahead and Stay
By Brian Tracy
There are seven personal growth disciplines you must develop if you want to achieve all that is possible for you. You can learn these high value disciplines through practice and repetition until they become automatic.
Every morning, take three to five minutes to write out your top goals in the present tense. Get a spiral notebook for this purpose. By writing out your ten goals at the beginning of each day, you will program them deep into your subconscious mind.
Goal setting will activate your mental powers. It will stimulate your mind and make you more alert. Throughout the day, you will see opportunities and possibilities to move more rapidly toward your goals.
Planning and Organizing
Take a few minutes, preferably the night before, to plan out every activity of the coming day. Always work from a list. Always think on paper. This is one of the most powerful and important disciplines of all for high performance. When you plan out your day on paper you can begin to visualize your high value tasks and make sure you complete them throughout the day.
Concentration on your High Value Activities
Your ability to work single-mindedly on your most important task will contribute as much to your success as any other discipline you can develop.
Exercise and Proper Nutrition
Your health is more important than anything else. By disciplining yourself to exercise regularly and to eat carefully, you will promote the highest possible levels of health and fitness throughout your life.
Learning and Growth
Your mind is like a muscle. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Continuous learning and personal growth is the minimum requirement for success in any field.
Time for Important People in Your Life
Relationships are everything. Be sure that in climbing the ladder of success, you do not find it leaning against the wrong building. Build time for your relationships into every day, no matter how busy you get.
These seven personal growth disciplines will ensure that you perform at the highest level and get the greatest satisfaction and results from everything you do. Study these seven personal growth disciplines and then make a plan for how you can incorporate each of them into your daily life.
By Chad Howse
1. Don’t define success with a dollar amount, but in relation to your happiness.
The habit of defining success with a dollar amount will lead you to constantly chasing a higher price point. It’s a chase that will never end, and a view of success that will never be attained. Get in the habit of seeing your success and your happiness in the same light.
2. Read before you write or work.
Reading a good book will get the creative juices flowing, the brain learning, and your knowledge base growing. Try reading for 30 minutes to start your day.
3. Wake up at the same time everyday.
Having a good sleep routine will help you have more energy to do more work during the day.
4. Always finish your to do list.
Get in the habit of never leaving anything that you wanted to finish at the beginning of the day, incomplete at the end. If you simply do what you set out to do, it will be hard for success to elude you.
5. Keep your to do list small and scaled.
Have 1 or 2 things that are important to finish, and make sure you finish them first. The rest of your tasks should be tended to only after your most important ones have been completed.
6. Keep two journals; one for your planning, scheduling, and work.
The other for your big ideas, thoughts, and goals. Writing stuff down makes it real and tangible. A to do list, a goal, or a dream, that isn’t written down isn’t yet real.
7. Measure everything.
Every goal you set needs to be measured. Every sales page you create, needs to be measured. If you measure everything you’ll have a blueprint for exactly what does work, and what doesn’t.
8. Stick to 90-minute work sessions.
Few people actually work as much as they say they work. Their time is usually made up of distractions. They Facebook, Tweet, and surf the interwebz. Time your work sessions. Keep a stopwatch. Focus for 90-minutes, take an active break, then get back to the beautiful grind.
9. Take active breaks.
A work break should enhance your working experience. It can’t – at all costs – take away from it. So do something active that will get your blood pumping and your mind working as effectively as it was when you first started working in the wee hours of the morning.
10. Wake up early.
The list of successful people who wake up before the rest of the world is far too long to list. This isn’t a coincidence. Get up before 6 am, 7 days a week and get a head start on your day and your dream.
11. Put your family first.
Success can’t exist without family – even if that “family” is simply loved ones and friends. You need to be working for a greater purpose than your own monitory gain if you’re going to accomplish truesuccess.
12. Work harder than your competition.
If you work harder than everyone else, success can’t hide from you. You will find it. And you willenjoy it.
13. Use a board.
Use a big white board to keep your goals visible and close.
14. Share your dream.
Get in the habit of talking to others who have a similar dream, even if the similarity is the enormity of your goals, and the audaciousness of your plans. Napoleon Hill coined this relationship “a mastermind”, and it’s one of the most important factors in your eventual success.
15. Only surround yourself with successful people.
That is, don’t have “suckers” in your midst – people who will tear you away from your work, and destroy your dream. If you have friends that do this, stop hanging out with them. Are they worth you living a mediocre life when greatness can be in your future?
16. Keep a healthy body.
Without a healthy body it becomes evermore difficult to maintain a healthy mind.
17. Spend your money only on things that will propel your dream.
Cars, “things”, are only good for boosting your image in an effort to impress people who you really don’t want to impress. Spend money, instead, on your own development and your business to fuel your growth.
18. Make a sacrifice.
Get in the habit of sacrificing things that you may like in your life, for things that will help you become a success. The road to greatness isn’t one of excess spending and easy living. Hustle. Focus. Sacrifice. Succeed.
19. Review your journals every month.
A journal can bring you clarity when you write in it, but it’s far more powerful when you get in the habit of reviewing it.
20. Write down 3 things you’re thankful for every day.
What you’ll find is that success is often in your midst if you look at it from the right perspective. And study after study has shown that happy people achieve far greater things than pessimistic, unhappy individuals. This habit, combined with hard work, is as simple a recipe for success as you can create. It’s also an effective one.
To get to that next level of performance, you need to set goals that you can realistically achieve. Steer clear of these four common goal-setting obstacles, and you will be on your way to hitting your target.
Obstacle 1: Focusing On One Overly Specific Goal
You come up with a single goal and laid it all out, including all the steps you need to take to get the job done. But such hyperfocus can cause you to miss the big picture. In a 1999 study called “Gorillas in Our Midst,” two Harvard researchers asked subjects to identify how many times basketball players wearing white shirts passed the ball. The majority of subjects ignored the players in black shirts because they were focused on counting the white-shirted players. They also failed to notice a man in a gorilla suit walking onto the court, pounding his chest, then walking away.
Set your goal, but be aware of the changing landscape of real life. Take a step back and try to look at the big picture to identify problems before they occur.
Obstacle 2: Goal Not Specific Enough
If you don’t spend enough time creating your goals, you might run into trouble when the goal is too broad or too vague.
Instead of saying you want to lift heavier weight, specify the weight you want to lift or focus on the training plan you will follow to hit that weight. Or, if you’re trying to slim down, set a goal of reaching a specific weight or dropping a jean size by a certain date.
Obstacle 3: Unrealistic Time Expectations
Give yourself enough time to reach your goals in a healthy fashion, or else you may get discouraged halfway through when you’re not making enough progress.
Whether you’re aiming to lose 20 pounds before a big event or push your Bench, Squat and Deadlift to the next level, create a timeline with milestones on the way to your goal by certain dates. This will help you determine if it’s possible to achieve your goal in the time allotted. If not, you may need to change your approach or reset your goal.
For example, if you want to bench press 315 pounds in a year, but your current bench is 225, in six months you should be pressing around 270 pounds. Is that realistic? If not, you may want to scale back your goal.
Obstacle 4: Goals Are Simply Too Challenging
To reach your goals, you need to push yourself outside your comfort zone. But if your goal requires you to push too far, you can hurt yourself both physically and psychologically. (”Goals Gone Wild,”Academy of Management Perspectives, 2009).
Tailor your goals to your talents and abilities. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and constantly remind yourself of the result you want to achieve. This will help you stay focused.