This is Part 1 of a 3 part series helping you to create and stick with your goals. Be sure to continue to Part 2: How To Stay Motivated: Find Your Why and Part 3: Overcoming Obstacles To Stay On Track after finishing this article.
If you’re like most people, you’ve set goals before.
The problem is that you probably didn’t set center them around setting yourself up for success.
What do I mean by that?
The first key to a great goal is making sure that it means something to you.
It has to motivate you, and there needs to be some internal or intrinsic motivation behind this goal to ensure that when things get tough, you stick to the plan.
There are lots of reasons to set goals, and we’re not here to tell you what your reasons need to be to ensure your success.
It might be that you are incredibly insecure or unhappy with how you look, it might be that you are worried your significant other doesn’t find you attractive anymore, or you want to be able to keep up with your kids and grandkids now or in the future.
There is power in your reason for setting a goal.
Make your reason big enough, and you’ll be diligent in making your actions and success HAPPEN.
If it just isn’t a great time for you to be focused on your own transformation, that’s still OK.
Just be honest with yourself and know what kind of results to expect.
Your results are the outcome of your actions.
I highly suggest using a 3×5 index card to write your goal down and keep it with you.
Put it in your purse or wallet, hang it on the bathroom mirror, put it on the fridge or even on the dash of your car.
Keep it in front of you and make sure you are reading it a few times per day.
Top of mind awareness helps you keep your willpower high and success more likely.
This will be important in those times where your willpower might be weak or you are faced with making a tough choice or two.
That being said, it is OK to enjoy life as well!
You don’t have to be in a constant state of perfection.
Even small changes will have a HUGE impact when done day in and day out.
Learn to enjoy social gatherings, time with friends, business lunches, and all these tough situations with your newfound motivation (because of your powerful goal) and your new secret weapons to success—your habits.
How to Set Your Goals
1. Make it specific.
Use real numbers or sizes to give you a specific target.
Vague goals = vague results.
Knowing EXACTLY what you want to achieve is the first step in successfully achieving your goals.
2. Make it measurable.
You must have a way to quantify your progress and know when you have reached your goal.
3. Make it action-oriented.
Make sure when you write out your goal it is a positive goal that is based on actions that you can take to reach it.
4. Make it reasonable.
This sounds silly because I want you to shoot for the stars, but you also have to set yourself up for success.
You may not be able to reach your ultimate look or lose 50lbs in a few weeks, but you can get a good jump-start on it and set realistic timelines for your bigger goals.
Also, you may have a lot going on and have to start with smaller goals. The results may take longer but it’s ALWAYS better than you’re moving TOWARD them rather than putting them off 😉
5. Make it time-based.
You have to set some deadlines on your goal. This is why we run challenges throughout the year; your deadline is set for you. Also, upcoming events are great milestones for deadlines.
When you write out your goal, here are some examples:
Poorly written goal: I want to lose weight.
Well-written goal: I will fit into my size 10 jeans in 6 weeks.
Amazingly written goal: I will feel amazing when I fit into my size 10 jeans in 6 weeks by avoiding eating after sleep, going to bed 20 minutes earlier each night, and exercising 3 times per week.
Feel free to add in emotions to your goal such as “I will feel amazing when I fit into my size 10 jeans…” as it adds some positivity to your goal when you read it.
And writing out 2-3 specific action steps you’ll take to get there gives you a plan to follow so you’re not leaving those results up to chance.
The keys here are you are:
- projecting that the goal will happen (I will vs I want to)
- you are being specific (the exact size outfit)
- you are being positive (using the words I will and how you’ll feel)
- and you have actions to help you reach the goal (3 workouts per week)
Remember, setting great goals is a huge part of ensuring your success.
And goals don’t just have to be around losing body fat or weight loss, actually, I strongly encourage you NOT to make that your sole focus and have other objectives around feeling better, having fun, striving for new accomplishments or staying consistent.
This could be goals like running your first 5k, being able to do your first push-up, to walk up a flight of stairs without totally losing your breath, going out for a bike ride with your kids twice each week, or simply staying in a consistent routine.
Set goals that are meaningful to you!