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Too often you see people with big bold ambitions, and they rarely make it past the first week after setting the goal. This is most evident with New Year’s resolutions. Why is this? Why does the gym fill up in January, only to empty out in February? Why do so many people fail to turn goals into realities?
Take your goal seriously
One of the biggest issues is that people don’t take their goal seriously, and don’t hold themselves accountable for not hitting their targets. Tony Robbins defines these fleeting goals as ‘shoulds’, and actual goals that individuals will pursue in order to enact change and achieve results as ‘musts’.
Turning ‘shoulds’ into ‘musts’ requires clarity on how achieving your goal can benefit you and others in your life. This creates the very real catalyst to kick start the pursuit of your goal, and provides the day-to-day drive necessary to produce great results.
“If you sincerely want to change your life; raise your standards. What changes people is when their shoulds become musts” Tony Robbins
Structuring your goal
Long term goals worth achieving – fitness related or not - will require day-to-day determination and energy output over a prolonged period of time. With this in mind, you need a long-term vision of where you wish to be, and what you want to achieve. This can be defined as your macro goal. To reach this ‘big goal’, you need to put some steps in place that keep you on track along the way.
Keeping it fitness related-
Let’s use the example of weight loss. The initial step of setting you on the right path is to make this a must and establish why achieving this goal will improve your life. In this instance, it’s a no-brainer; improved energy levels, boosted self-esteem and health longevity (to name a few).
The next step is to make this goal SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based. If you convert the generic goal of ‘I want to lose weight’ into a SMART goal, you would need to add in some specific measurable variables that are attainable over a pre-determined length of time. Such as ‘I want to drop from 110kg to 90kg in 6 months’, this instantly defines your specific goal and allows you to record your progress along the way.
Now you have set your long-term ‘big goal’, it’s time to implement some smaller micro-goals, to keep you motivated and on track. I try to set these smaller goals up each month whilst on course to the larger goal. So, in the case of our weight loss example goal of losing 20kg in 6 months, we would need to be losing 3.3kg each month to hit our big target, so you would need to set yourself a weigh in date each month to determine whether you have hit your micro goal target, and ensure you’re still on track.
Setting up these micro goals keeps the big target at the forefront of your mind day-in-day out, and provides you with the motivation to carry out the tasks necessary to attain your goal. In the case of the weight loss example, this would include training 4/5 times per week (compound lifting, cardio and mobility/flexibility), sticking to a weekly calorie deficit and meal preparation.
For the purpose of providing an example, these rules were applied to weight loss goals, however, this doesn’t need to be these case. Whether your goal is in fitness, business, relationship or your career, the same rules apply; in order to achieve a long-term goal, it must start with a clear, specific vision, and include smaller goals to maintain focus. As other things in life will inevitably come into play and pose as threats to knocking you off course.
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