Have you ever set a goal that you didn't reach? I’m looking at YOU, New Year’s Resolutions. It's not a great feeling. It is so frustrating to repeatedly fail at something that is super important to you. It can make you give up on goal setting all together.
I have been there before AND I have learned some simple tricks that have been a major game-changer. Following the next six steps for goal setting will stack your odds of success and take your goals from impossible to totally doable. It’s how the pros do it!
The reason that some goals fade away and never get achieved is that they are not actually goals at all!They are just a general idea of how we wish things were different, like a pipe dream. So, what’s the difference between true goal setting and day-dreaming?
A goal is specific, measurable, achievable, positive, AND it has a deadline.
To make the difference clear, let’s take an example and turn it from a pipe dream into a solid destination. I encourage you can take your own goal and apply these changes as well. Let’s get to work!
Example: “I want to look good in a bathing suit.”
Wanting to look good in a bathing suit is something we all want (am-I-right?), but it is NOT specific. The way this “goal” is written could mean a lot of things. For example, it could mean finding a bathing suit that you feel comfortable in and be achieved with finding a new bathing suit. To be more specific you need to think about what it is you truly want.
“I want to look good in a bathing suit” becomes “I want to lose weight and keep it off.”
So far so good. Let’s look at the next qualifier. Is it measurable? Measurable means that an outsider could take a look at your goal and easily say whether you achieved it or not. Goals that have a quantity associated with them are easily measured, so let’s add a quantity.
“I want to lose weight and keep it off” becomes “I want to lose 30 lbs and keep it off”
Next, let’s add a deadline. The goal becomes “I want to lose 30 lbs by December 31, 2019 and keep it off.” Why is a deadline so important? Well, basically, it is HARD to achieve goals. It is easy to procrastinate and put it off or fall out of routine. Having a deadline will motivate you.
I recommend setting a goal no more than a year away. The further away a deadline is, the easier it is to procrastinate.In fact, a little trick for building confidence is to set short-term goals that can be used to propel you towards bigger ones over longer periods of time.
So now we have a specific, measurable goal with a deadline, but we are not done yet. If you take a look at that goal, is it achievable? The Pros say that the max amount of weight to lose is 0.5 – 1 lb a week if you want to keep it off. If we do the math, say the end of the year is 29 weeks away, that means a steady decline in weight over 29 weeks would mean a loss of 15 – 29 lbs. Great! That means the goal just needs a slight tweak to make it achievable:
“I want to lose 29 lbs by December 31, 2019.”
Lastly, a goal should be stated in the positive. For example, instead of saying “I don’t want to feel tired all the time,” you say “I want to feel more energetic.”
Pursuing a positive statement is easier to work towards than avoiding a negative. This is because your subconscious doesn’t “hear” negative words. For example, if you think “don’t think about brownies” what happens? You immediately think about brownies. It’s a natural reaction. The subconscious doesn't focus on the DON'T part, it immediately focuses on the subject: the brownies. You can leverage how your brain works to your advantage by rephrasing the goal in a positive.
Let’s change it to “I will weigh 140 lbs by December 31, 2019.”
Congratulations! You have taken a desire for change, and transformed it into a concrete plan.
How do you feel? Are you a little bit scared? Then you have the PERFECT goal and are in the right company.I can assure you that when I first wrote my outrageous goal of empowering 100,000 children to believe in themselves and gave it a deadline in 2014, I was TERRIFIED.
Next week I am going to share with you the super simple secret to overcoming that fear. There is a little trick I learned that will help your brain transition from thinking the goal is impossible to believing you can do it, and really, that is the key. Once you believe you can achieve something, you open the door to actually achieving it.
See you next week!
P.S. What is YOUR goal? Email me and let me know email@example.com