We all know by now that setting goals is instrumental to our success. But why? Why is setting goals so important? And furthermore, once we have set our goals, how in the world do we actually achieve them?! Like or not, it’s going to take a little work. But hey, you’re worth it!
So firstly, why do we need not only to have goals, but to actually set those tangible targets for ourselves? Setting goals helps guide our focus, and trigger new behaviors. It is not enough simply to want something – you have to have a plan to attain it, or it will forever remain out of reach. So think of your goals as your guide, plan, or map to reaching the result you desire.
When setting goals, it is beneficial to do a couple of things. Firstly, make your goals specific. While a goal of, “I want to get into shape” is a good start, if we break it down a little it becomes a map to success rather than a somewhat abstract concept or idea of what we want. What made you decide to make this goal in the first place? Maybe after reaching the top of a flight of stairs you realized that you were seriously out of breath and you thought, “Wow! Do I ever need to get into better shape”! Or maybe you tried to put on a pair of last year’s jeans this fall only to realize that either the jeans have shrunk a size, or that those rich and delicious coffees maybe aren’t serving you in the healthiest way!
Now that you have identified what triggered your initial idea, you can whittle it down to a more specific, and thus more attainable, goal; “I want to get up the stairs and not be out of breath.” Or, “I want to feel great in my favourite jeans again!” These are examples of small, reachable, specific, personal goals that will set you up for success.
So how are we supposed to hit those targets?
Write your goals down! The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. It is step one in taking your goal from fleeting wish to reality, and to holding yourself accountable. Next, create a strategy. You have decided that going to 30 Minute Hit is the best way to get yourself to the top of those stairs with air to spare. Awesome! When are you going to go to the Hit? WRITE IT DOWN! Schedule your Hit days and put them in your calendar. They are now appointments that you have to keep.
Share your goal and your plan! Tell a friend, family member, your trainers, spouse, anyone, about your goals and your plan to reach them. Ask them to help hold you accountable. A good friend might reply to your lunch invitation with, “Sure, I’d love to meet you for lunch! But isn’t today your gym day? Let’s meet after your workout.” Surround yourself with people who care as much about your success as you do. Better yet, get a friend to join you at the Hit! An accountability buddy is a fun and effective way to hit your goals.
Okay, you have set a goal. You have made a plan. You have asked for help. Next, as Nike so eloquently puts it, “Just Do It!” Creating the new habits that will allow you to stick to that schedule will likely be the most challenging part in reaching your goal – at first. The excuses will flow fast and easy in the beginning, but the sooner you make your conviction stronger than your excuses, the sooner you will find success. Before you know it, what was once a struggle is now a habit. How long it takes to form a habit varies from person to person, but no matter who you are, consistency is the key.
Here is the best part! Without even realizing it, something truly wonderful has happened along the way to achieving your goal. Not only did you get yourself to the top of that staircase, but each step gave you a new gift. In setting and struggling for your goals, you have learned discipline and self mastery. You have set a good example for those around you, and given them motivation to set their own goals. You have formed better eating and sleeping habits to better support your new routine. In short, you have achieved more than just your goal, you have achieved self-improvement on numerous levels and contributed to the betterment of those around you.
Now go put those favourite jeans on and treat yourself to one of those yummy coffees while you contemplate your next goal!
Authored by Kristi Bieber