New Year is the time many people talk about the topic of goal setting. Because of that this post is titled Achieving a Fitness Goal in 7 steps. This is inspired from Brian Tracy’s book, No Excuses.
- Decide exactly what you want to accomplish (Be specific and measurable): Often people want to lose weight but they are not specific enough about what they really want. Most people say, “I want to lose weight.” However, by saying “I want to lose 15 lbs of body fat” makes the goal specific and measurable. By restating the goal you now have a target instead of a thought.
- Write the goal down: Unwritten goals have a 4% success rate and those who write their goals down are 44% likely to be successful. By simply taking 10-15 minutes to write goals down, success can be greatly enhanced.
- Set a deadline: Doing this will create a sense of urgency. People who have done events like marathons, triathlons, or physique competitions usually go above and beyond what they expected (Especially when they do it for the first time). A big reason for this is all the events listed have a competition date. Even though people who do these may not have a written goal, they usually achieve it because of the deadline alone. The 6 week challenge is so successful because it has both, a deadline and specific goal.
- Make a list of everything you can think of that you can possibly do to achieve the goal: Brain Tracy calls this “Mind Storming”. Create a list of twenty behavior changes that you need to do to accomplish your goal. Examples can be “I will perform Base Building cardio 3X/week for 45-minutes” or “I will eat a Caveman/Cavewoman breakfast” or even “I will not eat for 16 hours straight daily during the week.”
- Organize the list by sequence and priority: Take the list of twenty behavior changes from #4 and put it in order from least to most difficult. When people figure out their obstacles from the beginning, prioritize them and check them off when completed (Or make them a habit) they usually achieve their goals in a much easier fashion. This is because it isn’t as overwhelming as trying to do everything at once. A great book to learn more about this process is, The Power of Less by Leo Babauta.
- Take action immediately on the first step: Once you have prioritized your list of twenty changes divide them by the number of weeks from your deadline to start dates.
- Do something that moves you at least one step closer to your goal each day: If people say goal setting doesn’t work it is because they forget this step (The most important!). To make it more attainable people should start with the easiest change. It usually isn’t very overwhelming and they can be successful right away. As you become successful, momentum is built, confidence rises and the goal becomes more realistic each day.
In addition to the above seven steps, here are three additional “Fitness Related” steps to make sure the above are even more effective:
- Pick one quantifiable way to measure progress: There are many to pick from. It can be fitting into your jeans better, losing “X” amount of weight, losing “X” amount of body fat. The only rules are that it can be measured and it motivates you. In addition a fun and informative way to use this step is to plot your progress on a graph or spreadsheet to see how you are doing weekly
- Who is going to hold you accountable to achieving your goal: Pick a person or a group. If it is a person it can be a Fitness Professional you work with or you can give someone a check that can be cashed if you don’t meet the goal lol. You can also join a small group to help you (i.e. Facebook). Just make sure you are held accountable and there is a reward or penalty for achieving/not achieving your goal.
- Use a Nutrition Log and/or Training Log: Many people hate doing this. However, this is an important step because you have data of what is working or not working. For example, you might be at a plateau for 2-3 weeks. If you show a training your log, you might find out what is delaying progress (for example you might be consuming to many carbs at breakfast or your heart rate zones needs to be updated because your metabolism has changed). By having a detailed log you learn a great deal about what works/doesn’t work for YOUR body.
In conclusion, the months of October-December can be the time where most Americans fall behind on their fitness goals. If this happened to you use the above steps to make your New Year’s Resolution or 45-90 Day Challenge goal a reality in 2018.