9 Effective Goal Setting Techniques for Scorching Success at Weightloss & Fitness.
The best time to make a change is now, when you think about it. You don’t need to make some grand declaration of your New Year’s Resolution, if you think you want to improve something about yourself, just do it. But do it smart – now is the best time for goal setting.
I am usually of the opinion that once you decide you want to accomplish a goal, you should just do that – right then and there. There is no time like the present. Do not wait for a Monday or the first of the month or the beginning of the year. Do it now.
However, it can’t be overlooked that the New Year is a great time to focus on self improvement. We humans like this break in the year to gather ourselves and begin again. It’s a kind of reset. It is also nice to chunk up our life into sections – hours, days, weeks, months, years. It gives us something to hold onto as time fly’s by.
In brief, the steps to take for succeeding at a goal are:
- Evaluate your past
- Write it down
- Make a plan
- Anticipate obstacles
- Make it official
- Take charge
- Be intentional
- Start now
1) Recall Last Year
Before you set a goal for the future look back to see what worked, what didn’t, and why. Did the year work out for you as planned? Did you plan on anything? Or did you simply play it by fiat and hope it would work out? This is understandable. Most people are so caught up in the day-to-day minutia that they don’t see the big picture or the long range view.
Though, this may be common, if you want things to go your way next year, have a plan, or a road map, of what you want and how you are going to get there. This one thing will make a huge difference!
Looking back over the past year will help you plan for the next. Answer these questions:
- What worked out well?
- What didn’t?
- What can you do about it this year?
Use the information I gave in Podcast 7 Make Your Own Time Machine to help with this. In it, I make suggestions on ways you can make the year more memorable looking back while moving forward.
2) Write It Down
For goal setting to have a chance at being successful, you must make it real. Take a few minutes and write down a few things that you’d like to accomplish. Simply writing them down will make your goals and desires more real. I picture thoughts, goals, hopes, and dreams (that are not written down) as clouds drifting over our heads – or maybe thought bubbles. The problem with these is they drift in and out of the picture and eventually are blown away by a strong wind and fade. This is because they were never real, they were simply vapor floating above your head.
Write your goals down. I suggest pick a few that you can really focus on and are important to you. If you do nothing else, this one thing will be very helpful. Write them down to make them real. Pen on paper is best. It’s tangible. Electrons are not real either. Avoid using a computer or smart phone for this.
3) Make a Plan
Accomplishing a goal is nearly impossible, and is certainly improbably if you do not have a plan to do so. Think about what you want:
- Write it down, and think on how you will achieve this goal.
- What steps will you have to take to get what you want?
- What other factors are involved?
- What barriers will you likely encounter?
- Make a plan as simple or detailed as you want. But, do have a plan.
Imagine a destination on a map. To go from point “A” to point “B” you need to first know where point “B” is, then trace the path backward to where you will start. The main point now is to have an idea of where you are going and how you will get there. You can make your plan basic now, but be detailed later.
4) Anticipate Obstacles
You can probably guess what obstacles will deter you from succeeding with your goal. Acknowledging them and having a plan for side-stepping them can mean the difference between success and failure. Think of the map analogy again. You may stumble upon road construction that causes a delay for hours. However, if you know ahead of time of the road work, you can plan your route accordingly to avoid that traffic jam. Perhaps this can’t be foreseen, but you know something will come up distract or derail you. Be sure to keep a spare tire, bottle of oil and water in your car – metaphorically. Be like a Boy Scout and be prepared.
5) Make It Official
There are differences of opinion on whether to make your goal “public” or not. One argument against this is that telling people about your goal satisfies a part of your mind that would normally work toward accomplishing it. This can be nearly as satisfying as actually achieving this goal.
Yet, keeping it a secret may not give you the accountability that you need to follow through. If no one knows that you are shooting for something, they won’t know that you failed. There may be safety in this, but you will also lose the pressure to help propel you forward.
How about meeting in the middle? Write your goal down and tell a few, trusted, people that are closest to you. They can give you support and hold you accountable, but you still have the rest of the world to impress.
6) Take Charge
This is your life. Own it. If you let your life just happen, there is a good chance it won’t happen the way you want it to, or at least in the most favorable way. You can be awesome, if you allow it. Own it, it’s yours.
7) Be Intentional
A new year is a good time for a fresh start – but not accidentally. Approach this new opportunity to start fresh with intent. How would you like your year to unfold? You’ve written out your goal and a plan, now it’s time to live it and do it. Be intentional in the things you do.
Happenstance might be a habit, but does it get you what you want?
Visualization can help you see into the future and relive the past. In that, it’s like a time machine. This is one of the most powerful tools I know. Visualization can make things happen. It can help you change habits, win races, and reshape your attitude. It can literally help you change who you are. It may not be easy. Visualization takes practice. Lots of practice. But, like anything, practice makes improvement. Like learning to play piano, the more you do it, the better you get. The harder the piece, the more practice that’s required.
9) Right Now
Take control right now. You don’t have to wait for a benchmark time or day. As soon as you decide to do something, whether it is now while you’re reading this, or in six months, decide to take control of your actions, right from the start.
These 9 tools can help your goal setting be successful. What will your future be like? Will you get what you want? Will you want what you get? If you are in charge, more than likely you will be able to answer yes to both of these this time next year.
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