Goal Setting - How To Set Goals To Succeed
Ok let’s be honest, how many times have we decided to set ourselves a goal, whether it be fitness, career, health, or just a hobby for ourselves. We get ourselves all excited about it and tell all our family and friends. We do some research, maybe even make some kind of financial investment like a new gym membership, new workout clothes or some new running trainers.
We may even actually start, even better we might make a little bit of progress. A few weeks in however and it’s like we forget why we were so excited about it. We stop finding it new, fun and exciting. We start making excuses to why actually, this may not be for us after all.
Then, after all our hard work, research, time, money and effort, we give up and go back to our usual ways. So what happens between that moment of ‘This is going to be life changing’ and ‘Ugh this isn’t for me’? Personally I think we sometimes overwhelm ourselves with lists of wishes we would like to achieve but don’t set any actual plans, goals or targets in place. Without these it can feel like our ‘wishes’ are not being fulfilled when we don’t progress as quickly as we imagined, we can easily feel disheartened and discouraged to continue.
I want to show you step by step the importance of goal setting and how to implement them into your own life, whether that is for fitness or anything else you want to achieve.
Firstly, I want you to understand the importance of setting your goals out. This is about you, doing something that is important to you and making your life better and happier as a result. Please don’t invest your time, energy or money into something you are not passionate about to make someone else happy. If you want to lose a few pounds for yourself then fantastic! We are here to help you achieve that, but if you are doing with the hopes of validation from anyone other than yourself, I honestly feel like you should find a goal that makes you happy instead. If this goal you have in mind is something you genuinely have a desire to achieve, that lights you up everything you think of achieving it, then you need to make it a priority, take it seriously and map out a plan for success. It is very rare that we achieve greatness by ‘winging it’.
So now you have your long term goal in mind, I personally feel like this is the best time to break down why this particular goal is so important to you. Here are a few examples of questions you might want to write down so on days you may not feel at your best, you can reflect on why you started and why it is important that you finish.
1) What about this about this particular goal excites you and why is it important to you to achieve it?
2) How would you feel once you achieve this goal and how would it impact your life?
3) What things about your life now are you willing to change in order to make this happen? (Cut down TV time, wake up earlier, make healthy 4) diet changes)
5) What challenges might you face along the way and how do you plan on overcoming them?
6) What has prevented you from achieving this goal before and why will this time be different?
Now you are clear and aligned with what you want to achieve and why, it’s now time to break these goals down into manageable, bite sized chunks.
There are many different ways to writing out your goals, I personally like to set long, short and immediate goals and then map out my SMART goals for each one. Now this may sound a little overwhelming but honestly it’s super easy once you know how.
When looking at your long term goals remember these should be within 1 - 5 years at most, they are long term, not one day goals. If you have goals for far in the future that is incredible, however over time our circumstances change, as do our goals. So while it is fantastic to have those goals in mind, try to focus on the next 1-5 years for now, then in a years time if you need to reanalyse and change up your goals, you can.
Your short term goals can be anything from 4 -12 weeks, think of these goals as ‘stepping stones’. These are essentially goals that can be achieved in the near future that help you get closer to the main goal. Without these smaller goals it is easy to lose direction and focus, they help you to stay on track and establish the progress you are making.
Last but not least we have our immediate goals. This is essentially you asking yourself ‘What am I going to do today to help me get what I want long and short term?’. Now they can be daily or weekly, they don’t necessarily need to be written down, however I find it very helpful. Every Sunday I will make a list of everything I want to achieve that week, so when Monday morning comes along I’m prepared and ready to crush it.
SMART goals are broken down like this:
Specific: Be really crystal clear on what it is you want to achieve, using as much detail as possible.
Measurable: How are you planning on tracking your progress?
Achievable: Here you can write down any obstacles you may come across and how you are going to tackle them.
Realistic: Please be sure to set goals that are actually attainable. I’m all for aiming high, but by exceeding what can realistically be accomplished in the time given can lead to a sense of failure if you don’t stay on target. Remember that small steps are still progress.
Time: Set a date that you would like to achieve this goal by. Having a set timeframe helps you to stay focused and on track for your next stepping stone towards your long term goal.
To give you can example it may long something along the lines of this:
Long term goal:
To run a half marathon next year for a charity that is close to my heart.
Haven’t run before so will be completely new to me. I will be sure to make time each week to train, so I am willing to give up an hour of TV at night to run, workout or stretch as needed.
I will start by increasing my distance each week, building up slowly.
I have one year to achieve this goal.
Short term goal:
I want to be able to jog for 3 miles in the next 12 weeks, which will be a great starting point for me to improve and lead up to running instead of jogging for 3 miles.
3 miles in under an hour .
I will run 2-3 days a week and make sure I include some weight training and stretching/yoga into my workouts to keep my muscles strong and flexible.
I will clear one evening after work and train on the weekends too. That’s 3 days I can dedicate each week to achieving this goal.
This week I will start by doing three sessions on the treadmill, one minute of walking and one minute of jogging for 20 minutes in total.
3 sessions of 20 minutes.
I have scheduled in my 3 days of training already so I know exactly when I will be training and make this a priority.
My sessions are short (only 20 minutes) and manageable as a beginner, one minute walking and one minute jogging.
Having these goals written down somewhere you can see them daily, like a notebook, the notes in your phone or even the notes section of the Tone & Sculpt app can be really helpful in keeping yourself accountable.
I personally find that sharing your goal can really help too. Whether you decide to tell your family, friends, or share it with the Tone & Sculpt facebook community.
Be sure to tag us in along the way too so we can see your progress and cheer you on.
Now that you have a clear plan you are ready to put it to good use. Having SMART goals definitely helps you stay on a clear path to achieving your goals, but you need to put the work in to make it happen. No amount of goal setting will actually get you into the gym, or to that class. You need to take action. Put the plans in place then work on them everyday, step by step. Remember no one else is going to do the work for you, it is up to you to make these goals a reality, and the Tone & Sculpt team are here to support you in doing this for you.