I don’t blame you. Most people say they are going to do the same old thing year after year. Some people have success. Most fail miserably. I don’t intend to be mean, but the truth hurts.
Why do people dislike goal setting? For most it is because they have repeatedly failed to meet their goals and as such have a negative connotation of the process. I bet whether you like it or not, deep down you are thinking about your past failures already.
No matter how hard this process is for you, I guarantee I have worked with people that needed FAR MORE support in accepting this process than you do. I’m talking EXTREME cases. One client took over a year before this person could say the word goal without spiraling into a state of anxiety and anger.
I can say with great confidence that you are not starting from as difficult a state of mind. You can do this with just a little bit of homework and support.
Why should you listen to me? Good question. In addition to my degree, I spent 5 years working with people with severe and persistent mental illness. Not only did I get excellent training from the company I worked for, but also from Dartmouth PHD’s on a weekly basis. Oh yeah, my team also traveled to different conferences and seminars related to the topic and held monthly meetings with other professionals to hone our skills.
In addition I was responsible for training my staff on how to most effectively help people set and reach their goals as well as offering ongoing support throughout the process of doing this with well over 200 of their clients. Did I make it sound believable at least?!?!
Let’s just say there is more to goal setting than meets the eye. I’m just going to drill it down to the basics for you here though.
I actually don’t even like the term of goal setting. Anyone can set a goal, then what? For most people it is simple: make big, wholesale changes and work really hard for a couple of weeks, maybe a month. Then…burnout and go back to the comfortable way you used to do things.
Don’t be ashamed, you know you’ve done it. Likely many times.
This implies that merely setting a goal is not enough. The desired result is to actually make consistent progress and eventually make that proverbial check mark indicating SUCCESS!!!
It has been written about bagilions of times, so you can get your basics on SMART goal setting without me repeating it:
Ok, now you have a basic understanding of what SMART goal setting is. How do you know if the goal you have in mind is SMART for you (see what I did there?)? Easy, consult with your coaches.
As much as her endless positive energy helps her in her quest toward fitness, it also can have some counterproductive effects; she has what we call exercise ADD.
She was thinking about too many different goals and as such would have much more difficulty achieving any of them. She is going to think about what she really wants to accomplish and then discuss it with me before she makes it official.
Why am I telling you this? Because she is using her coaches to help her set SMART goals and you should too. Feel free to run your idea past one of us before you make it official!
Another benefit of writing your goal(s) on the big list is that it makes it known to your peers that you plan to accomplish this. This in turn makes you ACCOUNTABLE and you will automatically have a built in support system to help you work toward achieving your goals.
Having a bad day and contemplating doing something that is counterproductive? Look at that list and see if someone has a similar goal. Go up to that person and ask what obstacles they have faced and what they have done to overcome them. You are not the only one dealing with these challenges and odds are that there are similarities in what challenges most people are facing.
I could go on, and on, and on…but I think this is a good start. What steps would I like for you to take? Easy:
- Write down a list of all the things you want to accomplish this year
- Narrow it down to the 2 or 3 health/fitness related ones on your list
- Talk them over with one of your coaches to see what makes the most sense for you
- Write it on the list
- Do whatever it takes to ACHIEVE your new goals!