Setting goals and accomplishing them can be overwhelming for people especially if you have never done so. If you have never set a goal before or have had difficulties accomplishing past new year’s resolutions, then start small with smaller goals to increase competence and confidence. If you are someone who has more experience with goal setting and accomplishing them then I suggest you challenge yourself by creating long term goals that require 1 or more short term goals.
Once a goal is set it is important to periodically reassess ones and to measure the success of achieving that goal to ensure you are heading in the right direction. Reassessing a goal and measuring success can help determine whether a goal is realistic or not and help a person determine whether they need to make any modifications. The best goals are always adjustable and modifiable because life is unpredictable.
Know Potential Barriers
Since life can be unpredictable at times, it is important to note any potential barriers such as work or family commitments, current & past injuries, among other potential ones. Knowing potential barriers can help a person prepare for the future decreasing their chances of giving up on their goals. Remember to focus on the solution to a problem rather than focusing on the problem itself. The anticipation of these barriers allows a person to determine what actions to take if obstacles are presented in the future.
Here is a 5 step process to creating achievable, flexible, yet challenging and barrier free goals:
Step 1: Specific
First specify exactly what you want your goal to be. Try to avoid writing broad goals such as I want to lose weight or I want to get stronger.
Example: I want to shrink 3 pant sizes
Step 2: Measurement
Then determine how you are going to monitor your success.
Example: I will write down my pant size every month inside my training journal.
Step 3: Actions
Here you want to write down the actions required to achieve your goal and any preventive measures for potential barriers that may prevent you from achieving your goal. Remember to keep things simple and flexible.
Example: I plan on attending the gym 2 times a week after work on Tuesdays & Thursdays, walking the dog 2 times a day 30 minutes before work & before bed, to prepare my lunches for work every Sunday instead of eating out, leaving my gym bag in the car Monday to Friday, and setting reminders on my phone.
Step 4: Realistic
Next you want to ask can you live up to your expectations based on your lifestyle and potential barriers. Remember goals are flexible but don’t adjust them for the sake of it, if they were easily attainable everyone would be doing it.
Example: Yes, because the gym is on my way home from work and I enjoy spending time with my dog.
Step 5: Timeframe
Lastly, set a final date for when you plan on achieving your goal by.
Example: I plan on dropping 3 pants sizes by March 1st, 2017.
Written by Tyler Pearce: Tyler is a certified personal trainer with the Canadian society of exercise physiology and has been working in the health & fitness industry since 2008. If you have any questions about today’s post, please contact Tyler by email at email@example.com.