When you think about goal setting, what's the first thing that comes to mind?
Money? Cars? Nice House? Holidays?
You may have heard of the SMART objective when people talk about goal setting. So, what is SMART?
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time.
Goal setting is an essential tool used by successful people in achieving any task. To set a goal doesn't mean to imagine the result. It means to clearly define and succinctly express your aspirations. To act on an imagined goal without planning and expressing them is the number one cause of failure!
They are the things that get you out of bed on a cold winter morning, which must mean they mean something to you, goals must be based on your emotions.
Following is a list of essential strategies to ensure you set SMART effective goals.
Set Specific and Measurable goals
If you don't know specifically where you are going, how will you know when you have arrived? You need to understand what you are going to achieve. This needs to be SPECIFIC! Right down to the very last digit and detail!
Measuring your goals allows you to objectively judge your progression, the proof will be in the results rather than a 'feeling'.
Set Short Term Goals
Often people say that they gave up on achieving their goals because they couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is when they begin with the end in mind, they realize that their goal/s is so big that it overwhelms them. Similar to standing on the bottom step of the ladder and only seeing the top step ten metres above them.
When setting short term goals, you effectively place the runs in the ladder between the bottom and top steps which allows you to take necessary steps.
Set Manageable Expectations
This propensity to yo-yo dieting is partly to do with unrealistic expectations. Many people feel a sense of emptiness when they finally achieve their desired body weight. They often relate achieving their ideal body weight goal to being able to achieve an unrelated goal. E.g. Once I hit my goal weight, I will attract my dream partner. Yes, fitting into smaller outfits will likely leave them feeling fantastic but when you go past the surface, more often than not the old feelings still exist.
The key element of achieving and maintaining the body shape you desire rests in this concept. From the onset you need to recognise that having the perfect body shape is only a small portion of a whole person. Achieving a result cannot be an end point. Your relationship with food and your body is an ongoing process with no conclusive end point.
Set Realistic Deadlines
There are no unrealistic goals so much as there are unrealistic time frames in which you set out to achieve them. It is not unrealistic to lose 40kgs. Though it is unrealistic to lose that much weight in 12 weeks. We often get frustrated if we don't see massive results quickly.
Set Event Based Goals
Often people lose motivation because they don't see results immediately or because the deadlines that they set can be too easily moved. If you don't have a compelling deadline such as 'Looking great for your daughter's wedding' use events that occur at a set time as your secondary goal, for example training to complete Sutherland to Surf (11km Fun Run) in a certain time often provides people with the motivation to exercise and eat well each day.
Celebrate Your Success
Outstanding leaders reward behaviour of their people if they want repeated high performance. YOU should do the same thing to yourself without feeling guilty when you achieve your goals. The key is to treat yourself to a new experience or gift rather than reward yourself with food.
'Many people over estimate what they can achieve in one year, but under estimate what they can achieve in ten years, if they stick at something'
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.