So the avalanche of goal setting emails and posts have started hitting my inbox and it has got me thinking. Maybe I can be persuaded to share some insights with you.
I was watching BBC Breakfast the other morning and they were interviewing a guy who had just cycled around the world in 79 days, smashing the world record by something like 44 days. What was interesting about it was how the big goal was broken down into a number of mini goals, all the way down to 240 miles per day. When the big target is 18,000 miles, 240 does not seem that much. He also spoke of the need to have a support network (he had 40 people at any one time helping him).
These were interesting ideas, but the most profound thought came from my wife who was also watching. She said, “wow that is so inspiring….. for about 5 minutes….”
I think this is a very important point when it comes to being inspired at this time of the year to set goals. It may not be the best time to decide on your 2018 goals when you are at your most inspired. Really consider them before you decide on them. Now if you are a seasoned goal setter and achiever, then go to town. Go after those big, scary goals, but if you are new to this or are a perennial goal setter yet never achieve, err on the side of a more achievable goal.
Also watch out for setting too many goals. An email from my old mentor Alwyn Cosgrove, quoted Dr John Berardi saying: “Studies show that if you want to make one change in your life, you have an 85% chance of success.”
However, if you try to change two things at once, your chances of success drop to around 35%.
Three things at once? Almost zero.”
Another email I received had a handy little print out for you to write your goals down. This suggested three goals, 1 easy, 1 realistic and 1 reaching for the stars.
We have a contradiction there straight away, but we can combine the two and some other concepts to come up with a way to not only have some focus on a “reach for the stars” type goal, but break it down into a process to get there. So instead of deciding on 3 different goals, break the big scary goal (outcome based) down into three process goals that will lead you to the big goal.
Going back to the cyclist example, my wife said, “I wish I had the dedication to do something like that, but I don’t”. If you don’t, then don’t make that the focus of your easy goal. I suggested the first thing she tries is just going for a 20 minute walk every day for 7 days. There we have an easy goal which is a progress goal. That easy goal can set the framework for the other goals. She could keep repeating this easy goal and add on her next goal which could also be a process goal, such as, do 2 to 3 more formal exercise sessions a week. This is a realistic goal. 2 sessions a week is doable and can also be done in combination with the first easy goal. Next up could be to eat breakfast every day and make sure she eats within our healthy eating principles and portions for 5/6 out of 7 dinners a week. All these mini goals will work together to get her to a big goal of getting comfortably into a small size 8 after having two children. This last goal is an outcome goal and all the rest are process goals. Hit the process goals and the outcome goal should fall into place.
What we have done is set up a number of wins on the way. 20 minutes of walking for 7 days is not overwhelming, and doing that once means it can be done again. When this becomes a habit, we add the formal exercise sessions until this becomes part of a normal week. Eating breakfast everyday is an easy win but ties nicely into the hard goal of sticking to the principles. But with two or more wins under the belt already, these become less daunting.
Obviously you were really inspired by my previous blog and have done the following exercises:
and then the ‘I like, wish and wonder’ exercise
This will mean you are clear on what you want to achieve in 2018 and what you have enjoyed in the process of getting to your 2017 goals. Even if you did not hit your 2017 goals you will at least have an idea of something you wish you had done in 2017.
Once you have done that, write down your goals in this format:
Big scary outcome goal for 2018: _____________________________
Process goals to get you there:
Greg is one of the owners of Core Results Gym Chichester. A true professional, Greg has a passion for fitness and training, specialising in rehabilitation and correctional fitness. Greg’s experience in competitive sports and training elite junior athletes led him in a natural progression to a career as a leading professional in the health and fitness industry.