What we are about to cover now comes directly out of our Breakout PT program. I would like to share with you a specific part of the process that is; how do you go ahead and set something in your mind? How do you set a goal and have it happen in such a way that it produces results? Would that be useful?
This particular post comes from our online Breakout PT program. The first thing I want you to be clear of and understand is that a goal, which is positively stated, produces better results than one which is negatively stated.
Yes, there is a lot of emphasis these days on trying to predict the future and what is going to happen, especially when it comes to your health and fitness. The best way to predict the future? Go ahead and create it for yourself! I didn’t make that up, Peter Drucker and a couple of other people have said it themselves. The best way to predict the future is to create it for yourself. The best way to create it for yourself, is to say things the way you want them, to go ahead and state goals the way you want them.
Now, what I would like to do with you in just a few minutes is to go through a very short course on goal setting.
So lets look at this…
First let me ask you a question, do you know anyone that has partaken in goal setting in the past and worked? Awesome, that’s great! Let me ask you another question, do you know anyone that has partaken in goal setting in the past, and it didn’t work? Maybe? Most of the time, it’s the same people that have set goals and have achieved them and people that have set goals and haven’t achieved them.
You know, there are people that say “I’ll start going to the gym next week”, or “I’ll start eating clean next week!” I know you know people like that! Maybe there’s something we don’t know about goal setting because it seems to be a very ‘hit and miss’ process, at least it was for me until I became clearer on some of the elements that I needed to do in order for it to actually occur on a regular basis. Of course, one of the most important things is making sure that it is aimed towards what you want. Meaning the first thing is that how you state your goal does make a difference as to whether or not it is accomplished.
How you state your goal means what is the language that you use to state your goal. In other words… what are the internal representations made up of? They are made up of pictures, sounds, feelings, and words. The words we use are also very important because they stimulate the pictures, sounds and feelings. The following method of setting goals is called SMART Goals.
The Smart Goal
So, the first thing that’s important is that the goal needs to be specific. Whenever you write something, whenever you put something down on paper, whenever you go ahead and decide what is it that you want, you need to get very specific about it. If you’re going to produce results, and that is the operative word… results, you want to make sure that the goal that you stated, the way you stated it is going to be specific and measurable. That’s important. If the goals written are specific and measurable, if we can get it specifically and measurably stated, we are halfway there.
Now, let’s see. So, let’s set a goal of “I want to lose weight.” “How much weight?” Is the next question. Specifically, how much. “I want to lose weight” is something, “Hey, you know, if you stop eating, you’re going to lose weight” DON’T stop eating. But you know that, right? If you simply cut down your food intake and move around more you will lose weight. That’s not living though.
So, you need to be specific by how much and by when. So specific, really specific is, for example, “I now weigh X amount.” That is specific and measurable.
The M is meaningful to you. So, meaningful to you means it is not meaningful to someone else. Rather than goals coming from a partner, a friend or family member, you need to set a goal for yourself.
As If Now
This may be one of the most important parts of this process. So, it needs to be written as if now, which means present tense. Guess what, if this is now, if I am standing now and off to your right is the future, off to your left is the past and here is the goal stated in the future tense. Notice what happened as I move to the future if I stated it in the future tense? I’ll go to the gym tomorrow, tomorrow becomes tomorrow, and then tomorrow becomes tomorrow.
The goal then moves with me… that’s really important to state it in the present tense. As if now and then you can put a date to it. But it needs to be stated, as if now. For example, it is now the 19th of July 2016 and I weigh X amount, or it is now 19th of July 2016 and I fit into a 8 size red dress!
Next is The ‘R’, and that stands for realistic. This means that it’s actually achievable. I am not big on realistic and achievable, but I think it is important to state and here is how we do realistic. If you have always got your goals, if you have always got what you wanted and your goals are too mundane, so make them more grandiose. If you’ve never got what you wanted, make your goals a little more realistic. Does that make sense? If you have never got what you wanted, “Hey, tone them down.” There are better ways to beat yourself up in using goals. No, I mean there really are! There are people who will do it for you too if, I mean, if you want, right? But if…. if your goals are, if you’ve never got what you wanted, tone them down a bit. If you have never got what you wanted, tone them down. If you have always got what you wanted, then make them more grandiose. Step it up my friend!
Make them so they challenge you. Here’s the rule of thumb in weight loss. It’s a healthy amount to lose 500g per week, and 1kg per week if you want to go aggressive. Okay, that is realistic and achievable.
Okay, time is an issue. T is time, which is really important. Whenever you write a goal, you need to put a time on it. Whenever you write a goal, you need to put that time and a date on it by which it will be accomplished. So when you write a goal, you need to make sure that it is, especially, specific, meaningful to you, written in present tense, realistic, timed, and of course, toward what you want. Right, so here is what we’re going to do. What I would like to do is ask you to go ahead and pick something that you would like to have happened.
So go ahead now and write down your goals now in this SMART format and what I’d like you to do is post them in the comments below. If you have already got your goal written, check it against the SMART criteria if you would. Especially making sure that it is specific and also measurable enough, present tense, and make sure you have the date on it.
Here is the question to know for the specific and measurable part, I noticed that the major problem when setting goals are specific and measurable, so here it is, as you review this now, here is the key to being specific and measurable, it is “how will I know when I got it?”
So, take a moment to look and see when you look at the goal you’ve just written down, ask yourself the question, “How will I know when I got it?” You can answer that question for yourself if it’s not specific enough, okay? Look and see if when you read that goal over, will you know when you have accomplished it?
So like I said, post your goal in the comments below and I’ll review it for you!