How to set Goals and reach milestones…

If you don’t know where your going, how can you expect to get there????

The fact is that goal setting works! Research studies have shown a direct link between goals and enhanced performance in both sports and business. Earl Nightingale put it this way, “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going. It’s as simple as that.”

Top 5 Reasons to Set Goals:
1. Goals can give you a target to aim for.
2. Goals can help you concentrate your time and effort.
3. Goals can provide motivation, persistence and desire.
4. Goals can help you establish priorities.
5. Goals can provide a roadmap to take you from where you are to where you want to be.

(scroll down the page for THE TOP SIX REASONS PEOPLE DON’T SET GOALS)
Goal Setting: Setting goals is an important way to measure your progress. But setting realistic goals is the only way to actually hit your milestones.

Follow my Goal setting RULES FOR FITNESS:
For the first 2 weeks of a new regimen, strive to establish consistency and to change any bad habits. For example you may aim for a set number of workouts each week or cut out highly processed foods or Alcohol from your diet. For the 4 weeks, set your sights on performance related fitness goals ONLY.You shouldn’t expect major physique changes in the first month, however by hitting your performance related targets you will not be discouraged by no weightloss etc. The 3 month mark is when you should really start seeing changes in your body. Take note! After 6 months you should be well on your way to achieving several long term goals. At this point you should now repeat the process and set yourself new goals and challenges. Below is a sample goal setting guide:

2 weeks – Complete 6-8 workouts & make 3 dietary changes
4weeks – Increase bench press by 4-8 kg, increase intensity of workouts 10%
3 months – Lose 3-4 inches off my waist,
6 months – Lose 25 pounds and run a 10k in under an hour

Top Six Reasons People Don’t Set Goals
It is estimated that only 10% of people bother to think about their goals on a regular basis, and only 1% to 3% have clear written goals. If goal setting is such a powerful tool, why don’t more people use it?

1. They don’t have a good reason to set goals. Goals can help you get what you want, but they won’t help you figure out what that is! You have to be clear about what you really want before you can use goals to help you get it.

See How to Figure Out What You Want for some tools, exercises, and ideas to help you get started.

2. They don’t know about it. Another reason people don’t set goals is that they don’t realize the power and value of goal setting as a tool for success and high achievement. Maybe they were never introduced to goal setting. After all, it is not something usually taught in our school system. If you don’t know about a tool, you can’t use it.

3. They don’t know how to use it. Many people think they have goals, but what they really have are just wishes. You ask them what their goals are and they say something vague and generic like “I want to be rich,” “I want a better job,” or “I want to be healthy.” Those are good dreams to have, but they are not goals (learn more about the difference between wishes, dreams and goals.)

Others say that they tried goal setting and concluded that it doesn’t work. They tell you something like “I tried setting a new year’s resolution a few years back, but I didn’t even last a week!” What they don’t realize is that most new year’s resolutions are merely vague wishes, not real goals. People almost never write them down or prepare a plan for achieving them.

Imagine someone trying to use a power drill without knowing that you have to plug it in, and then telling you that power drills don’t work! Goal setting is a tool that helps you achieve what you want step by step, but you need to know how to use it properly or you won’t get anything from it.

4. Fear. Fear is a powerful emotion that can help us in many circumstances, but can also be destructive and paralyzing in others. Goal setting often requires us to overcome several deep rooted-fears: fear of failure, fear of rejection and fear of the unknown. Failing to overcome these fears leads to mediocre goals that produce mediocre results, or worse, to not setting goals at all.

5. They are too busy & disorganized. A common reason people don’t set goals is that they are too busy and disorganized to even consider taking on new challenges. They reject the notion at a subconscious level and come up with excuse after excuse of why they can’t set goals right now.

They just can’t fool themselves into believing that they will be able to achieve their goals when they already feel stressed and overwhelmed just trying to cope with their current demands.

One common excuse is “I’ll set goals someday when things settle down a bit and I get more time,” but they never end up finding the time. You have to make time for goal setting.

This is precisely why I advocate a bottom-up approach that allows you to master the fundamentals of time management before you start setting big goals. In fact, one of the first goals most people should set is to improve their time management skills so they can make time for their other important goals.

Once you become an experienced time manager, you can schedule time for goal setting just like you do for any of your other projects.

6. They get overwhelmed. Many people get inspired to try goal setting because they read about it or hear it on the news. They want to be more successful and achieve better results, and they understand that goal setting can help them.

A large number of them fall into a common trap that quickly leads to overwhelm and frustration, and they often end up abandoning goal setting before they even get started.

The trap I’m talking about is trying to set a large number of goals for every aspect of their life. They grab a piece of paper, write the word “Goals” on it and then struggle to come up with anything to put down. They are trying to juggle in their mind everything they want in all the different areas of their life before committing to any one thing. No wonder they can’t find it.

Or they may come up with too many goals for everything from health, fitness, spouse, kids, community, spiritual, learning, career, money, toys… and quickly realize there is no way they can handle it.

Think of goal setting as a muscle. Like any muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets, but you have to be gradual about it. What would happen if you go into the gym and try to bench press too much weight? You would strain or tear your chest muscles. To get stronger, muscles need gradual increases in resistance.

Goal setting is the same way; you have to start small and gradually build up. New goal setters should limit themselves to one small “warm-up” goal that they can pursue from beginning to end in a matter of a few weeks or months. After completing their first goal, they can increase the resistance by pursuing one or two larger goals.

Eventually, most people can simultaneously pursue one or two large goals in every important part of their life without feeling overwhelmed. They just have to get there gradually to avoid straining their goal setting “muscles.”


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