The key to making successful change is to plan and prepare and give yourself the best chance to succeed. I started planning for the change I wanted to make this year back in December 2011 and spent the first week of the year getting over the party season, getting my mind in gear and my plan in place.
So as we step into spring, the season that represents new beginnings, I am going to help you to set enticing goals that you not only keep but you enjoy doing. As with everything I post, reading it is not enough. You need to action.
Follow these 10 vital steps to set enticing goals that will get you the results that you want.
1. HOW TO SET YOUR ENTICING GOAL
One of the keys to getting the results you want is spending time on setting your goal. Take some time to answer the following questions and get really clear about what you want to achieve and why.
- What do you want to achieve?
- What is it that makes this so important to you?
- What will the benefits be?
- Who else will benefit from you achieving this goal?
- How will your life be different if you achieve this goal?
- What happens if you don’t achieve this goal?
Make sure it is expressed in the positive
Poor example: I don’t want to be fat
Good example: I want to lose weight
State your goal clearly and specifically
For example: I want to lose 17 lbs
Make sure it is realistic and one that you can achieve
For example: I want to lose 17 lbs within 10 weeks
Express your goal in the now and not in the futur
For example: It is May 17th and I have lost 17 lbs
Create an end step/evidence procedure
I am wearing my favourite size 12 green skirt
Put some emotions behind your imagined success
I feel truly amazing and really proud of myself
Now put it all together in this formula
It is ______________(date) and I am ______________ (evidence)
And I feel ___________________________________ (emotions)
It is May 17th 2012 and I am wearing my size 12 green skirt as I have lost 17lbs and I feel truly amazing and really proud of myself
Now close your eyes and imagine yourself at goal – what do you see, what do you hear, what are people saying, what are you doing, how do you feel?
Now you know what you want it is time to make a commitment to yourself to achieve it.
To commit means that you are making a pledge to yourself to succeed. This is a great way to build your self esteem as it demonstrates that you value yourself and your desires. It’s time to focus and do something great fro yourself.
Be aware however that making promises to yourself and not sticking to them has the opposite effect and will reduce your feelings of self worth so be sure this is something you want and that you will work for before you begin.
So if your approach is to ‘give it a go’ or ‘I’ll try’ then the likelihood is that you will give up at the first hurdle.
When you are committed you will find solutions to obstacles that get in your way and give you the focus amongst all the distractions in life.
How do you know if you are committed? Simply say to yourself
“I am committed to ……………… (name your goal) by ……………… (name the date)”
Then notice what goes on inside you. How do you feel? What thoughts are going through your mind? What did you say to yourself?
If you believe your statement then go ahead and take action towards your goal. If there is doubt about your ability or your commitment then revisit your goal and make it smaller and more manageable to increase your belief in yourself.
3. MOTIVATE YOURSELF
Find a visual representation of you at goal and put it somewhere you see many times each day, such as a photo of you from the past at your ideal weight or a print out of the 5K event that you are going to run. This will keep your goal in mind and keep you focused and motivated to act towards it.
It is easy to feel excited and motivated when we first begin to work towards a goal but once the novelty wears off it’s important to get creative to stay connected to WHY you are making these changes in your life.
Depending on whether you are someone who is motivated by the carrot or the stick, either remind yourself of the benefits of achieving your goal or imagine how life will be in 12 months time if you don’t achieve it.
One idea I love to do is to create a Dream Board which I hang in my bedroom. It is a collage that I make out of cut out pictures and words from magazines that stimulate me and absolutely make me want to achieve my goal. I have positioned it so I see it each morning when I wake and each night before I sleep.
4. MAKE A CLEAR PLAN
Set yourself up to succeed by planning ahead and putting in place all you need to get started and maintain the changes you are making in your life. For example, if you are building up from being a walker to doing a 5K run then find a programme to advice how to increase your running time each day, make sure you have the right clothes, book time into your diary etc.
It probably sounds like common sense but I hear from many clients that lack of preparation is often a key obstacle and the main excuse they use to avoid action. At the start of each week take some time to look ahead at the next 7 days and make sure everything is in place.
Until the changes become habitual it is vital you stay on top of your new routine.
5. SET UP SUPPORT SYSTEM
Although it is vital that you want to achieve this goal for yourself, there is no need to go it alone. Create a support system around you of people who have your best interests at heart. Chose people who understand how important this goal is to you so they will encourage you through the difficult times and be there with you to celebrate each stage of your success.
Working towards the same goal as a friend can be really motivating – there is nothing like a bit of healthy competition and support – but be aware of what can happen if the other person decides to jack it all in. What will happen to your motivation? I have seen this happen many times and experienced it myself. The solution is to enjoy the companionship but be clear with yourself from the start that if they stop you will continue.
6. GET ACCOUNTABILITY
Having accountability means checking in with someone regularly to review your progress with the aim of helping you keep on track. It is the place you want to go when you have had a good week and where you desperately want to avoid if you have slipped up!
A word of caution – It can become tricky when you are not meeting your short term goals as it is this person’s role to help you get back on track by challenging you but that is a big ask for someone close to you. We often won’t accept the challenge and throw it right back in their face which can put stress on relationships.
In the past I have asked a friend who also had a goal to lose weight to hold me accountable. It worked while she was on track with her own weight loss but once she began to slip off her plan she stopped challenging me as she felt bad about herself. So choose carefully talk about how you will manage the situation before it actually occurs, as emotions may well be running high if you are not hitting your goals.
Alternatively, decide to hold yourself accountable by creating a visual chart of your achievements which is in full view daily.
If you are struggling to get accountability and it is stopping you reaching your goals then get in touch and I am happy to talk to you about how I could help. Offering accountability to a client is one of the most useful and important parts of a coach’s role as the coach has no emotional involvement in the client’s life other than wanting them to succeed.
7. ANTICIPATE OBSTACLES
Sticking to your goals is not always a downhill ride and you will undoubtedly face obstacles along the way. Take some time before you start working towards your goal to consider what may get in your way.
When you are prepared, each situation will feel like you have a choice of how to overcome it rather than facing the unexpected.
8. DECIDE HOW YOU ARE GOING TO CELEBRATE
Over the years I have noticed that my client’s who focus on what they have done well and who make time to celebrate their successes are the ones that have the greatest and quickest successes in their lives.
Often I hear women giving loads of time and attention to beating themselves up about what they didn’t do well which is de-motivating and demoralising. So focus on what you have done well as this increases motivation and will help you keep a positive mindset.
Have fun choosing what you will do to celebrate reaching each interval goal along the way and of course your final goal. I always make my celebrations bigger and bigger as I get closer to my final goal, making the last one the most exciting.
Chose celebration treats that support your final goal rather than take you away from it, for example, if you are losing weight then treating yourself to a massive blow out takeaway may give your mind and body the wrong message. Why not choose to have a massage instead.
9. MANAGE YOUR SETBACKS
“Confidence isn’t about always getting it right. It’s about not fearing to get it wrong”
Be realistic and accept there will be days that things don’t go according to plan and you will slip up.
Most importantly, do not beat yourself up and make yourself feel worse than you already do as this will probably lead to you doing more damage. Instead, it is best to forgive yourself and get back on track as soon as you can. One blip isn’t going to end your dream; it just means you are human.
Great achievers are not those who never slip up. They are those who learn from their mistakes and move forward. So consider what the trigger was for your slip up so you can avoid the same mistake in the future.
10. USE YOUR IMAGINATION
Before you go to sleep each night imagine yourself having achieved your goal – fill your mind and body with the feelings, sights and sounds of having succeeded then while you sleep your conscious and unconscious mind will marinade in the wonderful experience.
Not only is it a very pleasurable experience, but you are creating the right mindset for success as the same neurons fire in your brain when you imagine yourself doing something as they do when you actually do it. How amazing is that?
So unleash your creative mind and go on a night-time adventure living your life in your imagination as it would be once you reach your goal!
With the right mind set and commitment you can make big changes in your life. Good Luck and enjoy the results … and remember to celebrate all your success, both big and small
If you want to know how coaching could help you achieve your goal sooner than if you do it alone then get in touch for your FREE Discovery Session 07733 263200
How to Stick to Long Term Goals