Let me tell you something straight up that you probably haven’t heard too often – goal setting is actually incredibly effing hard. More often than not people have set what they think is a goal when really they are actually aspirations or ideas rather than a solid goal with a plan in place to achieve it. We have all been there, you set yourself a target or goal and suddenly find yourself months or years down the track and you are still in the same position you were when you started or your progress is so small you think, why am I even bothering? – sound familiar? it’s not the best feeling.
People tend to set goals without actually putting a proper plan in place to achieve it and sometimes they set a goal so big that it seems so far away you lose motivation or run out of steam working towards it. Don’t get me wrong having long-term goals are great – but I find what works best for me is breaking my goals down into smaller more manageable goals. They are almost like checkpoints, and they work because they keep me interested and I get that feeling of satisfaction and achievement when I tick them off one by one.
Last year one of the many goals I set for myself was to compete in my first body building competition. I had never competed before and I knew it was going to be a long road ahead to get to the condition I needed to be in. I started out by doing two 8 week challenges to kick-start me in the right direction of training and eating properly. I then began training with a coach to guide me through the process and provide invaluable and much-needed advice. It has now been 1 year since I set that goal and I am a mere 24 weeks away from achieving what I set out to do. It certainly hasn’t been the easiest road. There have been tantrums, mini meltdowns and days that I have wanted to throw it all in.
I have found that it is very important to back yourself. You need to believe that you can achieve what you have set out to do. If you have a negative mindset you are going to hinder your ability to successfully achieve your goal. So here are some of my tips for setting out and achieving a goal:
- Make sure it is realistic
- Define what success actually looks like – your goal needs to be measurable
- Put a time frame around your goal
- Have check points! It’s important to reflect on how you are progressing, this give you the opportunity to make adjustments instead of just mindlessly doing things that do not work
- Celebrate your successes or milestones
- Make yourself accountable, have someone you can check in with. This could be a spouse, a mentor or a friend
- Understand WHY you have set that goal – they need to be relative to you
- Write that shit down – I put reminders, little notes and lists everywhere reminding me what I am working towards