When you begin to approach the task of goal setting, do any of these thoughts go through your mind?
- I never stick to my goals, what’s the point.
- Goal setting is such a waste of time! Something always gets in the way of accomplishing my goals.
- There is no point in setting goals because I never know what tomorrow will bring.
In some circles, goal setting is a bad word. It doesn’t have to be, though. When you learn some quick and simple breakthrough tools, goal setting can be a huge confidence builder.
- CLARITY: Get crystal clear about your goals. Be specific, the more details the better.
- TANGIBLE: What is the tangible proof of your goal achievement?
- TIME: Put a date on it. How long will it realistically take you to achieve your goal?
- HEART: How does this goal speak to the heart of who you are as a person, your values, and life vision? Knowing this will motivate you when it gets hard.
- BREAK IT DOWN: Break large goals into bite-size pieces. This is how you build confidence while exercising your goal setting muscles.
A person usually gets stuck in the area of breaking a goal down into bite-size pieces. Often times we make lofty goals like; I’m going to lose 100#s by summer and it’s April 29. News flash, the first day of summer is June 21. It is going to be difficult and unhealthy to lose 100 lbs. in less than two months. Setting lofty and unrealistic goals will erode your self-confidence and creates discouragement. If you make a habit of setting unrealistic goals then it will become a barrier to moving forward in other areas of your life. Lofty goals create a lack of belief in yourself, which leads to self-sabotaging behavior.
I’m not advocating small thinking. Dream bigger than life, but break it down into attainable goals and build from there. My blog, “Who’s the architect of your life?” explained that goals are tied into a larger life vision. Your life vision is the blueprint and your goals are how you achieve your life vision. Create your goals based on the life vision you want to build for you and your family. Then take your goals and break IT DOWN.
Do your research. You want to lose 100 pounds, great! What is a safe amount of weight to lose per week or per month? What is necessary to lose the weight? How will your eating habits have to change? Generally speaking: weight loss is 75% diet and only 25% exercise.1
“You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” Shawn M. Talbott, PhD
Here is the big question, what are you willing to commit to doing in order to create the change you want to see? You can have a plan, the knowledge, and the accountability partners but it will mean absolutely nothing if you are NOT COMMITTED TO YOUR COMMITMENTS!
Now that you have done the research, made a commitment to what you are going to do, BREAK IT DOWN into small very achievable goals or baby steps. As you are building your confidence with goal setting, you want to set a goal that hands-down you will be able to accomplish. You are not going to live at these baby steps. You are, however, going to build confidence in yourself that you can keep your word to yourself.
If eating healthy is a challenge for you, then make a goal like:
- Instead of having two starches and one protein, I will replace one starch with a vegetable for the next week. (FYI: corn is a starch, select other veggies)
- Instead of having a dessert after every meal, I will replace the desserts with fruit and have only one small dessert a week. Use your dessert as a weekly reward for keeping your commitments to yourself.
- I will learn how to cook clean and healthy by trying a new healthy recipe per week.
Once you have nailed your weekly goals, you will start to feel the confidence growing. This is when you want to step it up a bit by increasing your goals just a little. Here are a few examples:
- I will workout three times a week for 30 minutes a day. (The next week you may want to up this to 45 minutes or 4 days per week.)
- I will join a walking group with my accountability partner.
- I will do a 3-day detox. (Now it gets real!)
- I will invest in a wellness coach and put my money where my mouth is, instead of the bonbons. FYI: don’t be surprised if you start resenting your wellness coach before it is all said and done. He or she is only doing their job. Your job is to be committed to your commitments! (Ask me how I know.)
The whole purpose here is to set goals that you can attain, so you can build your confidence to set bigger goals and believe in yourself enough to attain them too. Confidence will sometimes take you where competence cannot. When you believe you can, you will. When you believe you can’t, your brain shuts down and grabs some bonbons. Build your goal setting muscle with confidence and watch your life change before your eyes.
As a life coach, I love helping people break through barriers that hinder forward progress. My hope is this blog helped you to begin to chip away at the barriers that hinder effective goal setting. Please do me a favor. If this blog has encouraged you please scroll back up to the top and hit the like button. Please feel free to express your comments and share the love to others. You can also subscribe for alerts on future blogs. NO SPAM – PROMISE!