Goals Goals Goals
For me goals are really important as they allow me to see where my priorities lie and how I can make progress towards and achieve different things in my life.
We always sit with our SMART goals (I am going to use running in my examples)
Specific – we want a really specific goal “I am going to run more” isn’t specific. “I am going to run 3 times a week” is specific.
Measurable – we need to know when we have achieved the goal – I run 5kms is measurable.
Achievable – can I actually achieve this goal? Yes or No.
Realistic – is it realistic that I can progress to achieve the goal? Yes or No. I am going to start by running 1km, then each week increase the distance every fortnight.
Time frame – we need a time frame so we keep ourselves accountable.
Put it all together – I will run 3 times a week and by the end of 3 months I will be able to run 5km in one session.
But other than the generic SMART goals what else is vital when setting goals?
They Need to be Positive – if you have a goal that says I wont… e.g. I wont eat junk food then you are just reinforcing to your brain “JUNK FOOD”. The brain doesn’t pick up on the “wont” part of the phrase, it only picks up a gist of the statement. And the more emotional part of that sentence, the part that the brain fires up to is junk food. So with this negative statement you’ll be activating the brain again and again to the thing you are trying to avoid, making it even harder to avoid.
FLIP – so flip it to “I will…”, “I am…”, “I have…”, “I create…”
For the example above you could go with “I will eat 3 plant based meals a week”
“I will create my own healthy work snacks on a Sunday”
No Opt Out - sometimes we give ourselves an opt out by stating “I’ll try to do…”. This basically says, “I could try it this month, this quarter, this year but also it doesn’t really matter if I don’t get there because I never really committed to it in the first place”. We want to limit the ability for the brain to find better options on those tough days when we don’t really want to be doing something but we need commitment to our longer term goal.
FLIP - So go back to the above statements (I will, I am, I do) and commit to making changes, as little as they need to be.
Allow for reconsiderations – sometimes circumstances bigger then us will prevent our goals so control what you can control and let things slide if need be. With the running example if you get injured then you’ll have to rework your goal. It doesn’t mean you failed, it means that there were extenuating circumstances that meant you can still work towards the goal but it might be in a slightly different time frame.
Or even with the option of cooking healthy snacks on a Sunday, suddenly you have plans all Sunday and you think “Ok I won’t bother this week”, and you end up eating crappy junk food again. So you need to plan around this and maybe make Saturday cooking day for that week.
FLIP - We want flexibility when we can’t control a situation.
I think many people have felt this with COVID – there are times we can’t control what’s happening in the world, with work or what facilities we have access too but we can always control how we feel about life and navigating alternatives that fit into our lives.
If you would like any help navigating your goals, please email me and we can chat about my programs that help determine your priorities and life goals :)