Why Goal Setting Sometimes Fails
We’ve all been there. We wanted to accomplish something, but for whatever reason it fell right through our hands. Here’s why:
Goals are all about the end result. They never break down the process. Whether a goal is short-term or long-term, there’s usually never any mention of action steps.
Goals can be discouraging. When we fail to get what we want, we have the tendency to give up.
What To Do Instead
Here’s the secret to achieving any goal. It’s a simple 3-step process. Ready?
1. Identify the necessary actions you must take to get to your goal.
Take your goal, and add “by (insert daily action step here)”. Want to lose weight? Change your SMART goal of “lose 15 pounds in 2 months” to “lose 15 pounds in 2 months by eliminating soda from my diet and by eating at least x amount of protein every day”.
2. Develop specific habits that you will act on, and practice every day.
Let’s go back to the above example. Now that you plan on eliminating soda from your diet and eating x amount of protein every day, act on it every day. See, the problem isn’t that we don’t know what to do. Because 99% of the time, we already do. We just don’t act on what we already know.
3. Forget about the goal you just set.
Just build on the new habits every day. So now we’re taking “my goal is to lose 15 pounds in 2 months by eliminating soda from my diet and by eating at least x amount of protein every day” and turning it to “I’m going to eliminate soda from my diet and eat at least x amount of protein every day”.
Next thing you know your goal has been achieved.
The key thing to achieving any goal is to focus on the process, not the end result. By doing this, your goals simply become a byproduct of the habits you’ve formed.
In order to transform your present body, there needs to be a shift in your mind set to a healthier approach to success. Goal achievement, especially when it comes to health and fitness, can be a mystery. You CAN turn achieving your goals into a science with the right strategies. Here are a few of our favorites:
DO create a plan. DON’T wait for "someday" to roll around.
Setting the goal is just the first step. Know where you’re going, what resources you’ll need, who can help and – most importantly – what Plan B is when life throws a monkey wrench into Plan A.
DO start small. DON’T focus on too many things at once.
Try focusing on one goal at a time. Use a small goal that you know you can do each day for the next two weeks, like getting up without the snooze or drinking eight cups of water. Build that first habit to boost your confidence and pick up speed.
DO write it down. DON’T forget to give yourself a deadline. If you bite it –write it.
Deadlines turn wishes into goals. The act of writing down your goal is powerful enough to keep you committed and focused. Better yet, find a visual that represents your goal or how your life will be different. Seeing it makes it seem more possible.
DO be specific. DON’T deal in absolutes.
Avoid the words ‘some’ and ‘more’, as in "I will get SOME exercise" or "I will eat MORE vegetables." It leaves too much wiggle-out room. Deal in measurable things that you have control over. And never say ‘never’ or ‘always.’ All or nothing is a common attitude that leads people back to bad habits.
DO track your progress. DON’T fool yourself into failure.
Memory can be pretty selective. It conveniently forgets that extra brownie while remembering activity that never happened. The only way to know for sure is to track goals regularly with a checklist or a journal….if you bite it –write --write on.
DO reward your success. DON’T beat yourself up over failure.
This is the step that trips up most people. Negative thoughts are usually in our heads, telling us every day what we’re doing wrong. This is not the approach to take to succeed with your goals. Why not focus on what you’re doing right instead? If you take a step back, learn from it and take two steps forward.
— Jaime Brenkus Health Tip 26