It’s not enough to have a goal to lose some weight. You only need to think about the number of New Year Resolutions created each January to realize that setting a goal does not necessary create the type of commitment needed to follow through and attain that goal.
That’s why it is important to truly consider what it is that you want and the reasons behind it. As Mark Twain said, “I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.”
So let me ask you, do you truly know what you want? And why? Or is your goal a wish, a dream, a thought that you “should” have?
Creating specific outcome goals and writing them down is a system that almost every successful person has. So for us to use this same system, we need to write our outcome goal in a specific way.
I bet you’ve already guessed that you can’t get away with statements like “I want to lose weight” or “I’d like to be skinny”. Those are wishes. Instead create your goals the SMART way:
Specific – write down what you want (weight x pounds, wear x size clothes, have x blood pressure, walk a mile in x minutes).
Measurable – make sure that your goal can actually be measured like the ones above
Attainable – don’t set yourself up for failure by choosing a goal that can’t be reached by the time frame you set
Realistic – although this seems similar to attainable, here I want you to closely examine your motives behind your goal. Here is where the “so that” I spoke about last time would come into play.
Timely – if you don’t set a time, the goal is too vague. “Later” is not a time, “next week” is not a time, “soon” is not a time.
Note: if you have quite a bit of weight to lose, it is best to not make your outcome goal your final number. Instead, it is ok (and for many emotionally easier) to chunk those goals down. Let’s look at this scenario… if you’re wanting to lose 100 pounds, that number can be intimidating and feel far away. Choose your outcome goal to be lose 20 pounds by a certain date instead. You can always create a new goal once you’ve reach this first one!
The second step to making a goal a reality is to create process goals in which to make the outcome goal come true. Process goals walk you through the journey, step-by-step toward your outcome goal. A process goal might be the choice to workout three times a week or to drink 64oz. of water every day. You can think of process goals as the weekly check-list you follow until you reach your outcome goal.
For example, your outcome goals could be: I’m excited to be wearing a size 10 on December 31, 2010. I will achieve this goal by:
- Eating 5 times per day
- Drinking 8 glasses of water
- Exercising 20 minutes per day, etc.
And remember what Brian Tracy says….”The minute you set a goal that is worthy of you, obstacles are thrown in your path to make you the person you must become to be worthy of the goal.”
This is unfortunate (ok, it really sucks!!), but true. How often do you set a goal and then have multiple things move into your path that hinders your success? According to Tracy, those are simply character builders, obstacles that are thrown into your path that make you worthy of reaching your goal. Go into your goal process realizing that things that look like obstacles will come and that you are bigger than they are. Birthday cake can be seen as an obstacle to reach your goal or can be seen as a character builder in which you learn to say “no thanks” with grace and ease. Just realize that obstacles in the form of celebrations, moms who try to feed you, spouses who might not want you to change are going to be there and plan your strategy to address them.
Begin to create your own personal goals. And remember that you can use this system to create goals in other areas of your life too. When you create specific, well framed and positive goals, you are much more likely to reach them.