How to believe you can achieve your goals.

As a wellness consultant and kinesiologist, I have the privilege to hear stories from clients about what has motivated them to make a change in their lives. And it is an honor to be part of the process that allows them to make those changes.

To go with that, I have been researching on why our goals can work if we plan them correctly.

I have noticed that there is a correlation between people who achieve their goals and how they went about pulling that off. Comparing these finding with empirical research in the field I found a nice little equation for success.

Equation for goals.jpg
 

Let’s get into the details:

Importance:

Your goal has to be important. Why would you waste your time making a goal if it is not important to you? Anytime I have not achieved my goals, I look back and notice that I thought a goal was important but I didn’t frame it in a way to make it important to my life. Important goals could be seen as goals with an obvious ‘carrot’ at the end. They can also be seen with a negative endpoint as motivation to prevent a bad outcome. But the importance of a goal doesn’t really matter unless you make it…

Personal:

That’s right folks, if you don’t make your goals personal you will have a reduced chance of achieving them. Let’s look a little deeper into that.

Goals have to involve you. We need to look past the basic general goals and narrow it down into something specific to ourselves. Let’s take a look at a classic goal and then we will make it personal.

Classic Goal #1: I want to lose weight. I plan to lose 10 pounds by June.

Bored yet?

Personalized Goal: I want to lose weight. I want to participate in activities with my children without feeling tired after a few minutes. I want to be a positive example in my children’s lives. My family’s vacation is in June and I want to make sure I can get through the all-day hike we are planning to do up a mountain. Losing weight will help with all of these activities. 

Sounds a little more enticing right?

Classic Goal # 2: I want to read more. I plan to read 2 books by the end of February

How cute.

Personalized Goal: I want to read more. When I read an excellent book I am happier and it inspires me to believe in the impossible. I sleep better and I have more patience at work. I am always excited to read fantasy novels and my favourite writer just released a new book. Reading is how I will help manage my busy life. I have two books I want to read and I plan to read one at bed time and one while I ride the train to work.

Personally, I can’t wait to find this person’s reading list. They seem to know what is good.

Make your goals personal to you. But you can’t make your goal personal if you don’t have…

Self Efficacy:

Sadly, you may not achieve your goals if you don’t believe in yourself. It’s not all doom and gloom though. We just need to plan to make the goal within our capacity to achieve them.

I heard recently on a podcast with Nate Green how he gets his clients to put their goals in a place where they believe they are achievable. It goes like this:

Figure out the plan that will allow you to achieve your goal. But then rate the chances of you achieving your goal from a scale of 1 – 10. Anything below a 7 will be difficult for you to achieve. If you goal was to workout 3 times a week it may go like this:

I will workout 3 times a week: 4

I will workout 2 times a week: 6

I will workout 1 time per week: 9

Because you believe you can achieve working out 1 time per week easily you will have a higher chance of achieving it. Because you have self efficacy your goals start to look doable. But how will you know if things are going well if you don’t have…

Feed Back:

This seems obvious, but if you can’t track your progress you can’t change your strategies to achieve your goal. This can be done by writing down your progress under a pre-determined metric. Wearable technology has made this easy when it comes to fitness and health goals. But quite simply just track your progress in a way that will work for you.

The Take Away:

Your goals need to be important to you. Do this by making them personal to yourself and making sure the plan is in your capacity. Track your progress as you go so you can edit your strategy for success.