As we draw closer to the end of the year, we are going to see a huge flurry of 'New Year Resolution-ers' and people hell bent on making 2016 their best year ever.
Coaches will be bringing out new programs and capitalising on this magical time of year, while clients who have a new found burst of motivation decide this is finally going to be the year they make a major change in their lives.
But why is it that our wanting of these goals seems to stray so quickly and the gap between what we think we so badly desire and what we actual achieve ends up stretching so far?
I have studied extensively on the subjects of both motivation and goal setting, and can conclude that unfortunately, people may wish for their goals to come through, they aren't willing to pay the necessary price for that to happen.
One of Napoleon Hill's 'Golden Rules', is that you must always reap before you sow. You must put in the hard yards before the crops are ready to take to market. This is the same with building up your client base (they don't just magically fall out of the sky as you may have noticed) and it's the same with losing weight (client's don't get lean first and then have to exercise).
I have written about the power of goal setting before (roughly this time last year….but like anything, I too have learnt more about myself and motivation itself).
It's interesting to go back and notice that what I recommended back then is similar to what I am recommended to you today. (This tells me I am on the right path as I am more than happy to correct myself when necessary).
So why is it that people struggle with hitting their goals? What can help?
Below is an actionable guide to get things done along with some great books on the topic of productivity, goal setting and motivation that you can check out for further reading if you wish.
Here is what I do:
Every morning, as soon as I rise, I switch my light on (otherwise I have a tendency to roll over and attempt to get some more sleep), I then walk to the kitchen, make a coffee and sit down at my desk.
I pull out my a5 notebook dedicated solely to ideas and goal setting (I've filled like 5 of these bad boys in 2015) and at the top of the page I write the date, a heading "Goals" followed by the numbers 1-10 on the left hand side of the page.
You need to realise that those goals aren't doing any good up in that head of yours. Your mind is generally full of a many MANY items. Who I have to write a programs for? What appointments do I have coming up? My client cancelled and wants a new time? What program am I going to follow? What time can I squeeze in a workout? There is just too much going on up there for goals to be at the forefront of your mind and much too easy to be forgotten about.
I then spend the next 5-20 minutes thinking of all the things I want to achieve. Some are short term, others are long term. I don't think too much about it at this stage, but know that I need to get it onto paper, otherwise it will never happen.
I then put a deadline next to each goal. This isn't a set in stone deadline that if you don't make it, you will be fed to the wolves. No, it's a deadline you work towards, and if you don't make it, you just simply reset the deadline. It's a good estimate.
The next, and most important stage, is to decide what you're going to give to achieve the desired results.
What price are you going to pay life to achieve these?
It's not enough to just want $100,000 in your bank. What are you going to do for the $100,000? How many clients will you need to see? What courses and skills will you have to increase to become the worlds best strength coach? What decisions will you need to make day by day to ensure you're on the right path?
Decide what you will pay life and get stuck into it.
Here's how to break it down.
Each morning after writing my top 10 goals down, I will choose one of the following activities to use with my goals:
1. I list the one single VITAL ACTION that I can take, TODAY, to help me become closer to that goal. What is the very next step that will propel this goal into immediate action and start to become a reality?
2. I take a blank sheet of a4 paper and brainstorm the hell of of the topic. This helps me cover all bases and think of all possibilities involved.
3. I break my goals down into actionable steps and mini goals. I usually pick 1-2 of my main goals and go into great detail of how I can get them done. This can generally be between 10-40 steps, sometimes more depending on the goal. No detail is too minuet.
4. I will re-write my goals on the computer, further solidifying them in my brain, followed by printing them out and putting them where I will see them. eg: Shower screen, desk, phone background, fridge door. I find this process helps the review process to see where I am at with them in relation to my goal timeline.
The last step, is to have enough self awareness to realise when a goal is no longer aligned with your life's purpose.
Peter Drucker wrote:
A very fitting quote. If you find this is the case, just stop doing it!
Re-write your future and get busy working towards the new goal instead. Nothing is wrong with that and it happens all the time.
It's that simple.
To Summarise, Here is the goal setting process I implement:
1. Get into the habit of writing them down (every single day)
2. Give them a deadline
3. Create action steps to get them done
4. Review your progress
5. Re-align/Reset Goals and deadlines where necessary
The last thing I want to mention is a quote by Steve Jobs:
"Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again."
Daily goal writing requires daily discipline but I guarantee you, if you follow this process, you will be much closer to hitting your goals in 2016 rather than being part of the 95% of drifters this world is filled with.
I wish you the very best luck for 2016 and know it's going to be an amazing year for you. I look forward to helping you on that journey.
Books and Extra Reading Materials
I encourage you to check out the following titles which have helped me immensely and are highly valuable (for a low price too):
- The Willpower Instinct - Kelly McGonigal (everyone should read this)
- Getting Things Done - David Allen
- Goals - Brian Tracy (This man lives and breathes it)