There are a few main reasons for creating goals for yourself whether it be your personal life, your business life, or your health and fitness. If you are just wandering aimlessly about, there is no purpose or control to focus your efforts in on any specific conclusion. Just like any story you read in a book, there should be a beginning, a middle and an end.
For the purposes of this blog, we will not get into actually creating goals or programs for people (can do that at a later date) but more about why goals are important for everyone. As the saying goes, "you can't get where you want to go, if you don't know where that is."
Positive affirmation is a powerful application of the human mind. This is where you tell yourself something over and over again until you believe it, even if it is a lie. We take this for granted every day with little things. The sky is blue, the grass is green, etc. There is no need to re-affirm these facts in our brain because we already believe them to be true. You can do the same for your goals. For example, if you set a goal to lose 5 pounds in a month, if you continue to tell yourself that you will do reach that goal no matter what, your body begins to turn to autopilot and expects that goal to happen!
To reach this point of positive affirmation, there are a few steps that you must overcome:
Step 1: WANT it! - You cannot just say to yourself, "Gosh, it sure would be nice to be able to do 30 pushups at once..." you have to really want it. This can also be referred to as desire. People seem to be able to desire things that they feel are more in their control, such as a job promotion or something. They see what they want, they desire it, and then go for it. Unfortunately, many people desire certain goals with their health and fitness but feel that they lack the knowledge attain their goals. Which brings me to my next step.
Step 2: Commit - What I mean by this, is in reference to the end of step 1. Many people sometimes feel as though they do not have the proper knowledge/skill set/equipment/resources/etc. to achieve their goal. Before you even head down the path to get there, do some due-diligence and find out what it is you need to succeed and acquire these resources. For health and fitness, this may require cleaning out your cupboards and only buying certain foods, or hiring a personal trainer/consultant to educate you, etc.
Step 3: Believe - Ok, so now you have decided on a specific goal, you really want it, and have even acquired the proper knowledge and resources to get you to your point of destination. Now you have to believe in yourself that you can get there. If there is even a slight doubt in your brain that you cannot achieve your goal, that small seed of despair works like a virus, spreading through your conscious, eventually bringing down all of your confidence! Believe in yourself and your resources 100% and you will get to where you need to be!
Step 4: Mentally Prepare - There are 3 P's to success; Personal, Present, and Positive. Personal means that you have to take this goal on personally. Your mind cannot wrap itself around an idea or goal for anyone else, only yourself. Make this about YOU. Present is all about the present. I remember a quote that says, "The past is history, and the future is a mystery, so enjoy the present because it is a gift!" Keep your mind focused on your goal at all times in the current tense, which is the present. Do not think, "Meh, I will skip my workout now because I have a lot of walking to do this afternoon and that is a good enough workout..." Be in the moment and commit yourself to your goal at all times...in the present. Thirdly, be positive. This relates back to step 3 in the fact that you do not want negative thoughts bringing this whole ship down!
Step 5: Be Accountable - Write your goal down on post-it notes and stick them to your bathroom mirror, your fridge door, your car dash, wherever you need to remind yourself to stay mentally focused. Also, tell a friend, heck, tell a LOT of friends and family about your goals so that they can not only help you stay motivated, but to also keep you accountable.
So what do goals look like written down?
"I am 5% body fat."
"I weigh 145 lbs."
"I earn $2000 per week from my side business."
"I own a black Porsche Cayman S."
"I can do 50 pushups without stopping"
"I can run a half marathon in under 2.5 hours"
Notice that all of these goals are speaking in the present tense. This gives you a mental image of yourself in that position having attained your goal(s).
Back at the beginning of this blog, I mentioned at how whenever I help someone design an exercise program, I always ask them what their goals are. The reason for this is so that there can be some purpose to the design. You need to be working towards your goal(s) in order to achieve them.
As I said, we can discuss the "how" to design a schedule at a later date.