When it comes to goal setting for fitness or weight loss, a 12 month goal is considered a very long-term goal, and the reason most people don’t achieve their goals is that they only set outcome goals.
Process Goals and Outcome goals
An outcome is basically the end result that you want to end up with. For example, if the goal is to lose 10 kilos, what someone usually does is say “I want to lose 10 kg”, put that on paper, maybe paint it on a wall, and then do nothing beyond that. In case they actually end up going to the gym, they go for maybe a week and then get bored, or life gets in the way, and they stop.
Breaking the goal down
In order to successfully complete a goal as long-term as 12 months, you need to first break the goal down into manageable tasks; mini tasks; small steps. So if your goal for 2020 is to lose 10kg, you need to break that down into a 6 month goal, a 3 month goal, a 30 day goal, and a 24 hour goal. After you set your 3 month goal, you need ask yourself, “what do I need to do in order to achieve that goal in 3 months?” and then assign tasks to yourself for the next 30 days, and for the next 24 hours. Your plan may look something like this:
Ultimate Goal (12 months): lose 10 kilos
- 6 month goal: lose 6kg
- 3 month goal: lose 3kg
- 30 day goal: work out 3 days a week, stick to my diet, and drink 1-2L of water every day.
- 24 hour goal: pick my clothes out, get a gym membership, and talk to my trainer.
Always remind yourself that “Whatever it is that I need to do, I just need to give myself a task to do right now”.
Finding your why
Another extremely important thing when it comes to goal setting is your why. Why do I want to do this? There is a very popular saying that goes “he who has a strong why can adapt to any how”. When you have a strong enough reason, no goal is unattainable. Most people don’t have a strong enough reason for the goal they want to achieve. Why do you want to lose that weight? Is it because you want to look good? Be more attractive? Prevent future heart attacks? Whatever it is, you need to know it and you need to write it down right next to your goal so you look at it every single day to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. The process is not easy, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, life is going to get tough and it’s going to get in the way, and when it does, your why is the only thing that’s going to be there to push you forward.
Establishing good, strong habits is the final key to successful goal setting. You can’t always solely rely on your willpower; you need to establish positive habits to help achieve your goals. For you to do that you must try your best to make them as simple as possible. You want to do the same things at the same time every day and make it a routine. Say your goal is to incorporate a work out into your schedule; you decide you’re going to train early in the morning before you go to work or school. Your morning ritual would look something like: wake up at 5:00, have breakfast, be out of the house by 6:30-7:00 and at the gym by 7:30, workout for an hour, and leave. You want to make that a routine, a part of your life that doesn’t change and is not negotiable, it becomes as absolute as washing your face in the morning.