Setting a goal and reaching a goal are very different things. Did you know that more than 25% of people who set a “get fit” goal for themselves at the beginning of the year will drop out by the end of Week 1? And more concerning, more than half of all people who set a fitness goal for the New Year will ditch it within 6 months.
So, how can we be the top 5% of people who not only set a dietary goal, but actually achieve it? Read on for some great strategies…
1. Write it Down
Sounds simple enough, right? Research shows if we write our goals down and see them in our own words, we are 5 times more likely to believe it’s going to happen. So, to line up with this research, my suggestion for keeping your goal is to write it down before you complete it, and make it very specific.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you want to drink your body weight in ounces of water today. To achieve this goal, write it down first because it shows a real commitment to yourself, kind of like writing a contract. And you want to keep your own word to yourself. You’ll see the goal in your own handwriting, and when you see it, it’s a powerful way to remain within integrity with yourself. And you’re more likely to hit the target.
But again, rather than writing, “I will drink my water today.” Write this: “I drank 120 ounces of water today” as though you’ve already completed it. You can also simply notate the number, 120 ounces, in your daily nutrition journal when you write down your other meals for the day.
2. Trust the process.
Many people give up on a goal too soon because they don’t have a history of success to know if they do X action for long enough, that they will see the Y results and benefits. Most people get into the daily steps of action that support their goal and they say to themselves, “I’ve been eating lean foods for 2 weeks or working out for two weeks,” but when they don’t see immediate results, they give up. So you have to understand that if you trust the process and put in the work and effort over a realistic period of time, that it will happen for you. If you do anything consistently for long enough, then you WILL have success! Trust the process!
Did you know?
• Only 3-5% of people in the world write down their goals, and of those, between 3 and 10% of them control 90% of the world’s resources
• 25% people abandon their New Years fitness goals in just 1 week!
• More than half who do set a New Years goal are out in 6 months; that means more than 50% ditch their goals within 6 months!
• Only 5% who set a weight loss goal and achieve it, keep it off. More than 90% gain it back
Come on, ladies! Let’s be that narrow gap, that top 2% of people who actually do what we say we’re going to do!! We can do it, and the research shows when we’re committed and consistent enough, the results are there for us.
3. Set weekly goals, not monthly!
One of the biggest reasons why people fail to achieve a certain goal is because they set a realistic goal within an unrealistic time-frame. Example:
Let’s say your goal is to exercise 20 times within the next 30 days… well, life happens, and sometimes events occur outside of your control.
It becomes really hard to forgive yourself and give yourself permission to be human and allow those things to happen if you set too big of a goal within too short of a time-frame. Instead, I like to set a weekly goal because it’s more manageable.
Every single week I like to ask myself, what can I do THIS week? What are 3 things that I can accomplish this week? Then go for that and measure your success within one week.
Once you get to the end of the week and you’re successful, then give yourself a fat big checkmark or sticker, or whatever motivates you, because you successfully completed it. Repeat this process week after week, and you will eventually build up a repertoire of goal setting and achieving those goals. Setting a much shorter goal will help ensure success!
4. Stick to 3 things.
Pick the 3 things you can do this week to make progress toward your bigger goal and do only those three things!
Another reason why people fail to achieve their goals is they become overwhelmed or distracted. Sticking to just 3 things for the week helps you avoid this trap.
Let’s say your three goals are to walk 2 miles for three days this week, eat breakfast every day, and drink your water every day — if you can do those 3 things in a week, then you will see success. When you can do this consistently for two to three weeks, then you can add to the goal, but not before!
5. Don’t weigh yourself!
This one is huge. Again, people get into their New Years goals and stick to them for a couple of weeks and then get tempted and immediately want to weigh themselves to see progress. But the scale is a big FAT liar! Literally! It cannot tell you your percentage of body fat to lean muscle. It cannot tell you how much muscle you have gained if you’ve been working out and using weights. Muscle is more dense than fat, and so you can actually weigh more on the scale, but in fact be a leaner person.
When I lost 12% body fat in 4 months using the program I outline in my new book, “Fit Mom Secrets,” the weight on the scale within several weeks’ time-frame only dropped by 5 total pounds, and yet, I looked like a completely different person because I had lost 12% body fat and gained tons of muscle. So imagine if I had relied on the scale thinking I wasn’t really making any progress, when in fact my body composition had completely changed! I probably would have gotten discouraged and lost motivation to continue as a result, if I didn’t have other forms of measurement to accurately evaluate the progress I was truly making.
So don’t weigh yourself. You’ll just get frustrated and discouraged. Instead, I do recommend you get your body fat measured by a certified trainer who is very experienced with using body fat calipers. And I also recommend you take girth measurements with a tape measure to accurately track your numbers.
Fit Tip: Make sure to take measurements at the same time of day each time you measure.
6. Take a specialized group class.
I’m a busy mom of two, and I’ve found this to be particularly helpful on days when I’m short on time. If you don’t have a lot of time to exercise, try High Intensity Interval Training H.I.I.T. or a shorter cardio strength intervals class. You will keep your precious muscle tissue with these types of classes while you burn fat at the same time. You can take a look at one of my free example classes on my Facebook page at Facebook.com/SecretsOfTheSuperMom.
You will maximize your results in classes like this because it allows you keep muscle while you’re burning calories, and the more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you’ll burn, even at rest. Building muscle is a key building block to supercharging your metabolism and looking leaner.
7. Make your weekly goals non-negotiable.
Remember when I said earlier to set weekly goals and pick just 3 things you can do this week? Don’t overwhelm yourself. Stick to 3 for the week and make them non-negotiable!
If you blow just one of your goals for the week, start right back over again until you achieve completing all three. Do not set a new goal until you’ve accomplished the first one you’ve set for yourself. This is really important in order to maintain focus and consistency, which are the two key ingredients to reaching that goal.
Remember, you want to be a person of integrity. And that also means being in integrity with yourself. When people set a goal they don’t achieve, the biggest reason they begin to feel like a failure is because they broke that contract with themselves. So write it down and block your workout like an appointment in your calendar to give your goal the attention and focus you deserve.
8. Think about TODAY
I have a client who is like a hamster on a wheel because she’s constantly thinking about next week and the week after that, but not taking the steps TODAY to get herself there. And I keep telling her — at lunchtime, think about lunch and eat only what you know meets your goal. Do this for 5 meals today, spaced at every 3 hours.
Take a step back and ask yourself: “what can I do today that will keep me on track for tomorrow?” If you have to break it up into several segments throughout the day, do that. Because the more baby steps you take to success for today, the more will add up to a whole lot of progress! And when you do this consistently, you WIN!
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.