With the New Year in full force, people are suddenly going to be making rapid changes and unfortunately many of these people will also be failing. While there are several reasons to this failing the biggest reason to this failing is that “New Year” doesn’t give enough of a reason to make the necessary changes and achieve your goals. Secondly, for those who do have a big enough “WHY” to make these goals and changes achievable, will tend to fail because of poor goals and expectations. Society has a terrible perception of goals and how to organize them. I am here to save the day and teach you how to make goals truly effective.
The common approach to goals when the New Year arrives is, “I am going to lose 20 pounds and start exercising!!” or “I am going to eat healthy!” but what do we really need to do to accomplish these goals? Exercise how? What constitutes healthy? Blindly making vague, large goals often inevitably fails because they don’t give you a plan of action and nobody revisits the goals and evaluates them.
To be truly successful with goals one should utilize a process called Goal Mapping. Goals are one of the most effective modes of motivation. Goals work because they are behavioral and force you to implement proper behaviors and actions. Goal mapping directs your attention to a relevant focus for success. Having specific and relevant goals set in place increase effort, persistence and it motivates strategy development. (Locke and Lantham, 2002) Having a good strategy in place increases your chances for success because you know what to do and will always have a plan of action in place.
Goal mapping is a systematic approach to acting and thinking in purposeful ways to achieve specific accomplishments and personal fulfillment. It involves – planning, setting, evaluationg, resetting. Goal Mapping is far more successful because it is constant, progressive, systematic and habitual. We need to develop healthy habits for success and goal mapping allows you to successfully create and maintain good habits.
In order to properly map your goals and achieve ultimate success we need to first establish an outcome goal, an outcome goal is your ultimate goal, ie lose 25 pounds, or drop 8% body fat. This is the focal point for all other goals because it is what we truly want to accomplish but always keep in mind why you truly want to accomplish this. After we have a clear outcome goal established we need to establish performance goals and it is important that these goals direct you towards your outcome goal. These goals are performance based such as specific goals in the weight room or making sure you limit dessert to once a week. What is important are these goals are achievable and maintainable for your lifestyle. The final set of goals to direct your focus are process goals and these goals should be things that you can control and direct you to your outcome goal, such as exercising 4x a week or grocery shopping weekly and preparing meals. Set your goals and follow them. If you aren’t making progress it is time to look back and evaluate the goals and make sure they are all focused towards success.
For many people achieving these goals may require a big lifestyle shift so start small and make baby steps to your goal. The important thing is that these goals establish good habits and are maintainable. Making a sharp 180-degree turn often fails because it is too much for people to handle. Have a plan of what you need to do and make changes gradually so that you can build off of them and continually grow.
Developing a goal map and organizing your goals in a manner that builds to your ultimate goal will improve success because you will have motivation and a game plan in place when you need it most. Making habitual changes and altering your life to live a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy and you will experience roadblocks along the way. Maintain your focus, maintain your game plan and you will achieve the goals you have set.