When it comes to setting ourselves goals of what we wish to achieve, we often first set ourselves the target. What we want to ‘have’. We then usually break down what we are going to have to do in order to achieve it. What we will ‘do’.
Usually goal setting may go a little like this, ‘I want to have a six pack of abs and great looking lean body.’ Fantastic, you have set the have. Then you will usually break this down into what it is your are going to do in order to achieve your goal. ‘I will have to eat in a calorie deficit to reduce body fat and train hard and smart in the gym for the next 3 months. We have a list of what we want to achieve (have) and how we are going to do it (do).
Sometimes we may take this a step further and introduce a layer of SMART targets. SMART targets are fantastic tools to use when setting a goal. SMART stands for;
Specific - The goal written is specific to your needs, wants and capabilities
Measureable - We can measure and track the progress
Achievable - the goal set is realistic
Relevant - The goal is relevant to what you wish to achieve
Time - There is a time constraint on the target
Specific - I want to attain a body fat percentage below 10% in 12 weeks time from this date.
Measurable - I can measure my body fat % via callipers/dexa scan/photo comparison etc.
Achievable - considering current composition the target is achievable.
Relevant - This is relevant to wanting to have visible abdominal muscles.
Time - 12 weeks
Now that what you wish to achieve has been given a SMART target it is now measurable with an achievable target set, it is specific to what you wish to achieve and we have set a time constraint to abide by. We may even go a few steps further and create longer and shorter term SMART targets to help attain the desired goal.
All this will help to make the desired goal more achievable. We have identified what it is you want to achieve (have) and what needs to be done (do). There is something vital missing from this. No matter how well thought out and planned this all may be, no matter the desire something is missing. Some people will achieve what they desire from setting such goals and some currently are destined to fail. This is where the final construct comes into play. Being.
Not only do you have to have a target and do what needs to be done to get there you have to be or become the kind of person that attains and maintains such success.
In Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow Quadrant he writes about goal setting in a different field, he writes about goal setting in terms of financial freedom. To summarise what he writes is that you may know that you want ‘financial freedom’, you may know what you have to do to achieve financial freedom but you also have to become the type of person who attains financial freedom, by this he means you have to have the characteristics, values and principles that a financial free person has in the first place or learn to develop and grow them within yourself. If you do not become and be the character of a financially free person it is very unlikely you will attain such freedom.
This whole idea and construct crosses over into the fitness industry, you may know what you want in terms of your health and fitness, you may know what you need to do but if you do not become the person who shares the same characteristics, values and principles as those who are successful then it is unlikely you will attain and maintain your success.
Who do I have to be? What character do i need to develop? What principles and values do I need to identify and grow?
Let’s take a look the characteristics, principles and values of those who attain health and fitness success;
Disciplined - Do what they know is right even when lacking motivation
Routined - Planned and set days creates consistency and adherence
Self aware - understands and open to their character, values and principles. Aware of their strengths and faults.
Proactive - They take action, they dont wait for things to happen, they make things happen.
Hard working - no time for procrastination
Smart working - thought within their hard work, work with a purpose.
Open to learning - not fixed in their ways, open to thinking critically in order to learn new things.
Not afraid of mistakes - no analysis paralysis, They take action. If they are wrong they are willing to learn from their mistakes.
Are without ego - for their process and self improvement not for their inflated and often incorrect impression of themselves.
In control of their emotions - they have their emotions but they do not act upon them, they act with objectivity and control.
Embrace challenge - challenge is a chance to learn and improve
Happy and grateful - grateful to be alive and have the things and people they have in their lives, they enjoy life and embrace it.
I 100% DO NOT believe in the statement ‘I can’t change who I am’ This statement should say ‘I won’t change who I am’ You are capable of wanting different things, doing different things and being a different person. The characteristics you have may be deeply set and imbedded from years of developing and being those things but that doesn’t mean the process can’t be reversed or changed. These are learned characteristics, this also means you are capable of learning new ones too. If you can’t see that you can change the way you think and act then the likelihood is you will continue to not get the results you desire. Don’t get stuck in your ways.
If you are willing to practice and learn new thoughts and behaviours then you will be able to develop new characteristics. If you are willing to become aware of your principles and values you will be able to understand them and develop them into those more conducive with success. You can practice being the person you wish to be. You can become the person you want to become.
Identify what it is you want to achieve. Do the things that need to be done in order to achieve them. Become the person that achieves such success.
Just to blow your mind one step further, when you develop new principles and values, do not be surprised if the goal you initially wished to attain changes.