How Your Goal & Why Change Everything, Part 1
“You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goals.” Booker T. Washington
You’ve decided you will lose weight and get in shape. You’ve started your fitness program. You’ve even eliminated your retreat by telling your plans to everyone you know and a few random people in line at the grocery store! You are on your way.
I’m going to show you, using the words of Dr Kevin Kane, another way to make sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will succeed! Simply put, it’s goal setting. A person without goals is like a ship that sets sail without a destination. It goes wherever the wind blows, and sooner or later it will end up on the rocks!
You can achieve any of your goals if you follow 3 simple steps. Do these three things with any goal, you will find success.
If you don’t do them, you may get lucky, but more than likely, you will not reach your goal. Create your own luck. Take control with three easy steps:
1. Define your goal.
2. Define your Why.
3. Create congruence.
Today let’s look at the first two.
1. Define your goal. Your brain is constantly processing information, both passively and actively, to move you in a particular direction. If your mind doesn’t have a target, it takes you in random directions. If you don’t know your goal, you’ll never reach it. When you define your goal, on the other hand, your mind constantly focuses, directs, refocuses and redirects until it hits its intended target.
Many people say, for example, that they want to lose weight. This is fine, but it is not a goal. This is a nebulous, ill-defined want.
A goal is specific, positive, and time limited. It may include steps or sub-goals, it may be short- or long-term. But to be a goal, it needs to have a well defined end-point, it should be stated in the positive, and when possible, should be stated as if it has already happened.
Let’s do an experiment. Imagine you are at a weight of 225 pounds and want to lose 50 pounds. Say this out-loud to yourself, “I want to lose weight.” How does it make you feel? Do you feel energized? Resourceful? Do you believe deep down you will do it? Chances are this statement only makes you feel overwhelmed and frustrated.
Now try this: first, picture yourself already at your goal weight of 175 pounds. What will you look like? What are you wearing? How do you feel at your goal weight? What are your friends saying to you? As you picture yourself at your goal, now say out loud, “With Slim in 6 and healthy eating I’ve designed my life so that each day takes me closer to my goal. It is now (goal date) and I look great and feel energized at my new weight of 175 pounds.”
Which statement is more likely to support you? Which makes you excited about the process? Which one will really help you get to 175 pounds? I’m betting it is the second one.
When we clearly, specifically, and positively state our goals, then review them regularly, they become part of us. Make it vivid, so part of your mind believes you are already there. It becomes reality in your mind, then your mind works continuously to make it reality on the outside as well.
2. Find your why. In nursing school, my goal was always on graduating- getting my RN degree. I was able to focus like a laser beam on succeeding because it was the thing I wanted most in the world. I got up early, went off to class, studied until late at night, then repeated it all the next day. Every day. It was not a burden, it was just what I needed to do to get where I wanted to go. There was no competing interest.
Becoming a registered nurse was my definite purpose at that time in my life. It was my burning desire. I still had fun, but when crunch time came, everything else faded and the next exam was the only thing. My friends and family on board with me. They all wanted me to succeed, and were wonderfully understanding when I came late or left early for holidays, or had to tell them I couldn’t go out because I had to study. Everyone knew getting to the prize took a huge effort. A lifestyle change. They were right, they were supportive, and it worked.
To achieve any difficult goal, like finishing nursing school or losing weight, that goal needs to become your burning desire. Luckily, since we control our minds, we can create a burning desire any time we want if we find strong reasons.
If you want to lose weight, you must figure out why you want to lose weight. Be as specific as possible. Keep asking why until you get to the root reason. “I want to lose weight.” Why? “To be more healthy” Why? “Because my parents are ill from complications of diabetes, and I don’t want that to happen to me” Why? “Because I want to be able to take care of my children and be there for them as long as I can.” Now you have some compelling reasons. When you wake up in the morning and think about that reason, you’ll jump out of bed excited to get healthy for your kids.
The more reasons you have and the more specific they are, the better they will carry you to your goal. Any goal can be reached if you have enough reasons and if they are compelling enough.
Collectively, all your reasons are called your Why. When your Why is strong enough, it turns your goal into your burning desire. Your Why will get you through the hard times. It will help you work out when you don’t have much energy. It will give you strength to resist the chocolate cake. Your Why keeps you focused on the prize. Find your why and keep it close to you!
Remember, setting your goal and defining your Why will start you in the right direction on your journey. If you need help figuring it out, talk to those closest to you. Often the answer is right in front of us.
In closing, I want to challenge you. I challenge you to post in the comments YOUR goal and why. Put it out there. Make it real!
A Toast to Your Health,
Rochelle Griffin is Registered Nurse with over 20 years experience who has transitioned her love for fitness, health, & freedom into a 6-figure company that now helps others live the life of their dreams.
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