Goal setting can be a broad range of things, and it’s not an easy thing to get used to doing. Its kind of like exercise… the more consistent you are, the better results you will get. Sometimes you want to slack off or just skip it. But trust me, you don’t want to do that. If you want to make some serious change in your life, get good at goal setting and continue refining your process. You will be able to accomplish far more that you would without goals.
One of the very first goals I wrote down when I started out was “Teach a kickboxing class”. I remember my heart pounding when I wrote those words on paper. It made it real… but I wasn’t sure if I had what it takes. So I got certified. I practiced. When I taught my first class I was shaking and completely terrified! But I crossed that goal off the list, and I realized that reaching goals can be REALLY scary, but it’s totally worth it.
Teaching group fitness is my biggest passion in life. When I am on the mic and in front of the class I’m in my element. I can’t imagine where I would be today had I not decided to write that goal down 6 years ago, faced my fear and took action.
Don’t live your life wondering what could have been. If you want something for yourself, go after it. Do you want to know the secret to making it happen?
Here are 5 ways that you can make goal setting easier and more effective.
#1 Visualize your goal
This is so important…. Because if you can’t even visualize yourself achieving the goal, how can you have any faith in yourself to do it? Besides, it feels good to imagine that you’ve accomplished your dream!
Close your eyes. Imagine yourself, a few years from now, fully manifesting what you want most in life right now. See yourself there. Where are you? What are you wearing? And who is surrounding you? How do you feel?
I pictured myself teaching… really feeling in control of the room, looking like I knew what I was doing. The feeling I got when I could see it in my minds eye was pride, satisfaction, and confidence. THIS feeling is what kept me going.
The more you can attach an emotion or a feeling to your goal through visualization, the more effortlessly you will pursue your goal and keep going when things get tough. This simple step will multiply your chances of reaching your goal. So go into detail and have fun with it!
#2 Write your goals down
Surprisingly, many people think they are setting goals for themselves just by having a quick conversation in their head. Don’t be one of these people. Don’t be someone who wanders through life aimlessly, not knowing what your next step is.
You are much more likely to be successful when you write things down. Writing it down helps you clarify what you want, because when you have to articulate exactly what it is that you want.
If you consistently rewrite your goals, on a weekly or monthly basis, you will also ingrain them in your subconscious, which challenges your habits and thought processes to stay in line with your goals.
#3 Break your goals down into action steps
Every big goal is achieved by a series of small action steps. When you break your goals down into smaller steps that are more manageable, goals don’t seem that overwhelming.
When I set out to be a kickboxing instructor, the first step was to get certified. I did my research and figured out where to go and what I needed to do. Getting that certification was so far out of my comfort zone… that once I achieved it, was never the same. It motivated me to keep going and take the next steps I needed to take towards teaching my first class.
It helps to write these steps down, so you have a road map in front of you. You will save so much time and reduce uncertainty about reaching your goal by doing this step.
#4 Know your priorities
If you don’t know what kind of goals to set for yourself, or which ones are more important to work on first, take a step back and look at the big picture. What is really important to you?
Make a list of all the major areas of your life. It can be anything from your health, your relationships, your career, your faith, etc. Stop and think about each area and ask yourself which is most important to you? Rank them.
You have to know what you want in life to create change.
When I started teaching kickboxing, I realized I had to give up my Tae Kwon Do training in return. I didn’t have enough time or energy to do both. When it came down to it, I would rather make money doing what I love, than pay money to do something else that I love. Tae Kwon Do was out, and the decision to teach group fitness was the start to a brand new career and the rest of my life.
Knowing your priorities makes decision making easier. Have to decide between going to spin class or the networking happy hour event? If your health and happiness is a higher priority, it’s a no brainer. Spin class wins.
#5 Know your obstacles
Knowing what stands between you and your goal will give you a distinct advantage. You have an opportunity to set yourself up for success, by changing your environment and thinking ahead.
Lets say you have a goal to improve your diet, but you always want to open the pantry and grab a snack the moment you walk in the door. If you know this is going to happen… why not just make sure that the snacks you are able to grab are healthy ones? Have your veggies cut up in snack size portions and sitting in your fridge at eye level. Portion out some almonds ahead of time and grab an apple to go with it. Finally, if you don’t buy the unhealthy snacks, you won’t be tempted eat them!
I knew that I was going to be a nervous wreck when I taught my first class, so I wrote out every single word I wanted to say at the beginning and end of class. I practiced and practiced until I felt comfortable. It didn’t make it any less scary to get up and teach, but I was prepared. I had visualized myself teaching. It was important to me and I made it happen.
You can achieve your goals too. Keep these 5 things in mind when you are setting goals and planning your future. You will be more motivated and less likely to fail. You will set yourself for success.