How To Set Goals You’ll Actually Stick To

I set goals. Many people do.

But many goals don’t get followed through on because they are outcome based and not habit based.

We all want the amazing outcome, but often the goal itself is so big and overwhelming that we don’t know where to start or what to do first, or next.

What’s the difference?

An outcome goal could be ‘I’m going to lose 10kg this year.’

A habit based goal is ‘I’m going to lift weight 3 days a week, do sprints once a week, do a yoga class once a week and only have 2 cheat meals each week, while eating mostly non-processed foods.’

You build and maintain the habits as the year progresses, rather than trying to start too many new ones at once. Too much to start with can cause you to give up too.

This is the coaching model we use with Warrior Within Coaching.

So here’s my simple goal setting protocol I’ve created over many years of practice.

I start with setting a goal for each of the following areas of my life.

Each element has an opposing area and they both should be in a reasonable balance in your life.

If an area is too biased in one direction, we often end up with physical, mental or emotional health issues. This was definitely the case for me.

So pick one goal for each area. You can do more, but it can become complicated.

And don’t expect to have an exact goal for each area right now. It may take days or weeks. I still have spaces blank on mine after a week.

Today I’m gonna go through just the physical goal and how I break it down to actionable steps and habits.

My physical goal for this year is to reach 80kg at 12% body fat.

It’s a big goal that has eluded me for many years due to health issues, but I’m not discouraged by it because I hit so many of the actionable steps and build great supportive habits each year.

To break it up, let’s look at fitness, nutrition & lifestyle.

Fitness

I will lift weights 3 times each week without fail. Even if I’m sick or tired, I’ll do a light session to keep up my momentum.

Where will I lift weights? I have some equipment at home, and more at my brother’s house and I’m likely to join a gym for the social aspect of training and accountability as well.

When will I lift weights? Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons around 4-430pm.

My sessions have plenty of rest built in and every movement is warmed up properly and every rep controlled so I keep from injury.

As a coach myself, I believe everyone should have a coach. So I’m following a program from my coach and it’s working great.

I’ll do intervals or sprints once a week, either running in the street or park, or at the gym. I may even surf if there’s a wave about. I have a bunch of specific intervals and programs I can follow so I have no excuses.

I’ll do as much self myofascial release work or foam rolling, trigger point work or massage as I need to keep my body supple. I have all the tools I need at my house and I know how to use them. If I need a massage, I’ll get one.

I’ll stretch as much as is needed. This will include a warm up and post workout stretches each training session. I know what’s tight and how to stretch properly so I’m good here.

I’ll also do some mobility sessions or yoga once a week or more if needed. The gym has yoga classes and I have videos to follow so they’re easy ways for me to do it.

Nutrition

I’ll eat 3000 calories or more each day, from healthy foods.

It’s no junk January so I’m committed to not eating or drinking junk calories for the month.

After that I’ll go back to one cheat meal each Friday evening so I keep my sanity.

I’ve got my macronutrients calculated for my body type (it may be different for you), so I know I need around 25% protein, 55% carbohydrates and 20% fat.

This equates to 750 calories from protein, 1650 calories from carbohydrates and 600 calories from fat.

I use My Fitness Pal to check in on these things to see that I’m on track.

I am not obsessed on getting my diet perfect as that’s just not necessary. Close enough is good enough.

For breakfast I’ll eat either eggs with some cooked greens and rice cakes or a smoothie with banana, berries, rice milk, shredded coconut and hemp protein powder.

For lunch I usually eat fish with some tomato and rice.

I have another smoothie in the afternoon before I train.

Dinner is similar to lunch but often with red meat and some extra fat. I love eating curries at dinner time. Occasionally I’ll substitute rice for sweet or white potato.

Lifestyle

I shop several times each week to make sure I have the foods I need.

I ensure I allow ample time to prepare my meals each day and I always cook enough for several meals so I have food to go if I am busy.

I turn my phone off around 830pm and the TV no later that 930pm so I’m not looking at a screen. The light from screens can and will interrupt sleep, so switch to night mode on your phone or use FLUX (free download) on your laptop.

I don’t work on the computer at night time as it stimulates my brain too much.

I also don’t read non-fiction before bed for the same reason.

My bed time is around 1030 each night and I’ll wake around 630 each morning.

I have a morning routine which I follow to set me up for my day.

My friends and family are all supportive of my fitness and nutrition needs so this helps me too.

That’s a lot of steps and a lot of detail for my outcome of 80kg and 12% body fat, but these are habits that I have built over many years.

The habits I’ve set up are what I follow daily and that leads to the outcome.

And there’s likely to be many more habits that I’ve forgotten and do automatically.

So start where you are and build those healthy habits and you too will be dominating your goals, no matter what area of your life it is for.

You may find it helpful to write up the healthy habits you already have so you know where your strengths and weaknesses are.

If you think you need help building the habits to get you to your destination, please get in touch and we’ll see how we can work together.

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