Many people struggle setting healthy habits and goals because they don’t have a clear framework to help guide them, and the end up setting goals that are either not specific enough, or not achievable in the time frame planned. This guide is designed to help you set healthy habits and fast track your goals by giving you a results formula to follow.
OUR RESULTS FORMULA:
- Understanding your deeper WHY
- Lining you goal up with you core values
- Setting a smart goal
- Make it visible
- Get help
- Accountability partner/s
UNDERSTANDING YOUR WHY
Whenever you set a goal, whether it is about your health, financial, your relationships or any other area of your life – the first key step is to understand you WHY.
Your why is connected with your core values, and if you set goals that do not align with your core values, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to discover you WHY:
- What is deeper purpose? What am I really here to do, or contribute, or experience?
- Note – this is very personal and only you can answer this – don’t answer this according to anyone’s view of who you are supposed to be. What do YOU feel and know about what you are here to do?
- What should I be DOING each day to fulfil my mission or purpose?
- Does the goal I am setting now align with my life mission?
Your goal needs to be connected to, and supporting your WHY. If your goal doesn’t support your WHY then you are setting yourself up for a struggle from the beginning.
CORE VALUES & YOUR GOAL
Another key factor in fast tracking your goals is to understand that (in some areas) you have subordinated yourself to other people’s values, and often are setting goals according to other people’s views on who, or how you should live.
For example, your parents will have had certain values about education, religion, work ethic, appropriate career path etc. What you have to do is separate your own TRUE values from the values of those around you.
Let’s explore the value system around this to give you some relevant examples.
Would you agree that people that live a healthy lifestyle generally have some overlapping similar values around what activities they do on a day to day basis, and what kind of foods they eat?
OK, so how about overlapping values of people that don’t have a healthy lifestyle?
For example, most people that are in great shape have a high value on regular MOVEMENT of some sort, and they also tend to place a high value on the quality of food they consume.
Many out of shape people place a high value on being comfortable and on pleasurable experiences. These can be in many forms, including eating tasty (but not so healthy) food, sitting down instead of moving etc…
What you have to do in order to set and achieve a lifestyle goal, is you need to re-visit your values at a very deep level and get really clear on what you hold most valuable and whether or not that is going to help you hit your goal!
SETTING S.M.A.R.T GOALS
So, you know you want to set some goals, but how do you avoid the same old scenario of setting a goal, not hitting that goal and then feeling bad about it?
No matter how big or small your goal-whether it’s losing a small or very large amount of fat, walking a mile or running your first marathon – making change requires planning and SMART goal setting.
To set goals that you can not only achieve, but SMASH, follow the SMART goal setting system:
SPECIFIC: Your goal should be clear and easy to understand.
A common goal, “improve my health” is too general. If you drink water today instead of soft drink have you hit your goal? How do you want to do it? You need to get much more specific or you won’t know what you’re working towards.
So let’s pick lifestyle and make a SMART goal out of it together.
MEASURABLE: A goal to “improve my health” is not enough. How will you track your progress and how you will know when you have reached your goal? To make your goal measurable you need to add a reference that can be measured.
ACHIEVABLE: Before you can add a measurement to your goal, you have to know how high you want to go. While it feels good to aim really high, don’t be too extreme. Likewise, a goal that is too easy is also not very motivating. Only you know your limits.
Let’s use our goal above as an example. What level of lifestyle and health improvement is achievable for you?
A measurable, achievable goal could be, “I will improve my health, energy and vitality by eating and drinking quality food, moving for at least 0 minutes each day and going to bed by 10pm .”
RELEVANT: Only set goals that are relevant and important to where you are in your life, otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure!
TIME SPECIFIC: Include an end-point. Knowing that you have a deadline motivates you to get started.
Since getting healthier is reliant on a variety of factors that each take time to have an effect (such as reducing body fat, improving strength and cardio fitness etc), set your deadline accordingly. For our example we could use 3 months. “I will improve my health, energy and vitality in the next three months”
And that is how you set a SMART goal!
We recommend setting action goals that link to your main SMART goal. These action goals will contribute to you achieving your SMART goal and could include thing like:
- I will do some exercise that I enjoy, 5 days every week for 30 minutes each.
- I will drink water instead of soda every day this week.
- I will bring my lunch to work instead of eating out 4 days this week.
- I will be in bed by 9.30pm at least 5 nights per week
MAKING IT VISIBLE
Once you have set a SMART goal, another key factor to fast track your success is to make your goal visible. This simply means putting your goal up somewhere that you will see it frequently (multiple times per day if possible).
In addition to this, if it is somewhere where your family, friends or colleagues can see it, even better!
Goals by their very nature are things we have not yet achieved, and they are often HARD! If you are trying to improve you lifestyle, and have identified key action goals (see the SMART goal setting info above), then ask people for help!
If you want to eat better, ask your family to join in or at least support you on the journey (that might mean no more junk food in the house, for your OR for anyone else). If you need to start exercising but don’t know where to begin, hire a trainer to kick start your routine until you feel more comfortable.
You may be surprised by the help people are willing to give you if you just ASK!
The last (but certainly not least) key factor in fast tracking your goals is setting up accountability partner/s.
An accountability partner is someone that you report your progress to on a regular basis, from as regularly as each day, to once per week. Accountability partners will help you stay on track, and keep you motivated to smashing your goal and then setting the next one!