WHAT IS YOUR TIMELINE?
by Chris Flury
Setting goals with specific dates is a vital aspect of achieving those goals. Without specific dates, a goal is actually nothing more than a wish or dream. Another vital aspect is planning your goals in achievable segments and time. Far too many people fail not for lack of desire, but from setting unrealistic goals or timeframes that cause discouragement and eventually quitting or giving up.
Let’s talk about the framework for setting goals. The best way to lay out a plan is to set short, medium and long-term goals. Here is a breakdown of how I recommend breaking these up:
Short-term should be a daily or even weekly timeframe. In the beginning, daily is going to be your best bet because most people can stay focused for just one day at a time given how busy and distracted our society seems to be these days. Having one goal a day to start is achievable for everyone. This could be as simple as doing one activity for 20-30 minutes to start, or changing one eating habit per day. Taking small steps with increasing volume over time is a great way to build a GOOD habit – it is proven that it takes 30 days, consistently, to create a habit, good or bad. Keep in mind that going too fast to soon can create failure. A coach of mine has a saying: “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast!!” As you become consistent with daily goals, you can increase the short-term time frame to weekly. The weekly goals can include daily activities with measurable benchmarks. Medium goals are a similar process as short-term just with more time between benchmarks. In the beginning, weekly goals can be considered medium. As you progress, increase the medium time to monthly. These may include weight goals, volume of days or amount of time you work out in the month, as suggestions. Whatever it is you are doing this for as mentioned in article 3 can be a great way to measure your success.
Long-term goals should be expanded to quarterly, six months and a year. Tying these into your article 3 reasons with measurable benchmarks, works great.
I believe that the best way to make this process work and create the best success for you is to assign appropriate “rewards” with these goal sets and benchmarks. By giving yourself some sort of reward for accomplishing your goal will give yourself the incentive to stay on track and keep going, even when it gets tough. In a sense, we are tricking ourselves to keep going and stay focused. These can be as simple as not allowing yourself something that you already do out of self-indulgence, such as getting a coffee drink or alcohol drink you might normally just buy, until you have accomplished a goal. Or, treating the family to a movie night after you hit a medium goal.
This brings me to the last part of this article: Having accountability!!!
One of the best ways to keep on track with your goals, and rewards, is to have accountability to someone. It is important to have someone who has your best interest at heart for you to achieve your goals. This can be a coach, workout partner, spouse, family members, and especially our kids. It is very hard to make a commitment to your kids and not keep that commitment!! This accountability is another great way to stay on course to achieving your goals.
Set your goals, create your rewards, hold yourself accountable and then ENJOY the journey!
To read this series of articles from the beginning, click here.