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Our Top 3 Goal Setting Strategies

Rob is the master of goal setting. And he definitely has a process that he uses to set and more importantly ACHIEVE goals! Here are his most effective strategies that you can apply to ANY aspect of your life, including your fitness and health goals!

1. Begin with the End in Mind

Source: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

From the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Habit 2 is Begin with the End in Mind.

Steven Covey wrote, “So, what do you want to be when you grow up? That question may appear a little trite, but think about it for a moment. Are you–right now–who you want to be, what you dreamed you’d be, doing what you always wanted to do? Be honest. Sometimes people find themselves achieving victories that are empty–successes that have come at the expense of things that were far more valuable to them. If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.  Habit 2 is based on imagination–the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. The physical creation follows the mental, just as a building follows a blueprint. If you don’t make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default. It’s about connecting again with your own uniqueness and then defining the personal, moral, and ethical guidelines within which you can most happily express and fulfill yourself. Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.”

2. Create Rituals 

Source: The Power of Habit

Habits, by definition, are choices that we all make deliberately at some point—and then stop thinking about but continue doing, often every day. By understanding how it happens, you can rebuild those patterns in whichever way you choose. First, we need to understand that habits emerge because our brains are always on the lookout for efficient ways to save effort.

Here’s the formula to create new habits:

CUE + ROUTINE + REWARD = HABIT

Step 1. The cue is a trigger for your brain that tells it which habit to use.

Step 2. The routine is how a habit influences what you do, think, or feel.

Step 3. The reward is what helps us determine how valuable the habit is, and whether it’s worth remembering or not.

Let’s use an example of implementing exercise into your daily routine.

  1. You begin by choosing a CUE, like laying your gym clothes on your bathroom counter so you see them first thing in the morning.
  2. This cue should trigger the ROUTINE you want to implement, such as going to the gym in the morning.
  3. Then decide on the REWARD. A great reward for after gym class would be a yummy healthy protein shake or healthy meal.

**Word of caution to NOT make your reward the opposite of your goal. Example, don’t reward yourself with a cupcake for going to the gym.

Now one of your new habits should be the Keystone Habit. That’s the habit that if you just do that, it’ll accomplish some of your other goals/habits.

3. If it’s Not Working, Change Your Approach.

People just give up too easily. If something doesn’t work the first time they throw in the towel and say “this just isn’t for me”. That’s NOT the strategy of a winner. Instead when something isn’t working, ask for help and CHANGE YOUR APPROACH.

To use weight loss as an example, if you have been following a new nutrition routine for a 4-6 weeks and haven’t noticed any changes in your body, find a coach to assist. There could be something you’re totally overlooking, like stress or sleep that is creating the resistance to weight-loss.

Now….How do you put this all together?

Okay you you’ve done the work, began with the end in mind and came up with a goal to lose 50lbs, increase your energy and increase your stamina so you can play with your kids longer without getting tired. Now what? Chances are that’s going to take a while (if you’re doing it right of course). Plan on the fact that you WILL get discouraged along the way. Often people only look at the achievement of the end result as a determining factor in success and NOT how far they’ve come.

So in this example, the big goal can be to lose 50lbs. But want are THREE small, measurable goals that will create MOMENTUM to achieving that big goal? They could be….

  • Workout 4 days per week
  • Drink 1 gallon of water daily
  • Write down all of my food daily

Once you have the small goals decided, you create the HABITS around these goals (as seen in step 2).

When it’s not working, ask for help and change your approach!

Celebrate Your Wins

Yes, one of the most important parts of goal setting is to celebrate your wins along the way. Otherwise you just keep aiming higher, working harder and wanting more and more. Every time you challenge yourself to be better, do better and you accomplish the goal, reward yourself and celebrate, no matter how big or small the win is.

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