There’s a lot of talk this time of year about goal setting and reaching your goals.
Goal setting is still hard for some people. Even harder is the changing your habits and getting to your goals part.
People often want to lose 20,30 or 50 pounds, and get in shape. But for 20 plus years they’ve never exercised or even been aware of their eating habits. They have no idea where to start they only know what they see in the magazines, saw on T.V., or heard from their friends. So on day 1 they try to get up early, go for a jog, try to eat breakfast, try eat 6 small meals a day, tryto avoid the processed food they’ve ate their whole life, try to drink 64ozs of water, stop eating out. Sometimes they’ll make it all the way to day 3 with this plan and then oversleep and it’s over. Because it’s overwhelming.
This is why I try to convey to new clients that weight-loss is a process not an event.
Read any weight-loss get in shape success story and you’ll see a process of one good habit leading to another. The success story goes something like this
” I saw a picture of myself at my sisters wedding and actually cried when I saw how heavy I’d gotten. I decided no more.”
“The first thing I did was I started walking around my block every morning. I felt so much better after a week, I stopped my fast food habit and started eating more fruit and vegetables. Withing the first month I’d lost 8 pounds” and so on.
This is called the Goal Snowball Effect(I learned this phrase from Super-Trainer Alwyn Cosgrove) and you can make it happen too.
Here’s how to use the Goal Snowball Effect to get started
1) List 1 to 4 behaviors you want(need) to improve or change to reach your goals. What do you need to be doing that you’re not doing? What habits do you need to kick? What good habits do you need to develop?
2) List these things on paper from easiest to hardest.
3) “Maintain” all your other goals and focus your attention on the first thing on your list( the easiest one). Spend 2 weeks just focusing on achieving that goal so that it becomes a habit.
4) Once that change has been made and ingrained, move to the next item on your list and focus your efforts there.
5) One by one, knock out these changes and/or goals.
For example: Maybe you sleep late.
First goal is to get up 30 mins. earlier every day.
Second goal might be go to the gym first thing in the morning-and to go 4 times a week instead of 3.
Third goal maybe to make sure you always eat breakfast.
Fourth goal-eat smaller portions, one of the easiest ways to drop calories… and so on.
So in 10 weeks you’re 1. consistently getting up earlier 2. getting your workouts in first thing, so you’re more consistent 3. jump starting your metabolism with breakfast everyday ans 4. reducing the total number of calories you’re taking in every day.
These small goals “snowball” into a bigger overall effect with some real return on investment. As opposed to if you tried to change all these habits at once, you would have failed by day 3.
Apply this formula to your goals this New Year. Every goal needs a realistic plan and this is the way to do it. Use it.