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Succeed in Bridging the GAP between your Dreams and Reality

It is that wonderful time of year where we start to reflect and celebrate accomplishments of the year gone by and look forward to focusing our thoughts and attention on where we want to be this time next year.

Did you achieve everything you wanted to this year?  

If not, do you know why? 

Was it that you had great intentions at the start but over time the enthusiasm faded and you fell back into old habits? Or maybe other people and activities just took more priority?

Regardless of the reason lets move forward and focus on what you can do now to set yourself up to SUCCEED in your goal attainments for the new year ahead.

I’ve been a fitness specialist for the majority of my life and have a degree in management science alongside my fitness coaching qualifications.  This experience has enabled me to coach a wide spectrum of individuals to achieve their desired goals over many years.  

From teaching young children the basics of movement to assisting World Class Athletes to become champions in their specialist sports I understand that all goal attainments follow the exact same goal setting and achievement process.  

Whilst I focus on health and fitness goals the good news is that this process can be adapted to reach any life goals.

Why should we set goals?

There are numerous consequences to not having a clear goal or plan of action.  Generally this will lead to a lack of focus and an inability to prioritise activities. This can result in undertaking the same thing day in, day out where you never really progress from the status quo.  Often this affects an individual’s confidence in their ability to achieve more and can hugely impact their day-to-day mental state and overall happiness. 

Not having a clear plan of action means you are more likely to get distracted away from activities that truly matter.   It will almost certainly lead to results being attained at a much slower rate (if at all)! and you are more likely to get stuck in a cycle of procrastination i.e. always thinking about doing something but never taking action.  

Goal setting mistakes

There are several reasons why people fail to achieve their goals:

  • Initially the goal may not have been specific or measurable which will mean the progress of attaining it is not trackable.  

  • The purpose of the goal may not have been known or defined.   

  • A goal maybe set but an individual may not have had the right means or knowledge to be able to fully achieve it.  

  • Too many goals may have been set leading to overwhelm and commitment issues.  

  • A larger goal may not have been broken down into enough manageable and realistic steps.   

  • Or it might have been that the support to achieving the goal was not there so motivation was dampened by not being held accountable to the goals.   

The 7 Step Goal Attainment Process

By following the 7 outlined steps you will set yourself up to be successful in your goal attainments.

1.  Select Your Goal

Lifetime Goal – Long Term Goal – Short Term Goals – Micro Goals – Weekly/Daily Habits

Start with your lifetime goal. 

What would you be proud to say you have achieved?  

What experience would you like to relay to your grandchildren? 

Don’t be afraid to dream big here.  Let your imagination take over and don’t hold back.  

If you laugh at your own lifetime goal you are probably on the right track.  Believe in yourself.   You can achieve anything that you set your mind to and through building the right roadmap as well as instilling the correct commitment to fulfil necessary smaller steps there is no reason why this can’t be attained.

Breakdown this lifetime goal into longer term (5-10 years) and then shorter term (1-5 years) goals.  

Breakdown the shorter term goals into micro (monthly) goals.

Breakdown the micro goals into weekly or daily habits that you need to undertake to achieve the micro goals.

A consistent commitment to your daily / weekly habits will ultimately mean you will achieve your lifetime goal!  Small steps forward everyday.  

Don’t set too many goals.  Avoid overwhelm by prioritizing the key items that need to take place to achieve the desired result.  

How can you obtain this in the most efficient way?  There is only so much you can do in one day.  Set yourself up to succeed every day but setting attainable micro goals.

Make sure your goals are SMART.  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound.

Example of a SMART goal:

By 31st December 2024 I will be able to complete 5 strict unbroken and unassisted pull ups.

Example of non SMART goal:

Develop pull up strength

Set your goals with a positive mindset and ensure the long term goal aligns to good health and a sustainable journey.  It needs to be something you enjoy.  Choose activities that suit your lifestyle and personality.

2. Understand its purpose

Knowing and then writing down the purpose of a goal is essential.  It will outline the fundamental reason and importance of the goal, which can then be reflected back upon when obstacles crop up along the way. 

It is important to not let the goal define you as a person.  Instead it is essential to understand that the purpose of the journey of goal attainment is the most important factor. 

For example, if your goal is to run The London Marathon.  The purpose behind the goal might be to challenge yourself to reach an endurance capability that you have never before exceeded.  The build up of training prior to the event would be the determining factor for this goal attainment.  The event of The London Marathon is just the testing of many months of hard work.  If for whatever reason, outside of your control, you were unable to attend The London Marathon event (e.g got struck down by illness on event date etc) the fact that you did not complete the London Marathon should not be a success or failure of your goal.  Instead you should be content in the knowledge that you have met your goal expectations through the step-by-step progress of your training. 

3. Communicate Your Aim

This could involve having an accountability buddy or group, or simply announcing your goal to others e.g. family and friends.

Holding yourself accountable to others and immersing yourself in a group of individuals who are all attempting to strive towards the same goal is a lot more motivating and enjoyable than going through the process alone.

Ask for help and advice with your goals and the way in which you can achieve them.  There are often so many different routes or methods to achieve a desired result.  Asking experts for assistance will ensure you are undertaking the route most suitable to you and your lifestyle.  

4.  Create a Roadmap

This involves the step-by-step breakdown of the lifetime/longer term goal into the daily habits or activities needed to attain it.  Spend your time here and be as detailed as you can.

Create a timeline but don’t look at the roadmap as a fixed, unchangeable route.  Revisit it often.

To understand where you need to go first you will need to take stock of your current situation.  Analyse your current strengths and weaknesses to assess your starting point.

Educate yourself on the technicalities of moving from your current state to each of the next stages in your plan.  

Factor in a holistic approach to attaining the stages along your roadmap so that the journey can be truly sustainable.  For example if wanting to achieve a certain  fitness level you will need to exercise but will also need to factor in nutrition and other wellbeing indicators e.g. sleep, stress, mental state over time.

Conduct some what-if planning in preparation for hardships along the way.  Consider items that may occur outside of your control.

5. Execute The Plan

So the plan is now is place and all you now need to do is complete the steps within it.  Easy!!  Right?

Yes, if we can manage to form the necessary disciplines, habits and commitments required to fulfil each step.

This is the crunch point.

We have an incredible ability to adapt to just about anything.  The hard part is transitioning to a new normal and not just being in the new normal.

It is a common thought process to only do something once you are proficient at it – this is a mistake.  The real way to become skilled and proficient at a task is to start doing that task (i.e. transition into doing it).  Then undertaking this consistently over time will then in fact make you proficient at that task.

Learning to embrace the journey of skill development and finding ways to have fun through this process will help.  It is also highly important to celebrate the small wins along the way as well as embracing the failures as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the process.

6. Evaluate The Outcomes

Track, measure and record your progress versus the plan.

Are there more efficient ways of doing tasks that will serve you for the next part of your journey?

What have you learnt and how have you developed along the way?

Always look back and reflect.  Gain confidence in remembering where you started to evaluating the progress of where you are now to propel you further forward.

7.  Determine The Next Steps

On attainment of your short or longer term goals repeat the process.  Don’t stop until you fulfil your purpose.


To help you on your journey receive my FREE Goal Setting Planner.

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