A Plan for Change

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As we head into the new year season we inevitably start to look forward to what the year ahead holds. Typically, we will make New Year resolutions to identify the things that we want to change about ourselves or our lives, but more often than not the resolutions are forgotten and previous behaviour is resumed within a couple of weeks. Resolutions are an acceptance that we are not perfect and we would like to improve ourselves or our circumstance but they frequently don’t work because they are not specific and there is often no way of measuring success.

‘This year I’m finally going to get fit’ will be vehemently announced by the masses but it has no meaning without context and if it can’t be measured how will you know when you’ve got there?

INSTEAD OF RESOLUTIONS SET GOALS AND TARGETS FOR 2018

Goal setting is the process of identifying and describing your objectives whilst targets are the milestones along the way that help you to achieve your goals. To illustrate the importance of goal setting there is a remarkable study involving Harvard graduates. The students were asked if they have set clear, written goals for their futures, as well as if they have made specific plans to transform their fantasies into realities.

The result of the study was that only 3 percent of the students had written goals and plans to accomplish them, 13 percent had goals in their minds but haven’t written them anywhere and 84 percent had no goals at all.

After 10 years, the same group of students were interviewed again and the results were mind-blowing.

The 13 percent of the class who had goals, but did not write them down, earned twice the amount of the 84 percent who had no goals.

The 3 percent who had written goals were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97 percent of the class combined.

GOALS SHOULD BE SPECIFIC, MEASUREABLE, REALISTIC AND HAVE A DEADLINE. AND YOU MUST WRITE THEM DOWN!

So rather than simply saying you want to get fit, your goal might be ‘To compete in the Delamere 10km run on the 30th April 2018 and complete the race inside 60 minutes’ — now you have an exciting challenge that you can plan to execute.

REVERSE ENGINEER YOUR GOAL

Now you have defined your goal you need to figure out how you can achieve it. By working backwards from the end goal you can be precise about the details….here’s our example again:

In order to run 10km in less than 60 minutes the runners speed must average 10km/h or more throughout the race. You can now break this down into time-framed targets that when completed will move you closer to your ultimate goal e.g 7.5km in less than 45 mins by March 30th, 5km in less than 30 mins by Feb 28th etc

HOW TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

Now you have clarified exactly what your goal is you need to figure out how to get the task done:

  • Recruit an expert – this could be a personal trainer, a running coach or a nutritionist — someone who is a proven expert in the area related to your goal
  • Find a role model or mentor – find someone who has done what you are wanting to accomplish and spend time with them to see how they operate and to identify the habits that have made them successful
  • Do the thing! – research is good but you’ve got to get out from behind the book and practise the task
  • Prepare to fail – accept that failure is part of the journey and use the experiences of failure to make you stronger
  • Create a support network – share your goals with the positive people in your life who will be there for you when you need encouragement and motivation to continue
  • Training buddy – find someone who has similar goals who can share the journey and hold you accountable
  • Become part of a tribe – join a community of like-minded people who will inspire you and bring the best out of you such as a running club
  • Attach emotion to the goal – go through the mental process of imagining how good it will feel to accomplish your goal and also how bad it will feel if you quit and don’t give it your best
  • Identify roadblocks and deal with them – what are the obstacles you face that could jeopardise your chances of success? Identify them first and then plan how to get around them. Heavy work commitments and holidays are typical roadblocks but they can be navigated around if they are identified in advance and a plan of action is predetermined

Dare to Dream BIG

The challenge of a powerful goal will change both body and mind — when you are creating your goals for the year ahead think of something that will not only excite you but will also create apprehension. When we are taken out of our comfort zone we are forced to adapt and create change which will help us continue to grow and evolve.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”Hellen Keller

Make sure 2018 is the year you make things happen!