The first thing I ask new, potential clients at Fitness Evolution is what their goals are.
We sit down and talk about where they want to be in a year. I ask them to tell me, if they could wave a magic wand and have the results they want most, what that would look like.
Then I tell them to forget about it.
For most of us, the goals we want to achieve, like losing weight, getting stronger or improving our health are going to take quite some time to achieve.
We can’t snap our fingers and produce results, and we can’t purchase them either. So our brains struggle with solving the problem of how to make them happen.
In order to make things more achievable and give our brain clear direction, I always have the people I work with break their big goals down into smaller chunks. We like to focus on 90 days at a time.
Here’s an example of what this might look like:
Big Goals: to lose 30 pounds and 6% body fat, and to get off blood pressure medication
90 Day Goals: to lose 7 pounds and 1% body fat, and to have lower blood pressure at next doctor visit
We’ve taken goals which are likely to take a year (or more) to reach and shrunk them down into smaller goals that can realistically be achieved in a few months.
That’s great, but it still doesn’t give us a clear sense of what to do next. How do we make these 90 day goals happen?
What I want clients to focus on is not the goals so much as the daily and weekly action steps, which when done repeatedly, will produce the results we are trying to achieve.
For example, in order to lose seven pounds, lower body fat and reduce blood pressure this person needs to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
These steps are too vague, however. This does not provide the person a clear action to take.
Together we determine how the exercise will happen. Let’s say I recommend this client strength train twice a week, and she signs up for Small Group Training at Fitness Evolution. We agree she will get at least 30 minutes of movement on the other days of the week by walking her dog in the morning for 15 minutes and taking a 15 minute walk with a co-worker at lunch.
For her diet, we decide she is going to stop drinking soda and eat out only twice a week. For accountability she agrees to recruit her spouse to help with planning and cooking meals at home and to ask a co-worker to monitor her soda drinking.
What we now have are clear, actionable steps that this client can fairly easily take each day and/or week. She knows when she is going to do them, how and who will keep her accountable.
For the next 90 days, all I want this client to do is focus on achieving these things. She is going to focus on being consistent. She does not have to perfect, but she does have to make effort and achieve them 90% of the time.
In 90 days this client will reach her goals if she executes these simple steps. This gives her clear direction and something for her brain to process.
Once she’s hit those 90 day goals, we simply set the next 90 day goals, new action steps and repeat the process.
Little by little, she’s going to inch closer to those Big Goals. Once she reaches them, she can set new goals, and begin again.
In order to be successful at achieving your goals, you must break big ones down into smaller chunks, focus on a small time frame such as 90 days, then be very clear, specific and measurable and what steps you will take each day to process results. It really helps to have a person or system to keep you accountable too.
With clear direction and actionable steps, if you’re willing to start small and be patient, over time you can achieve anything.
If you want help with goal setting and breaking things down into 90 day goals and action steps, we are hosting a FREE Goal Setting Workshop on Sunday April 7th. It is open to anyone, and you can sign up here.