In this post, you'll find a collaboration of the most important aspects of goal setting. Anyone who is successful at achieving a goal (health or otherwise), has succeeded because he/she has followed the process below. Some of which happen spontaneously, some consciously and other parts by luck.
Goals are achieved when you:
Begin at the right time
Aline intentions with your values
Obtain enough information for action
Focus on the outcome (or pleasure of the goal)
Create a strong plan
Outline short term goals
Write it all down
Seek Support & Encouragement
Here is an outline to follow... step by step, to discover the mental journey required to move from contemplation to success. Good Luck. Tell me what you think...
Goal Setting through the Eyes of a Wellness Coach
Top 3 Indicators of Success
What is really important to you right now?
Is this the right time to make a change?
Why must you change now?
I know that within the first 30 seconds of my first meeting with a client if they will succeed or not. I know this because I listen to Why they must change. I listen to what is important to them (values), and listen to what’s going on in there life (is this the right time for a change). And finally, are they looking for quick results, or are they looking for a change in the way they feel, the way their life works, a change in who they really are? And finally, are they willing to devise a clear plan, keep track of there efforts, and follow it closely. Working a plan will always prove results.
It’s exciting to take someone from a place of frustration to a place of fulfillment. You can do it. Just take some time to get clear about where you are and where you want to go. This is a journey of self discovery, and the best part of becoming healthy and happy, from the inside out!
Stages of Change:
1. No Interest in Change:
No interest in changing, no interest in learning about changing, happy with current situation
Know that changing would be good for them, but believes it would be too difficult/painful to change
3. Information Gathering:
Beginning to realize that maintaining current behavior is not a good idea
Realization that must change, but unsure how
5. First attempt.
Discovery session about how it feels, and accessing the outcome
Developing a new habit - first month of new habits, if success is achieved, if you start to feel good about new changes they likely continue
Making the new behavior a regular part of a daily/weekly program
8. Long Term Growth & Optimal Success
Needs continued support, accountability and personal growth in order to stay on track
Values & Priorities:
Understanding what your values are is a complex part of coaching. (That I recommend everyone have during the initial stages), because it helps to have a coach bring to the surface things that are values, where they came from, how they shape your life, actions and beliefs, and how you work with them to achieve your goals, or re-examine your values.
I’ve included a list values so that you can get clear about what yours are.
In touch with
Part of community
To feel good
Relate with God
(Adapted from the Tru Values List from Coach University 1994)
Circle your top ten values. Then put a star next to your your top 4 values.
Once you narrow them down to your short list, consider the following questions:
1. Where did each of these values come from?
2. What positive experiences did you have where you received love from these values?
3. How have these values shaped your life?
4. What actions do you take because of these values, that are no longer serving you?
Are you living in harmony with these values? If not, what changes need to happen?
In a Journal, write about each value. The more clear you are about who you are, and why you do the things you do, the less likely you’ll fall into Self Sabotage.
Is Now the Best Time for Change?
Wheel of Life Worksheet
Rate each area of your life on a scale of 1 to 10.
Family & Friends
Next consider each section independently and contemplate what would make that section a 10 out of 10.
Write down a short positive affirmation or goal on a cue card to remind you of your intentions to improve this area of your life. Review your intentions daily in the morning and in the evening.
Pain and Pleasure
Human Behavior is driven by one of 2 things
Why do we eat food that is not good for us? Because it’s pleasurable.
Fact: Our need to avoid pain is a bigger motivator then achieving pleasure –its human instinct.
Procrastination creates pain – If we associate pain in taking action, then we often do nothing or continue with our current habits or actions. This can change when not taking action becomes more painful. At this point a person is now motivated to change. An example is a student studying for a test the night before.
Unfortunately we often let life circumstances control our behaviors until we are forced to make a change. How can we take control of our behaviors so we are proactive about making changes and avoiding pain?
We change what we associate pain & pleasure with
Power of Focus Can Change your Behavior
If your thinking about the pleasure of eating something, focused on it, remember how it tastes, the pleasure you get from eating it, you’ll be drawn to it. It will be painful to avoid it!
What is your association to changing your diet, eating healthy, or beginning an exercise program? Have you associated pain or discomfort with these changes? When you associate making changes with pain, you’ll feel like your climbing up hill, hit a brick wall and fall off the wagon.
Studies show that for every change we want to make we must be clear about the pleasure we will receive from the actions we put forth, and we must also consider the pain we expect to encounter if we don’t change. Focusing on both creates a strong sense of pleasure and pain in the brain that keeps us inspired to take our intended actions.
In order to do this, you must be clear about how you feel about each short and long term goals actions.
Strategies/Examples for Short Term Goals:
1. What is the pain you will feel for eating something you vowed not to eat
What pleasure will you receive from completing a week on track.
Strategies for Long Term Goals:
1. Get clear about your Goals and Actions.
2. What is the pain that you have associated with this that has prevented you from achieving it in the past.
3. Write all the pleasure you’ve gotten from not following through
4. What will this cost you if you don’t follow through? How does that make you feel?
5. What are all the things you will gain from completing this goal? Present & long term. Make a long list.
Write these down, keep them close, read them several times a day, and in places where food is.
When you get your focus in the right place, be conscious of the pleasure/pain dynamic, you will have the power to change your behavior on anything you want to change, and follow through on any goal.
The Goal Setting Journey
1. In the following space, write down all the fitness goals you would like to achieve. This is your personal fitness wish list. Write down anything you have ever thought of achieving with regards to your health and fitness. Which health and fitness goals, if achieved, would make this year amazing? i.e. Hike grand canyon, run marathon, lose 10 lbs….
2. Review your wish list above and number them from most important to less important.
3. Outline the activities you want to do regularly to take care of yourself.
Lets combine your lists and set goals for a Wellness Plan. By combining the above, what are your Top 3 Goals:
Choose one of the above goals to be your most important Long Term Goal. Something that will take at least a few months to complete. You can choose either the most pressing or the easiest to achieve, which ever will motivate you on the long term. Can you make your goal all of the following?
(weight in lbs, measurements, events, time to complete activity, pictures, clothes sizes, etc.)
(Have you been this fit before? Is your time line realistic? Do you have time for this level of commitment?)
(How much time each day/week, how much time will it take to reach your goal)
How will you know when you have reached your goal?
Write down all the pleasure you associate with achieving your goals. (For example, I’ll be able to wear whatever I want. My energy level will improve. My blood pressure will drop. I’ll feel more self-confident.”)
In contrast, devise a list of painful consequences if you don’t follow your program.
List the Obstacles that may prevent you from your goal.
List Solutions to overcome these perceived obstacles.
Who is your support system? Who will you tell your goals to? (i.e. family, friends, health professionals, etc.)
Who will you ask to hold you accountable or to check in with you to keep you on track?
Make a list of 15 things that make you happy, things you love to do, experience, and see.
Now take a moment to list all the action steps required to accomplish your goal.
Short Term Goals
The your Action Steps list has become your short term goals. Each week an action can be taken to move you closer to achieving your big goal. Take a moment to determine which 4 steps you will strive to achieve for the next 4 weeks. Then determine a reward for achieving each of these goals. Choose rewards from your list of things you love. Make sure your rewards don’t defeat your goals.
Week Action Reward
What is your reward for sticking to your plan for the full 4 weeks?
Creating a weekly check list is a great way to keep track of your daily intentions, and added mini goals each day.
Below is an example of a simple check list you can complete each day in your journal, on a sticky, or an iphone.
Take Vitamins morning
Met my protein goal
Drank 8 glasses of water
No sugar today
No eating after 7pm
Worked out today
Went to bed at 10:30
This Week’s Fitness Goal: ______________________________________________________________________________
This Week’s Nutrition Goal: _____________________________________________________________________________
Outline what you did on each of the following days for your goal
Review your progress this week.
If you have been successful at sticking to your weekly challenge, set a new challenge/goal for next week from your list of habits to change. If you did not complete your goal this week, review your obstacles and solutions, then revamp your goal and increase your reward! If your having trouble – remember nothing ever comes easy when it’s worth it!
Perceived Obstacles Solutions
What did you do this week to improve your fitness?
Did you make conscious healthy nutrition choices this week?
What was your most successful change?
Did you have moments of feeling great about choosing to be healthy this week?
What changes have you noticed in your physical and mental well being this week?
Was you weekly goal and challenging enough, or your reward enticing enough to keep you motivated?
What is your short term goal you plan to achieve next week?